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Frequently asked questions

Do I need planning permission questions: what is permitted development?

Permitted Development is external building work or changes of use that can be undertaken without planning permission. The Government has set restrictions on what can be built including the size/height/depth, or which uses may be changed. This is known as the General Permitted Development Order. The Council cannot confirm verbally that your works or change of use would be Permitted Development. If you want confirmation from the Council you would need to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a proposed or existing use or works, demonstrating that the work or change of use is “permitted” and therefore not requiring planning permission, and that it complies with any conditions attached to the permitted development rights.

Do I need planning permission to carry out works to my flat?

Planning permission is always required when carrying out external alteration works to a flat as flats do not have permitted development rights. You should also seek permission of the freeholder for any works.

Do I need planning permission for a green house/shed in my garden?

You need to find out if the property is a single family dwelling or flats. If flats you will need to apply for Planning Permission, if it’s a single family dwelling it could fall within Permitted Development Rights. Please refer to Planning Portal for limits and conditions regarding height, location and size.

Do I need Planning permission for a loft conversion/roof extension/dormer roof extension?

Planning permission is not normally required for a loft conversion that only involves internal works to create a space within the existing roof.  Permission is sometimes required where you extend the roof (by building a roof extension or dormer) or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions. Roof extensions are in some instances permitted development for houses, subject to limits and conditions. You will always require permission for external extensions to a roof in a conservation area, or if the property is divided into flats, or if the roof slope fronts a road. Check out the Planning Portal's mini guide to loft conversions

Installation of roof lights are sometimes permitted development, depending on location and height of projection above the roof slope.

Do I need planning permission to install a satellite dish?

Depends whether the property is in a conservation area or listed building, depends on how high the building is and how many satellite dishes are already on the building. Please see the Interactive House on the Planning Portal.

Do I need planning permission to install solar panels?

In many cases fixing solar panels to the roof of a single family dwelling is likely to be considered 'permitted development' with no need to apply for planning permission. There are however, important exceptions and conditions which must be observed. These permitted development rights apply to houses. The Planning Portal has information about fitting solar panels in a flat.

Do I need planning permission for my boiler flue?

On a house outside of a conservation area and not on a listed building it’s likely to be permitted development.  On a house inside of a conservation area and the flue is not visible from the highway it’s likely to be permitted development. *For both if the customer wants confirmation they need to apply for certificate of lawfulness. If on a flat and visible, it is likely to require planning permission dependent on the circumstances. Listed building consent will most likely be necessary if the building is Listed, even if planning permission may not be required. 

Do I need planning permission if I want to change my windows?

If the property is a flat planning permission will be required in the following cases:

  • it will be installed where there was not one before;

  • it will be made of a different material to the existing (for instance replacing a timber window with a uPVC window);

  • it will be of a different size to the existing; or

  • it will differ in appearance to the existing (for instance replacing a sash window with a casement window or altering the glazing bar pattern).

If the property is a listed building, listed building consent is required and will probably only be granted if the windows are beyond repair and like for like work is carried out.

If in a conservation area it is likely that permission is required if the windows are on a front or street facing elevation.  If the existing window is single glazed most proposals for double-glazing unavoidably constitute a material change in appearance and in these cases permission will be required.

What is a crossover and do I need planning permission?

A cross over is a dip in the kerb to go into a driveway.

In certain circumstances (if you live on a trunk road or a classified road) you may need to apply for planning permission as well as apply for permission from the Highways team. In conservation areas planning permission may also be required, especially if works involve the removal or alteration of a gate wall or fence.

What do I need to do before submitting a planning application:

Is a property listed?

Use the ‘Find my nearest’ online resource. 

Where can I get a copy of the listing?

Use the English Heritage The National Heritage List for England web page.

What is meant by Locally Listed?

A ‘locally listed building’ is a building which, whilst not listed by the Secretary of State for its national importance, is felt by the council to be of local importance due to its architectural or historical significance.  Listed Building Consent is not needed but the usual planning controls apply and there are planning policies that allow stricter design controls to be applied.

Protected Trees: which trees are protected?

If your tree has a tree preservation order (TPO) or property is in a Conservation Area the tree/s will be protected, it is an offence to work on protected trees without getting permission from the Council first.

See planning practice guidance on protected trees:

How do I find out if a tree in my garden has a (TPO) on it?

Visit our website and search by going onto interactive maps or use the ‘Find my nearest’ online resource.  

If this function is unavailable then email

What is a tree preservation order (TPO)?

A TPO protects trees from inappropriate works; an application is required to the council to obtain permission to work on protected trees. It is an offence to prune protected trees without permission or otherwise damage them.

The responsibility for the care and maintenance of the tree/s remains with the tree owner.

See planning practice guidance.

What do I need to do if I want to carry out works to my TPO’d tree?

An application is required for works to a TPO tree/s (8 week process).

Submit your application via the Planning Portal.  

See planning practice guidance.

What do I need to do if I want to carry out works to my tree in a conservation area?

A notification of the intended works is required (6 week process) to be submitted to the council for works to trees in a conservation area.

Submit your notification via the Planning Portal

How do I find out if works to a protected tree have been permitted?

On Islington’s website home page, click on ‘find out about a planning application’.  Read the instructions and use the planning search function


In response to the GDPR the Development Management (DM) service has published a Development Management (Planning) Privacy Notice on how the service will treat information provided by you in relation to an application or query submitted to the DM service. The latest version of this document can be found in the Useful documents section below. 

Acceptable document formats and size

The Development Management service can accept files in the following formats:

Adobe PDF - .pdf
Microsoft Office - .doc / .docx

All documents must have no restrictions on editing/redacting, so that the council can comply with GDPR requirements (Minimum requirement: document can be saved as another file name without editing restrictions).
Other formats - Please convert the following formats into pdf format or a word document:

Images - .bmp, .gif, .jpg / .jpeg, .png, .tif
Spreadsheets: .xls / .xlsx
Text - .rtf, .txt
CAD (HPGL) - .plt

If you wish to use another file type, you should check before submission as we may not be able to accept them.

File size

You will not be able to upload files larger than 10MB. Please break the large files into numbered sections to reduce the file size.
Please do not submit .EXE files or use ZIP utilities to condense file sizes

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Data protection: We will handle your personal information in line with the Data Protection Act 1998 and in accordance with the council’s Fair Processing Notice.