Find out if you need planning permission

Planning permission for homeowners

Our Residential Design Standards supplementary planning document (SPD) sets out what standard of design we expect from residential development. You can also read our Heritage SPD to find out more about what types of design we support for listed buildings, and homes located in conservation areas. 

Your home may benefit from Permitted Development. This allows you to complete some types of work to your home without the need to apply for planning permission. 

This interactive guide (external website) by the Planning Portal will help you to understand what Permitted Development rules allow you to do to your home. You can use this guide to simply select the part of your house you are thinking of changing. The guide will then explain the rules for you. You can also check the Planning Portal (external website) for guidance on many common building projects that you might be able to do to your home. 

In some cases, Permitted Development rights may have been withdrawn from a property. This means that planning permission will be required for certain external works. You can check if this affects your property by selecting the Planning Restrictions layer on Southwark Maps

Planning permission for flats

Permitted Development rights do not apply to flats. This means that if you want to carry out any external works to your flat, you will probably need planning permission.

The Planning Portal's interactive guide for flats (external website) provides more information. 

Advice on replacement windows and doors

You do not usually need to apply for planning permission for:

  • repairs, maintenance, and minor improvements, such as repainting window and door frames
  • insertion of new windows and doors that are of a similar appearance to those already in the house
  • installation of internal secondary glazing

However, if you live in a conservation area, a listed building, or in a property where an Article 4 Directon is in place to restrict Permitted Development rights, you might still need planning permission for the works listed above. 

Note that if new windows are in an upper-floor side elevation they must be obscure-glazed, and either non-opening or more than 1.7 metres above the floor level to be Permitted Development. 

Advice on bike stores

You do not need planning permission for small, non-permanent bike stores. If the bike store is a permanent structure and is located at the front of the house, or to the side of a house if the side fronts a road, then you might need to apply for planning permission. There are no specific Permitted Development rights relating to bike stores.

Advice on dropped kerbs and parking

There are Permitted Development rights in place to change your front garden to a paved driveway. View the relevant legislation on installing a driveway (external website). However, you still need to apply to our Highways team to be able to install a dropped kerb allowing access to the driveway from the public highway. Find out more information about dropped kerbs

Advice on works to a council-owned flat

If you are the leaseholder of a property where Southwark Council owns the freehold, please read our Guide for homeowners and houseowner services before beginning any works to your home. 

Page last updated: 11 October 2022

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