Building a new house

Page updated on: 06/12/2023

Anything that involves the creation of a new house, either by building from scratch or dividing an existing property for example creating flats, needs planning permission. You can either apply for outline or full planning permission.

Outline planning permission is generally used to find out, at an early stage, whether a proposal is likely to be approved, before any substantial costs are incurred. This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted. Outline permission is not a permission to start work on site. You will have to submit either a reserved matters application or a full planning application at a later stage. Reserved matters can include:

  • appearance - aspects of a building or place which affect the way it looks, including the exterior of the development
  • means of access - covers accessibility for all routes to and within the site, as well as the way they link up to other roads and pathways outside the site
  • landscaping - the improvement or protection of the amenities of the site and the area and the surrounding area, this could include planting trees or hedges as a screen
  • layout - includes buildings, routes and open spaces within the development and the way they are laid out in relations to buildings and spaces outside the development
  • scale - includes information on the size of the development, including the height, width and length of each proposed building

While some applications are straightforward and a decision can be made without detailed information, other proposals may need more information to be provided. We will ask you to provide further details if it is necessary. It is a good idea to talk to us about how much information might need to be included before you submit your planning application.

Once outline planning permission has been granted, a ’reserved matters’ application must be made within three years of the consent (or a lesser period if specified by a condition on the original outline approval). Permission lasts for two years from the last date that the reserved matters were approved, or, three years from the date that outline planning permission was approved – whichever date is the latter. The permission notice will state which matters have been reserved for later approval. When all of the reserved matters have been approved, work may begin on the site.

When applying for planning permission for agricultural dwellings or buildings. You will need to download and complete an agricultural planning evaluation questionnaire 

Ownership certificates

As part of your application you will need to show who owns the land/property you want to develop. If there is shared ownership you will also need to download the relevant notice.

Submit a planning application