Target : Planning Applications

"We shape our buildings;thereafter they shape us." 
Winston Churchill

TCM have a good understanding of what is (and isn't) acceptable and successfully mediates between the client brief and local authority requirements. Strict parameters can often lead to negotiating better design that pleases all parties involved. 

What is Planning Permission?

Planning Permission is often confused  with building regulation applications. They are both statutory requirements from the council but  are two different processes at differing stages of your project.

Planning permission is a formal document, issued by the Council, which allows development at a particular site. The planning permission is attached to the land and can be implemented by the property owner or their agent. 

The Council considers all local and national planning policies together with the views of statutory consultees and the local community when dealing with applications for planning permission.

Some development is allowed without permission which is called permitted development. Other development requires a prior notification application which is known as prior approval. Find out if you need planning permission or prior approval. In addition, you may also require Building Regulation approval. There are different types of planning permission with the most common being:

  • Full planning permission 
    • A full planning application is a detailed application for development and includes building, engineering or other works, change in the use of buildings or other land.

    • It is also required to demolish any unlisted building which exceeds 115 cubic meters or take down any wall, gate or fence which is more than 1 meter high where it joins a highway (including a footpath or bridleway) or more than 2 meters high elsewhere within a conservation area.

  • Outline permission 
    • An outline planning application establishes the principle of the proposed development without having to submit detailed drawings, however an indicative layout plan is required. 

What is Permitted Development?

You can perform certain types of work 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. Similarly, commercial properties have different permitted development rights to dwellings..

You can find out more about this using the Government planning portal.

In some areas of the country, known generally as 'designated areas', permitted development rights are more restricted. For example, if you live in:

  • a Conservation Area
  • a National Park
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • a World Heritage Site or
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads,

you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.

What are the different planning requirements for a listed building?

You will need to apply for listed building consent if either of the following cases apply:

  • You want to demolish a listed building
  • You want to alter or extend a listed building in a manner which would affect its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest

You may also need listed building consent for any works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building. TCM will check the position carefully with the council once appointment. It is a criminal offence to carry out work which needs listed building consent without obtaining it beforehand.

Making a Listed Building Consent application is slightly different to making a planning application. The submitted design is reviewed by a conservation officer and may be referred to English Heritage for further comment. There is no additional fee for this.

What are the different planning requirements for a conservation area?

TCM generally check whether your building is in a conservation area prior to our first free meeting. 

If your building is in a conservation area, you will need planning permission to do the following:

  • With a few exception, demolish a building with a volume of more than 115 cubic meters. 
  • To demolish a gate, fence, wall or railing over 1 meter high next to a highway (including a public footpath or bridleway) or public open space; or over 2 meters high elsewhere.

Even if your proposals do not include the work mentioned above, TCM will still check if an application is required.

Living in a conservation area means that changes to the external appearance of your property will have to be in-keeping with the conservation aesthetic. 

What will I need in order to make a planning application?

Following our free site consultation, a letter of appointment with a fee Proposal will be issued for signage. This document sets out a client brief of requirements and a detailed description of work and their associated fees.  

Upon receipt of the signed agreement, a property survey will be arranged. A scheme proposal is developed and when agreed, all relevant planning information will be prepared and submitted to your local authority. As a guide it generally takes approx 4-6 weeks for the initial pre-submission stages, however this can take more or less, dependent upon the speed of reaching an agreed scheme. Any authority queries will be addressed quickly and efficiently. The planning process can take upwards of 6- 8 weeks from submission of a planning application to a final decision.


Target Carbon Management is a trading name of Target Carbon Management Limited.
Our Registered office can be found at: 20 Rowan Close, Canterbury, CT2 0JB,
VAT no. 2344 21929
Company no. 9933827