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Do I need planning permission?

Pre-application advice

Householder enquiries

Our pre-application advice service enables prospective planning applicants to address planning issues prior to the submission of a formal application. At present there is no charge for this service, which is only for proposals that require planning permission and does not deal with the question of whether planning permission is required.

For householder enquiries where planning permission is required, we encourage you to complete the householder enquiry form below with as much information as possible so that we can give you clear and detailed advice (we can only answer enquires that include the full postal address of the property). Alternatively, it is possible to speak to a member of the Development Management department between 10:00am and 4pm although except for the most straightforward queries, it is likely that we will require further information in writing. Enquiries can also be e-mailed to us using our contact details (to the right).

Due to recent high demand for pre-application advice the time scale for replies will be approximately 20 working days.

Alternatively, the organisation Planning Aid England (PAE) offers planning advice and support to individuals and their communities. PAE are currently altering the way they provide their service with greater reliance upon on on-line guidance. For further information please see:

Non-householder enquiries

As from 3rd October 2016, Adur & Worthing Councils now charge for some non-householder pre-application advice, please contact us for more details.

In the first instance, enquiries should be sent in writing to the Development Management section using the contact details (to the right), providing as much information as possible (we can only answer enquires that include the full postal address of the property or a location map showing the site).

If a meeting is subsequently necessary, then the officer will make contact to arrange an appointment, otherwise a reply will be given in writing.

Due to recent high demand for pre-application advice the time scale for replies will be approximately 20 working days.


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Do I need planning permission?

If you wish to build on land, or make alterations to an existing building or structure, you may need planning permission and/or an application under the current building regulations. For details about your obligations under the current building regulations please see our Building Control section.

The information below will help you to decide whether planning permission is required, as well as to search for other applications, relating either to your own, or to any other property within the district.

If you wish to build or alter a structure within the South Downs National Park area of Adur or Worthing, you will need to apply for permission through the South Downs National Park Authority planning service:

If you do not know if you need planning permission, please see the Planning Portal's guidance and interactive house, interactive terrace and mini guides to help you determine whether the work you want to carry out requires planning permission.

If you need permission:

If you have found that you do need planning permission then please then move on to submit a planning application.

You may also require building consent.

See also 'permitted development' (below).

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Permitted development

Note: Legislation allowing larger single-storey rear extensions to be built under permitted development rules has been laid before Parliament and came into force on 30th May 2013. The new size limits will be subject to a neighbour consultation scheme, work is to be completed by 30th May 2019. See neighbour consultation scheme guidance notes on the Planning Portal website

You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called 'permitted development rights'. They derive from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Parliament. Bear in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

Some works are deemed 'Permitted Development' and can be carried out without making a formal planning application, however, the advice on the Planning Portal is very general and care should be exercised. In addition, you should always check the planning history of your property in case any conditions, imposed as a result of previous applications, have removed your 'permitted development' rights. You should also check to see whether your property is a Listed Building, in a Conservation Area, or within an area where there is an 'Article 4 Direction' which can all remove 'permitted development' rights.

If you would like formal confirmation from Adur & Worthing Councils that planning permission is not required you should make an application for a 'Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development'. This type of application simply asks the question, "is planning permission is required". If it is not required you will be issued with a certificate confirming this. If planning permission is required, you will then need to continue on to a formal planning application. See: Lawful Development Certificates.

For more information please see:

See also:

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