Advice on altering your home
There are several types of consent you may require before you can change your home. You may need one or several before you can start building works.
The Planning Portal is the government's national planning information website. It contains information on what needs planning consent (permission), the planning process and national planning policy.
Certain developments or alterations can be undertaken without the need for planning permission and this is often referred to as 'permitted development'.
Conservation Area or Listed Building consent
You will have been told when you moved into your home that additional planning restrictions apply,however you can check whether you live in a conservation area or a listed building. If you live in a Conservation Area you may require planning permission for demolition. Further information about conservation areas and listing buildings is available in our Local designation section.
Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme consent
If you live in Welwyn Garden City your home may be within the Welwyn Garden City Estate Management Scheme. Most developments and alterations to the outside of your home will require consent under the scheme, including the formation of hardstandings and the removal of trees and hedges.
Landlords Consent (Restrictive Covenants)
If you live in a rented home or your property is leasehold then you may have what is called a restrictive covenant and require the written consent of your landlord before starting any works.
Work to Trees consent
Trees are protected in a conservation area or within the Welwyn Garden Estate Management Scheme. Also, a tree may be covered by a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). If so, you will need consent before you carry out works to the hedge or tree.
Protected hedges consent
Hedges within the Estate Management Scheme are protected. Consent is rarely given for the complete removal of hedgerows or trees without sound justification and a replacement element of soft landscaping will nearly always be requires. To remove a hedge or carry out works you will need to apply for Estate Management Consent.
If you wish drop the kerb (create a vehicle crossover) to drive across the pavement or footway to park on your property, you should apply to Hertfordshire Highways before the work is carried out.
Planning permission is not usually required for such work but will be if:
- the property involved has the frontage directly on to a classified road
- the property involved is a listed building
- the property involved is other than a house for a single family, e.g. flat, maisonette, commercial or industrial premises.
You will require Estate Management Consent if your property is located within this area and Conservation Area consent if the works for a 'vehicle crossover' includes the demolition of a front wall which is more than 1 metre in height.
Building Regulations Consent
If you are carrying out any structural changes inside or outside your home, you will require this Building Regulations consent.
Party Wall Act
If you are doing works close to your neighbour's boundary or property, you may have to give them notice. The council does not deal with the Party Wall Act. Further information: Communities and Local Government website.
If you do not know where your boundary is you can check with the Land Registry or your solicitor.
Working from home consent
Often running a business from your home does not need planning permission.
You can find out more information about where planning permission would be needed on the Planning Portal.
If you require advice from us, complete and submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. Although it is not required, it is advisable if there is any uncertainty on whether your business needs planning permission or you require confirmation for mortgage or legal purposes.
If you need more information or guidance on the planning process, whether permitted development rights apply to your home, and conservation area or listed building issues, you can talk to the Duty Planning Officer.
They are available Monday to Friday 0900 to 1300 hours at the council offices in Campus East. There is no need to make an appointment. Please telephone 01707 357573 for more information.
Please note: they will not be able to confirm whether or not your proposal requires planning permission and will not be able to give you an opinion as to whether a scheme is likely/unlikely to be approved.
For enquiries regarding building control contact Building Control .