Find out if you need planning permission

Use this guide to find out whether you need planning permission.

If you live in a house (not a flat or a maisonette) or run a business, you may be able to make alterations to your property without needing to make a planning application, depending on some limits and conditions. These rights are called 'permitted development rights'.

If you think that your development would fall within permitted development rights, we recommend that before carrying out works, you apply to the council for a 'certificate of lawfulness'. This is an optional application that asks the council to confirm in a legal document that the proposed works would be lawful (that they would comply with the legislation). A certificate can give peace of mind before you start works, and may be required during any future sale of your property. It is strongly recommended that you apply for a certificate of lawfulness before starting works, because the legislation can be difficult to interpret, and it is not uncommon for people to make mistakes in interpretation.

If you are thinking of making alterations to your property, read the online guidance on the Planning Portal and on the following pages of this guide.

Private beta for Lawful Development Certificates now live

As part of our commitment to design services that meet user needs, improve transparency and deliver value for money, our private beta tool is now live for Lawful Development Certificates (LDC) applications.

We would really like your help in trialling this new tool.  If you would like to try out the tool, please email providing an outline of the kind of LDC application you propose to submit.  For example, are you proposing a rear extension, or are you seeking to change your windows?

Whilst most types of LDC application routes have been built, there are some types of requests that the tool is not yet ready to process – the team will be able to advise this.

The tool is still in development - this means you may experience some glitches/issues.  Therefore, whilst things may not go perfectly, part of the aim of our private beta is to get real user feedback which we can feed into the design for further. 

You’ll receive an enhanced service by way of thanks and we will be on hand to help you with any issues/glitches – and collecting all of your feedback to improve future development. 

Find out more from our Show & Tell that we held shortly before our launch!

Better, Fairer Lambeth

Reducing Invalid Planning Applications project (RIPA) project website