Wealden District Council
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Planning Advice

The information below is designed to give you information and guidance on how to find out if you are likely to need planning permission.

You can find out whether your home improvement or large scale commercial project needs planning permission by using the Planning Portal for information on common projects. The Planning Portal Interactive Guides can help you to find out about permitted development limits.

More detailed Technical Guidance on permitted development rights for householders has also been published by the government.

In some cases, “permitted development” rights can also be removed through conditions of earlier planning permissions on a property.

The General Permitted Development Order 2015 provides more information on Permitted Development Rights in Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 2.

There may be constraints affecting your property which could reduce or remove permitted development rights, for example if you are located in a Conservation Area an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or your property is a listed building.

To find out if your property is in a Conservation Area, AONB or designated as a listed building you can use Wealden Online Mapping.

You can also search the planning register to check the planning history of your property.

Annexes are typically occupied by members of the family, visiting friends and carers whose main occupation is to care for the occupant/s of the main dwelling house.

An annexe that will be occupied independently and have no relationship that is ancillary and incidental to the main dwellinghouse will require planning permission. This includes situations such as: a family member living in it independently from the main dwelling, renting it out to someone, or using it as a holiday let.

The key distinction is if the person/s occupying the annexe have no clear ancillary and incidental relationship with the main dwellinghouse permission will be required.

You also cannot build a new outbuilding in the garden of a house for use as an annexe under permitted development, even if it would meet all the other normal criteria of Class E.

Some existing buildings within the curtilage of a dwelling may be able to be converted into annexes without planning permission.


If you are unsure about what can and can’t be carried out, you should submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use or Development to formally confirm this

Independent residential occupation of a caravan/mobile home always requires planning permission.

Use of a caravan or mobile home as an annexe may not require planning permission if it is:

  1. Within the domestic curtilage of a dwellinghouse
  2. Its use is solely for purposes ancillary/incidental to the residential occupation of the main dwellinghouse. This would include ancillary residential accommodation, but would not include independent residential accommodation.
  3. The caravan would need to fall within the definition of “caravan” in the Caravan Site and Control of Development Act 1960 (as amended). Link to act and relevant dimensions etc

Information relating to highway and other transport advice is available on the East Sussex County Council website  which includes parking standards, transport assessments and travel plans.

Dropped kerbs

If you would like to lower the kerb outside your property you need to apply for planning permission if

  • Your road is classified as A, B or C
  • Your property is divided into flats
  • Your property is in a conservation area and you’d need to remove a gate pillar, wall or fence that’s over one metre high
  • You need structural work to make the parking area

Under Part 2, Class B of the General Permitted Development Order, planning permission is only required if the road is a classified road or a trunk road. Check what class your road is by using the ESCC adopted road checker

Roads classified as D need to gain permission from East Sussex County Council as the Highway Authority but do not normally require planning permission.

You can apply for planning permission via the Planning Portal which also includes details of fees and charges

It may be possible to convert your garage under permitted development.

Firstly, you should check if your permitted development rights are intact, and that there are no specific restrictive planning conditions relating to the garage use or removing your permitted development rights.

A restrictive planning condition is something that is placed upon planning approvals and can be found on the Notice of Decision attached to the approval. It is advisable for you to check any planning permissions that have been granted for your property and obtain copies of the Notice of Decisions to ensure that your permitted development rights are intact and proposed use has not been restricted before you commence any works.

It would then be advisable to check the householder technical guidance to see if you comply with the Permitted Development criteria – Class A will be applicable for attached garages, and Class E for detached garages. For formal confirmation you should submit a Certificate of Lawfulness Proposed Development.

If you are intending converting your garage for business use, it will normally require planning permission and you should apply for a change of use using a full application or apply for a Certificate of Proposed Lawful Use or Development to check whether permission is required.

If you want to know more about whether the Council is is likely to grant planning permission further information is available on our Pre-Application Advice page

Pre-application advice is provided by planning officers employed by the council helping you to understand how we are likely to determine any subsequent planning application, and any changes that are likely to be needed, if any, to give your scheme the best chance of being granted a planning permission.

