Questions and answers
The following questions and answers may help you find an answer to your query. If you need additional help, please contact us for guidance.
You may also find it useful to read our general guidance: Do I need planning permission?
- Can I put up a satellite dish or antenna?
- Can I replace my windows?
- Can I build a porch?
- What is the front of my house?
- Can I build a conservatory or extension?
- Can I install a device for renewable energy?
- What if I live in a conservation area?
- What if I live in a listed building?
- What if I live in a flat and not a house?
- Who checks the quality of the building work?
- Can you recommend a planning agent or architect?
1. Can I put up a satellite dish or antenna?
You need planning permission for:
- an aerial or satellite dish facing onto and visible from the highway (road, footpath, bridleway)
- an aerial or satellite dish on a building where the building exceeds 15 metres in height
- more than two aerials or satellite dishes
Other developments may be permitted if:
- one aerial or satellite dish does not exceed 60cm and the other 100cm in length
- an aerial or satellite dish installed on a roof with a chimney do not exceed the height of the chimney or 60cm above the ridge tiles, whichever is lower
- an aerial or satellite dish on a roof without a chimney do not protrude above the ridge
- an aerial or satellite dish attached to a chimney do not protrude above the chimney
- the bowl of the satellite dish does not exceed 35 litres
Aerials or satellite dishes should be sited to minimise their effect on the external appearance of a building. If you no longer use an aerial or satellite dish, it should be removed.
2. Can I replace my windows?
If you are going to replace like for like (design and materials), planning permission is usually not required unless you live in a listed building or a conservation area. You may need permission for:
- different windows or doors depending on changes to the design and materials
- windows and doors in new positions depending on where they are going to be
You can read more about our advice on replacement windows from our historic buildings team.
3. Can I build a porch?
You will need planning permission for a porch:
- greater than 3 square metres (3m2) in size
- greater than 3 metres in height
- within 2 metres of a boundary with a highway (road, footpath, bridleway)
- where you are creating a new external door for the porch
- on a barn conversion, listed building or a new build
4. What is the front of my house?
The difference between needing planning permission or not often depends where a change is going to take place. There are often tighter restrictions on changes made to the principal elevation of a house. The principal elevation is usually the front of a house, but not always. Knowing what is considered the front of a house for planning permission is not always straightforward. Here are some exceptions:
- A house may have an architectural front that faces away from the highway (road, footpath, bridleway), to the rear or side.
- The front of your house is not necessarily where your front door is.
- A house that is on a corner or on a junction may be considered to have two fronts.
If you are not sure, we recommend you contact us for advice.
5. Can I build a conservatory or extension?
You will need planning permission for:
- any conservatory or extension on the principal elevation
- an extension or conservatory on the side of a building
- an extension or conservatory that is higher than one storey at the rear of a building
You may be able to build a single-storey extension or conservatory at the rear of your house without planning permission if you meet the following conditions:
- If the total ground area covered by buildings within the boundary of the property (not including the house) does not take up more than 50 per cent of the whole ground area.
- If no part of the extension is more than 4 metres high or higher than the highest part of the roof of the existing house.
- If the extension is within 2 metres of a boundary, the height of the extension eaves (the lower edge of the roof) is not more than 3 metres high.
- If the single-storey extension at the rear does not extend from the rear wall of the original house by more than 3 metres for terraced or semi-detached houses or more than 4 metres for detached houses.
- If the extension does not include the construction of a veranda, balcony or raised platform.
- If the extension does not alter any part of the existing roof of the house.
- If the materials used are of a similar appearance to existing materials.
6. Can I install a device for renewable energy?
The location of your house and the device can make the difference between needing planning permission or not.
Devices that may not need planning permission:
- Solar panels and photovoltaic cells (under 200mm depth and installed at the rear)
- Ground source heat pump (within a garden)
- Air source heat pump
- Water source heat pump (within a garden)
- Biomass boiler (with a low flue and installed at the rear)
Devices that always need planning permission:
- Anaerobic digesters
- Small-scale hydroelectric schemes
- Wind turbines
If your house is a listed building or in a conservation area, it will need special consideration. Please contact our customer service team on 01629 816 200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about different types of renewable energy devices.
7. What if I live in a conservation area?
If you live in a conservation area, there may be additional restrictions on your property. You can find out if your property is in a conservation area by contacting our customer services team with the address and postcode of the property on 01629 816 200 or email@example.com.
8. What if I live in a listed building?
If you want to alter or extend a listed building, special considerations may apply. A listed building is a building, object or structure that has a special architectural or historic interest. Once a building is designated as a listed building, every part of it (including the interior, any outbuildings, walls or any later alterations or additions) is covered by the listing. Find out more about listed buildings.
9. What if I live in a flat and not a house?
Permitted development rights almost never apply to flats. If you live in a flat, you will usually need planning permission for any changes or alterations to your property or its grounds.
10. Who checks the quality of the building work?
The National Park Authority is not involved in building control. Your local council is responsible for checking that any building work you do complies with national building regulations.
Before you start any building work, you should contact your local council to tell them about what you will be doing. They will then visit your property at different stages of the building work to make sure that the work you are doing complies with building regulations.
11. Can you recommend a planning agent or architect?
Depending on the nature of your application, you may benefit from using a planning agent or architect to help you prepare your application. However, the National Park Authority does not recommend or endorse any specific professionals working in this field.
The Royal Town Planning Institute (external website) has an online directory of planning consultants working in your local area. This is a good starting point for finding professional advice.