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Check if you need planning permission

You may need to make a planning application if you want to:

  • build something new

  • make a change to your building such as an extension or a change to its appearance

  • change the use of all or part of your building 

To apply for planning permission you should do this on the Government's Planning Portal

Planning and building regulations guidance

Things to consider

There are some other national and local Islington rules that may affect your application in certain circumstances

Permitted development rights

This relates to certain extensions and alterations to single family dwellings and some commercial developments such as offices where planning permission may not be required.

You can check your permitted development rights for more information on whether you need planning permission or visit our page When you do or do not need Planning Permission.

Common Projects

The Planning Portal has a section that provides both planning and building regulations guidance for many common building work projects for your home. You can also read case studies outlining people's real experience of tackling a number of the projects. Just click on the type of work you are looking to carry out and it will guide you through.

What you need to get planning permission

We encourage all applicants to submit their planning application online via the Planning Portal.

There is step-by-step advice for each application form and your application will be immediately sent to the Council.

When submitting an application you must give us specific documents, accurate drawings and plans clearly showing what you are proposing.

The Validation Checklist Matrix  and Local Validation Requirements  will help ensure that you provide all the necessary information in support of your application.

The Planning Portal fee calculator can be used to quantify the cost of your application. The fee will depend on the type of application and the size of the p roposal.

Please note:

  • you will be required to submit a location plan and are likely to require a site plan (also known as a block plan), in support of your application and these can be purchased through the Planning Portal.

  • the most common reason for applications being made invalid is that the accompanying documents and plans are insufficient to fully explain what is proposed.

  • if you are making a planning application you must complete a form to assess whether your proposal is liable for the Mayor of London's Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) additional information form, this is part of the online application form on the Planning Portal.

I want to make changes to my business

The information in this section will help you establish whether planning permission is required for various alterations to your business.

Advertisements and signs

If you are intending to put up an advertisement or sign, you may need to obtain advertising consent first.

Do I need to apply for advertisement consent?

The Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007 provide a way for us to monitor and control the display of signs, advertisements and other kinds of notices.

The following links offer further guidance about putting up advertisements and signs:

Change of use

If you are intending to change the use of your property, you may need to obtain planning permission first.

How are land and buildings classified for use?

Land and buildings are organised into various categories of use. The Planning Portal defines the types of use which may fall within each use class.

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

You will need to apply for full planning permission if you are intending to make a material change in use, or if you are changing use from one class to another class.

Most external building work associated with a change of use is also likely to require planning permission.

Planning permission is not required for a change of use in the following circumstances:

  • changes of use in the same use class - for example, to change from a bookshop to a hairdresser, or an office to a workshop.

  • changes from Class A2 (Professional and financial services) when premises have a display window at ground level to Class A1 (Shop).

  • from Class A3 (Restaurants and cafes) to A1 (Shop) or A2 (Financial and professional services).

  • Class A4 (Drinking establishments) to Class A1 (Shop) or A2 (Financial and professional services) or A3 (Restaurants and cafes).

  • from Class A5 (Hot food takeaways) to Class A1 (Shop) or A2 (Financial and professional services) or A3 (Restaurants and cafes).

  • from Class B1 (Business) to Class B8 (Storage and distribution) - permission limited to change of use relating to not more than 235m2 of floor space.

  • from Class B2 (General industrial) to Class B1 (Business).

  • from Class B2 (General industrial) to Class B8 (Storage and distribution) - permission limited to change of use relating to not more than 235m2 of floor space.

  • from Class B8 (Storage and distribution) to Class B1 (Business) - permission limited to change of use relating to not more than 235m2 of floor space.

  • from Class C4 (Houses in multiple occupation) to C3 (Dwelling houses).

  • from Casinos (Sui Generis) to Class D2 (Assembly and leisure).

  • from Class A1 (Shop) or A2 (Financial and professional services) to Class A1 (Shop) plus a single flat above - changes are reversible without an application only if the part that is now a flat was, respectively, in either Class A1 (Shop) or A2 (Financial and professional services) use immediately before it became a flat.

  • from Class A2 (Financial and professional services) to A2 plus a single flat above - changes are reversible without an application only if the part that is now a flat was, respectively, in either Class A1 (Shop) or Class A2 (Financial and professional services) use immediately before it became a flat.

Plant, ventilation, extraction and air conditioning equipment

If you are intending to install plant, ventilation, extraction or air conditioning equipment, you may need to obtain planning permission first.

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

Very small external equipment (for example, a small extractor fan that is not visible from the surrounding streets) may not require planning permission if it does not materially change the external appearance of the property.

In all other instances, you will need to apply for full planning permission if (all or part of) the equipment will be fixed to the outside of your property.

If your property is a listed building (or part of a listed building) and the equipment will be fixed to the internal or external walls, you may need to apply for listed building consent.

Shop front alterations

If you are intending to make any alterations to your shop front, you may need to obtain planning permission first.

Do I need to apply for planning permission?

Small alterations to your shop front may not need planning permission, but the alterations must not materially change (nature and scale of change) the outward appearance of your property.  To make a judgement, we will need to see photographs, plans, drawings etc.

You will need to apply for full planning permission however for all other alterations to your shop front.

Listed buildings

If your property is a listed building (or part of a listed building), you will need to apply for listed building consent.

If the alterations to your shop front will include adding or changing an advertisement or sign (including lettering on an awning or blind) then you may also need to apply for advertisement consent.

Trees and the Planning System

Local authorities have a statutory duty to consider the protection and planting of trees when granting planning permission for proposed development. The potential effect of a development proposal on trees, whether statutorily protected (e.g. tree preservation order by their inclusion in a conservation area) or not, is a material consideration that is taken into account when dealing with planning applications.

Our online Find My Nearest tool will give you useful information about your application site including Conservation Areas, Trees and Listed Buildings.

Demolition

Demolition of a building without redeveloping does not require full planning permission but may require prior approval for demolition. 

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