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Do I need planning permission?

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1. Check if you need permission

If you want to carry out building work or home improvements, check if you need planning permission before you start.

If you go ahead without permission you may end up having to put things back to how they were.

As a general guide you will probably need planning permission for:

  • new buildings
  • major alterations to existing buildings
  • to change the use of buildings or land

You won't usually need permission for:

  • changes inside a building
  • small alterations to the outside
  • to put up walls or fences below a certain height


There are advice pages and interactive guides about whether you need permission on the government's Planning Portal website. 

We may have specific rules in Exeter that affect whether you need planning permission. For example, you will need planning permission to change a family house into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). This because we have an Article 4 Direction in place.

If in doubt, contact us for advice before you do any work.

You can apply for planning permission once you know if you need it.


Do I need permission to drop my kerb?

This applies if you are making a new access into the garden across the footpath. You will need to obtain permission from Devon County Council to drop the kerbs. Be aware that the pavement may need strengthening.


Do I need building regulation approval?

Depending on the type of work you are doing, you may also need building regulation approval. This is to make sure it meets safety and energy efficiency standards.