Do I need planning permission?

The rules for householders on what requires planning permission is changing on 30 Sept 2013 please download the Welsh government guidance to see if the changes affect whether you need permission for any proposed extensions/outbuildings.

To find out whether planning permission is needed for proposed works or a change of use you can apply to the council for a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development.

Along with the form you will need to submit:

  • plans of any proposed works
  • application fee – one half of the fee you would pay for the type of development

You may need advice from our building control team, who give advice on building standards and safety advice. Our building control team also assist with sustainable design.

Further guidance can be obtained from:

  • Planning Portal – includes calculator for working out volume and guidance on the planning process
  • Assembly Guide for Householders – what you need to know about the planning system

Renewable energy and planning

The Welsh Government has a series of leaflets that can help householders, communities and businesses who want to generate their own renewable energy. They provide information on what should be considered when installing a renewable energy technology, planning regulations and ways that any impacts can be reduced.

Generating renewable energy can help reduce your carbon footprint and help save on bills.

For more information, view the generating renewable energy leaflets.

Generating your own energy – homes and non-domestic.

Enforcement

When Work Happens Without Planning Permission

Breaches of planning control can either be reported in writing, via the telephone or submitted at a One Stop Shop . When reporting a breach the individual should provide their name and address and as much detail about the activity and its location. The matter will be treated with the utmost confidentiality.

Anonymous complaints can be difficult to investigate and these will only be responded to if there appears to be a serious breach of planning control.

A breach of planning control includes:

  • Carrying out building operations or changing the use of a property without planning permission
  • Building not in accordance with the approved plan or not complying with conditions of a planning permission
  • Carrying out works to or demolition of a listed building without Listed Building Consent
  • Certain demolition works within a conservation area
  • Displaying certain signs or advertisements without consent
  • Felling or carrying our works to a tree which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order or within a conservation area

There are many activities and works that do not require planning permission, including various minor building works, which are “permitted development” and changes of use that are not material.

The Council has discretion to decide whether to commence formal action. It will normally only do so where there is significant harm to public amenity. Action will not be taken simply because there has been a breach of control.

The Council has regard to the guidance set out by the Welsh Assembly Government in Technical Advice Note 9 – Enforcement of Planning Control.

The Council may request information by serving what is known as a Planning Contravention Notice.

Formal action will normally involve serving an Enforcement or Breach of Condition Notice.

Enforcement cases can take a long time to resolve. This will happen where a case is complex or it is difficult to establish whether a breach has occurred or there is an appeal against a notice.

Where building operations or a change of use to a single dwelling have been carried out in breach of planning control, in excess of 4 years previous, the development becomes lawful and immune from enforcement action.

Where a material change of use of land or any other breach of planning has occurred in excess of 10 years, that development becomes lawful and immune from enforcement action.

A person who wishes to establish whether a use,operation or activity is lawful in planning terms may apply to the Council for a Lawful Existing Use or Development Certificate.

Working files on enforcement cases are not open for public inspection.

Appeals

Applicants who are aggrieved by the decision of the Local Planning Authority regarding a planning application can appeal to the National Assembly for Wales.

Any appeal must be made within six months of the date of the decision notice using the online form available from the Planning Portal or at Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NQ.

An appeal can be made against:

  • A refusal
  • Non determination
  • A condition

The National Assembly can allow a longer period for the giving of a notice of an appeal. They will not normally be prepared to use this power unless there are special circumstances that excuse the delay in giving notice of appeal.

An appeal must be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate and a copy sent to the Council.

The Council administers the consultation and publicity on appeals but the Planning Inspectorate is responsible for all other aspects of the process. comprehensive guide to appeals is available from the Planning Portal
An Inspector is appointed to determine the appeal. Some cases may be referred to the National Assembly Planning Decision Committee.

There is a choice of 3 appeal procedures. In all cases an Inspector is appointed to determine the appeal.

  • Written Representations – the applicant and the local planning authority make written statements to be considered by the Inspector
  • Informal Hearing – written statements are prepared as above but all parties appear in person before the Inspector
  • Public Inquiry – this is a formal process, all parties appear before the Inspector, normally with legal representation and cross-examination

There are strict deadlines for all parties to make their statements or representations on appeals.

Carrying out the work

Before building work starts, it is important to remember that there may be other areas of legislation under which consent may need to be granted.

  • Building Regulations
  • Environment Agency
  • Environmental Health
  • Glamorgan Gwent Archaeological Trust
  • Highways
  • Public Rights of Way
    If there is a need to stop-up or divert a public right of way to allow development to be carried out, an application should be made to Monmouthshire County Council, for an order under Section 257 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
    The development should not be started until the order has been confirmed. Forms are available from the Public Rights of Way Officer, County Hall, Cwmbran , NP44 2XH . Tel 01633 644861
  • Dwr Cymru/Welsh Water

The following may also need to be considered:

Access for disabled people

Buildings where there is public access and new dwellings (including conversions) must comply with:

  • The Building Regulations (1999) – Access and facilities for disabled people, Approved Document M; and BS 8300: 2001 – Design of buildings and their approaches to meet the needs of disabled people – Code of Practice.
  • New and converted dwellings should have at least a level threshold, a minimum 800mm wide main door and a downstairs toilet.

It is important that any conditions and informative within the planning permission and the approved plans are complied with. The notes accompanying planning permissions offer advice. The Councils’ Planning Enforcement Officer will monitor developments being carried out for compliance with permissions and conditions; and to take necessary action to rectify breaches before building work starts.

It is important to remember that there may be other areas of legislation under which consent may need to be granted.


Planning Aid Wales

Planning Aid Wales is an independent charity providing advice and support on all aspects of land use planning in Wales.

Visit www.planningaidwales.org.uk or call the planning helpline service on 02920 625 000 for more information.