Duty Planning Officer advice service

We offer a Duty Officer advice service for general planning queries. Our service is restricted hours and can get very busy, so we encourage you to please also take a look at the information below before getting in touch as you may find your answer online.

Common projects

For general advice about whether specific works to a house require planning permission, then please use the Planning Portal's Interactive House to check. Just choose the part of the house you are thinking of changing and the relevant rules will be explained.

There are also some useful guides on the Planning Portal with regard to a large number of common projects.

Is the work you wish to carry out Permitted Development?

Planning Officers can only advise informally whether specific proposals might require planning permission.  If you would like written confirmation from us that you do not need planning permission you need to apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness. There are two different forms depending on whether you have done the work or would like to.  If you have not already done the work, choose the Certificate of Lawfulness (Proposed) forms. If you have already done the work you need Certificate of Lawfulness (Existing) forms.

Having such a Certificate can be particularly useful if you wish to sell your property in the future, as it provides written proof that work you have done did not require planning permission.

Please note that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats or maisonettes.

Also, some properties will have had their PD rights removed or restricted. If this is the case you would need to submit an application.

Check if Building Regulations approval is needed

Please remember that most projects such as building new homes, or making structural alterations to a property (e.g. extensions, loft conversions, new windows and doors, changing the use of a room to build a bathroom) will also need approval under the building regulations. This is a separate process to Planning and should be done after obtaining planning permission, but before you start the work.

Building Control.

Find out which planning constraints affect your property

Planning constraints may be applied through legislation, planning policy, or be attached to a decision in the form of a condition. If you are considering carrying out works or buying a property it is sensible to check whether there are any planning constraints that affect the property.

You can do this is a few different ways, some of which are described below.

Carry out a land charges search (fee required)

If you are buying a property a land charges search is recommended. The search will show planning constraints, planning history, and other charges that affect a property or properties. You will have to pay a fee for a land charges search but it can provide a comprehensive range of results, and not just planning constraints.

Check the Local Plan policies map

Our Local Plan policies map shows the district of Horsham covered by each of the Local Plan planning constraints.

Review the planning history for restrictions on use and future development

Not all constraints that affect a property are directly associated with current policies. Some planning permissions include conditions that place a constraint on the use or future development of a property.

To find out if such a constraint applies to your property, you will need to review any implemented planning permissions that relate to it. You can do this by searching for planning applications that relate to your property and then, for each one you find, reviewing the documents to see if the decision notice includes any constraints in the conditions. Use our public access system to find planning decisions on your property. The planning applications database contains records going back to 2002. For decisions older than this you can find out how to request decisions through our request copies of planning documents service.

If the above information does not answer your question, we do provide a Duty Planning Officer Service which may be able to assist with general planning enquiries

Still got a question? Get in touch with the Duty Planning Officer

Our Duty Planning Officer is available between 10am-1pm Monday to Friday. This is a verbal service only. If you would like written details, please use our Written advice service.

Please note, the Duty Planning Officer will not be able to:

  • Provide written advice
  • Provide detailed comments on the merits of a specific proposal, including whether a scheme would be acceptable if a planning application was submitted
  • Provide advice on site specific constraints or conditions which may prevent or limit permitted development
  • Provide updates or feedback on a current application (in such cases the Case Officer should be contacted)

To access the Duty Officer call us during the hours of 10AM – 1PM (Mon-Fri) on 01403 215187. The line can sometimes get very busy, so please do try again if you cannot get through initially.