The service of an experienced planning agent, surveyor, architect, or planning consultant may help you refine your scheme in line with the Council’s polices and guidance.

Planning Aid  provides free, independent and professional help, advice and support on planning issues to people and communities who cannot afford to hire a planning consultant. Planning Aid compliments the work of local authorities but it is wholly independent of them.

Visit the Planning Portal’s Interactive House to determine whether planning permission is needed for various domestic renewable energy installations (for houses only). In addition the General Permitted Development Order 2015 provides more information on Permitted Development Rights in Part 14 of Schedule 2 Classes A-I which relate to Domestic premises. Solar panels and equipment installed on domestic buildings and land are usually considered permitted development which means that planning permission is not required.

You need only apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning permission (houses) to install a solar panel when any of the following apply:

  • It would protrude more than 20cm from the external surface of the wall or roof slope, when measured perpendicularly
  • The highest part of the solar panel or equipment will be higher than the highest part of the roof. This excludes any chimney
  • It would be installed on a wall in a conservation area which faces a highway. This includes roads, paths and public rights of way
  • Your house or flat is a listed building, or within the curtilage of a listed building. Curtilage means within the garden or grounds
If your house or flat is a listed building you must also apply for listed building consent. Stand alone solar panels on domestic premises (panels not on a building) You need only apply for full planning permission (flats) or householder planning permission (houses) to install a stand alone solar panel when any of the following apply:
  • More than one stand alone solar panel would be installed.
  • It would exceed 4m in height.
  • It would be located 5m within the boundary of the property.
  • It would be installed within the curtilage of a listed building. Curtilage means within the garden or grounds.
  • In a conservation area, any part of the solar installation would be closer to a highway than any part of the house. A highway includes roads, paths and public rights of way.
  • The surface area of any stand alone solar panel will exceed 9m² or any dimension of its array (including other equipment) would exceed 3m.
To obtain confirmation that you do not require planning permission you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to prove an existing or proposed solar panel is lawful. You will need to apply for building regulations if installing a solar panel on your roof.  The strength of the existing roof will need assessing.  To ensure it can carry the weight of the panel.  You may need to do some work to strengthen the roof. Building Control also apply to other aspects of the proposed work such as electrical installation.

You may require planning permission to run a business from your home. You should submit a Lawful Development Certificate for this to be formally considered as each case is different.

You should include as much detail as possible regarding the proposed business – for example, what the business is, opening hours, whether you have clients or customers coming to the house.

The  temporary stationing of a caravan on site would need to be for persons involved in the works in some way more than just the owner of the land/dwelling due to be constructed. If you are involved in the build it remains possible to maintain a caravan on site for the duration of the works with the view to removing it and restoring the land once the works have been completed. You must ensure that no associated works that might otherwise require planning permission (such as provision of a hard standing) and carried out in association.

For formal confirmation of whether planning permission is required for the provision or use of a caravan, a Certificate of Lawful Development should be submitted.

Use Classes are important when completing a ‘change of use’ application

Most land and buildings in England are categorised depending on their purpose or use and these categories are set out by the use class order.

Whenever you are thinking of creating, changing or demolishing buildings or land it is important to understand what use class they fall under. This also applies if you are changing how a building or land is used (for instance, turning a residential property into a business) but not necessarily making physical changes.

It is possible to change use between some classes without having to make an application for planning permission.

The Planning Portal Use Classes provide a useful list of the various use classes. 

The relevant building regulations also need to be considered for any proposed change of use.

A Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) sometimes referred to as a certificate of lawfulness allows us to assess your proposal and provide you with a decision notice stating if the works are lawful or unlawful under permitted development. This application is optional but can be helpful for your peace of mind and house records.

The best way to apply for a wide range of planning permission including an LDC is online using the Planning Portal which will allow you to complete the relevant form, attach your documents and submit your payment.

There is no statutory consultation requirement for a certificate application as it is a technical assessment against the permitted development criteria only.