Household Development


What is Household Development?

Household Development includes most external alterations which could be made to an existing dwelling house, flat or maisonette.

The most common types of alteration include:

  • adding an extension
  • building a conservatory
  • adding a porch
  • installing a driveway
  • erecting decking
  • adding a balcony/roof terrace
  • outbuildings and sheds
  • installing a satellite dish
  • making changes to the boundary treatment
  • loft conversions and dormer windows
  • rendering or cladding
  • installation of micro-generation equipment such as solar panels

Other alterations include installing a dropped kerb, works to chimneys and flues, installing fuel tanks, installing a swimming pool, and operating a business from home.

Can I make alterations to my home without Planning Permission?

It may be possible to extend or alter your house without the need to apply for Planning Permission first. This is known as Permitted Development.

Permitted Development rights for alterations and extensions are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) 2015. (external link)

In 2013, the government introduced a system of prior approval for single storey extensions to the rear.  It applies to extensions which are between 4 metres and 8 metres in projection from the original rear elevation of the property for detached dwellings, and between 3 metres and 6 metres in projection on all other dwellings. This change will not apply within conservation areas, areas where permitted development rights have been removed, or to flats or maisonettes.

The new process does not mean that extensions of this size can be built without notifying the Council first. You will still need to notify the Council of your plans and we will also still need to notify your neighbours of your proposals.  The Council will then tell you whether you can proceed. The new process applies to single storey extensions to the rear only. You will also still need to make sure that your proposal meets all of the other requirements of the legislation. The technical guidance which accompanies the legislation can help you with this. We recommend that you check this before submitting your application and contact us if you have any queries. You can view Technical Guidance here (external link) . This process cannot be applied retrospectively.

Further information can be found on the Planning Portal.

The form to use to notify the Council of your proposal is available here: an onscreen version which you can complete and save then email to us.  You can also download it and print out, to complete by hand and return to us via post or by handing into the Civic Centre.

If you are unsure as to whether your proposal is permitted development, would be considered as development requiring prior approval, or is development requiring planning permission, you are advised to check with the Council first.

If you live in a flat or a maisonette you have no Permitted Development rights. You will need to apply for Planning Permission for most external alterations you want to make. This may include replacing your windows.

Before starting with any work to your home, it is recommended that you confirm if Planning Permission is required . You can view advice and guidance from the Planning Portal here (external link).


How do I find out if I need Planning Permission?

There are many ways you can find out if Planning Permission is needed for any work you want to do.

The Planning Portal provides several interactive guides which describe what you can do without applying for Planning Permission, including the Interactive House.

The Government has also produced technical guidance which provides advice on how to interpret the legislation. This Technical Guidance can be accessed here.

If you think that Planning Permission is not needed for your proposed work but you would like this confirmed in writing, Newcastle City Council can provide this service.

For written confirmation that you would need Planning Permission, it is recommended that you submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate (external link).  This will provide a formal decision that your proposed development is Lawful.  This may come in useful if you sell your property in the future.

You can also get informal guidance for if Planning Permission is needed by submitting a Pre-Application Enquiry.  Our written response to you will be the informal opinion of our officers only and will not be legally binding. If we think that planning permission is needed we can also offer informal advice as to whether your proposal is likely to be acceptable. See below for more information.

Common enquiries

The information below may be useful in helping you to decide whether planning permission is needed. You should however always check with the Council before starting work, to make sure there are no additional restrictions on your property.

Boundary Treatment

The Council cannot get involved with boundary disputes but can advise on what needs planning permission. The basic rules are that in normal circumstances planning permission is needed to erect boundary treatment higher than 1 metre adjacent to a highway used by vehicles, or 2 metres in height elsewhere. In this instance, the same rules apply if you live in a flat or maisonette. You should always check with the Council first if you are not sure . Further information is available from the Planning Portal.


The government has produced detailed guidance on how you can install a new driveway or hard surface your front garden, and what will need planning permission. You can read this on the government website at this link.


Under normal circumstances, a porch on a dwelling can be built without planning permission, providing:

  • it does not exceed 3 metres in height
  • it does not exceed 3 metres in floor area measured externally
  • there are more than 2 metres between the porch and any boundary with a highway

Further guidance is available from the Planning Portal.


it's a common misconception that conservatories do not need planning permission. Conservatories are restricted in their size and location in the same way as any other extension to your property.

Further guidance is available from the Planning Portal.


Decking and raised patios need planning permission if they are raised above the ground by more than 30 centimetres. This applies where the decking/patio is near to the property or if it is a separate structure or part of a separate structure within the garden. When calculating the height of your decking/patio you need to establish where the original ground level is, bearing in mind that the land levels may have changed in the past. Where ground levels are uneven; for example where your garden is on a slope; the height of the decking/patio above ground level is measured where the ground level is at its highest point.

Further guidance is available from the Planning Portal.

Microgeneration, including solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps

An increasingly common form of development is the installation of "microgeneration equipment" on domestic properties. New legislation expanded the permitted development rights which are available for work such as installing solar panels, heat pumps and wind turbines. Further information can be found on the Planning Portal or you can contact us if you have any questions.

If planning permission is required, can I get any advice before submitting my application?

Deciding to extend or alter your home is an important decision which is likely to involve a large financial investment. You need to consider carefully the type and size of any alteration or extension.

A badly designed extension might harm the appearance of your property and the wider area, and/or may have an impact on neighbours.

Newcastle City Council offers an informal Pre-application advice service which can highlight issues which may come up during your application, and tell you if your proposal is in line with local and national policy. We can make recommendations about the scale and design of your proposals,  which enables any future application to run smoothly.

For information on what you need to submit to receive Pre-application advice please see our page for full information.

Design guidance

The guide is for informal guidance only and is currently under review.

Are there any other factors I should consider?

There may be a number of things to take into account when considering an alteration to your property.  These will vary depending on where you live.  Listed below are the most common factors which may affect whether you need any Permission to carry out works.

Permitted development rights vary

This depends on the type of property you have, and its location. The Council also has the power to remove Permitted Development rights.

If you do work to your property without Planning Permission or without a formal written confirmation that Planning Permission is not needed, you may be liable to enforcement action where you may have to remove the development. In some cases you may also be prosecuted.

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

If your property is a listed building or you live in a Conservation Area, other Permissions may also be needed before you can start work to your home. There are also likely to be further restrictions on your Permitted Development rights. It is always best to check with us if you are not sure.

For information relating to listed buildings and living in a Conservation Area please see the Heritage and Conservation section. Historic Environment Officers are also able to advise if you live in an archaeologically sensitive area.


Trees play an important role on your property, providing privacy and integrating your building into its surroundings. Green leafy streetscapes are amongst the most prized in Newcastle. Trees can be easily damaged during building works and if there are existing trees in your garden or near to your property, then these need to be considered when you plan your work.

Many trees are legally protected by Tree Preservation Orders and if you live in a Conservation Area then all trees with a trunk diameter of 7.5 centimetres or more are protected. Permission is required for any work to a protected tree, including works to its roots, trunk and branches. It is important that you check with our Landscape and Ecology Team to confirm if trees are protected. Even if your proposed work does not need planning permission, you will need Permission for any work that affects protected trees. Failure to comply with this requirement is a criminal offence which could lead to an unlimited fine.

Officers can give advice on the best way of looking after trees before, during and after the work has been carried out. Early identification of the issues relating to trees usually helps you to make the right decisions, saving time and unnecessary disruption as your scheme develops.

For advice please email

Protected Species and Habitats

You may not be aware of it, but your house and garden could be home to one or more protected species, such as bats, badgers and great crested newts. You may also be in or next to a Local Wildlife Site or Wildlife Corridor.

Ecological surveys and mitigation may be required if protected species or habitats are affected by your planning application.

It is an offence to carry out works which disturb or would result in harm to a protected species or its habitat. Our Ecology Officer is available to advise further.

Flood Risk Zones

The Flood Map on the Environment Agency website is there to increase awareness among the public, local authorities and other organisations of the likelihood of flooding. It also encourages people living and working in areas prone to flooding to find out more and take appropriate action.

The Flood Map can also be used by those people who wish to apply for planning permission in England to see whether the site they plan to develop is in a flood risk area.

See the Environment Agency's advice on Flood Risk Assessments, check if your property is affected, and what steps to follow if it is.

How can I apply for Planning Permission?

You can submit your planning application through the Planning Portal. Applying online is a fast and efficient service and there are many advantages if you choose this option.

Alternatively you can download the relevant forms, guidance on how to submit an application and information on planning fees here.

Information telling you what is needed to send us with your application is also available on the Validation Checklist (pdf, 1mb)  (This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format. )


I have submitted my application, what happens next?

Newcastle City Council will try to decide all applications within 8 weeks from the date the application is made valid. 


Can I appeal if my application is refused?

If your application is refused Planning Permission, you have the right to appeal.

In many cases, it's possible to solve issues by discussing with the case officer. You can resubmit an application of similar nature or smaller once, without having to pay another fee, within a year of the date of the decision.

If you choose to appeal, your application would be assessed independently by the  Government's Planning Inspectorate. You must appeal within 12 weeks from the date of the decision.  Guidance on how to appeal will be provided with your decision notice.

To find out more on the appeal process, please visit the Planning Inspectorate website.


Do I need Building Regulations consent?

Internal and external changes to your property may require Building Regulations consent.

Building Regulations consent is completely separate from Planning Permission and you should always check both before proceeding with any work. You may still need Building Regulations consent even if you do not need Planning Permission and vice versa.

If you are uncertain if your proposals require a Building Regulation Application, Newcastle Building Control Services will be pleased to advise you. They will explain the options available to you in submitting an application.

A duty officer Building Control Surveyor is available to deal with general enquiries from 8:30am until 4:30pm, Monday to Friday. You can contact Building Control on 0191 278 7878.

Alternatively you may go to the City Library and Community Hub in Newcastle (click to check opening times), or email your enquiry to


Planning Enforcement

Where a development has not been in accordance with approved Planning Permission, or where it seems that Planning Permission has not been given, the Planning Enforcement team can investigate and take action.  This might involve taking down a development, or having to make changes after the work has been completed.


Did you know?

Internal and external work to your property may need to have permission from Building Regulations.

Building Regulations consent is completely separate from Planning Permission and you should always check both before starting any work. You might still need Building Regulations consent even if you do not need Planning Permission, and vice versa.

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