You’ve made the decision to renovate your home! Woohoo! We may as well get the boring bit out of the way early… Planning permission can be an absolute minefield if you don’t do your research. Each district or area has their own set of guidelines and rules to abide by so it can get a bit confusing. As well as this of course, it can also get a bit confusing trying to decipher whether the online material you’re reading relates to the UK or not, sending mixed signals and information.

Let’s take a look at the wonderful world of planning permission in Peterborough.

Local Permission

If you take a look at the Peterborough City Council website it states that as long as a building or extension makes a positive contribution to the quality of the natural and built environment, permission would usually be granted. The structure should “not have a detrimental effect on the character of any immediately adjoining or the surrounding area”, which you’ll find a stipulation like this very common across districts.

Another quite normal pre-requisite for whether or not your plans receive permission is the fact that the plans must not negatively impact on your neighbours, this includes encroaching on their privacy, overshadowing their property or take away any public green space.

Your extension or building also shouldn’t create an environment where there is likely to be crime or antisocial behaviour, create noise or pollution in the form of smells of light pollution.

Obtaining the Permission

There are some obstacles that knowing about beforehand may be more easily avoided if you have prior notice of what they might entail.

One really good habit to get into, whether your first of fiftieth renovation, is to involve your neighbours. Keeping your neighbours in the loop is always beneficial, especially if the type of build you’re doing definitely needs planning permission. In the event that your plans need further investigation etc. from your local authority, one of the first places they’ll go to seek feedback are your neighbours, so if you can get them onboard early it will make the process much smoother.

Endangered or protected animals could also put a spanner in the works for you if they pitch up anywhere on your property. Animals such as bats or crested newts are protected, therefore if the council get even a whiff of them residing at your property, your plans will likely be denied until you can prove otherwise.

This is just two examples that might affect what your plans being permitted, we would definitely advise researching further.

There are some situations when you don’t need to apply for planning permission, and it’s automatically granted, this is called permitted development. Below are a few examples of what could potentially be covered by permitted development.

What Do You Not Need Planning Permission For?

So we teased you with the notion that you may be able to avoid the palaver of planning permission, so here is a small list of things you can do to your house without the need for planning permission. A lot of the things included in this list will benefit from the Permitted Development Act, which is a government scheme where certain amendments to your home will automatically be granted/permitted without the need to apply for planning permission.

1.Kitchens or bathrooms

Luckily for a lot of homeowners, renovating your kitchen or bathroom will not need planning permission, unless you’re doing it as part of an extension project. Kitchen and bathroom remodelling is one of the top ways to add value to your property.


As long as it doesn’t take up more than 50% of your space, decking is fine to do too.

3.Garage Conversions

Most situations will allow you to convert you garage, it’s advisable to double check for new builds/developments beforehand.


A great one that not everyone is aware of is that you usually do not need planning permission for an outbuilding, there are some conditions to this though:

It cannot be in front of your property
No more than 4m tall
It cannot be more than ½ the area of the original house

5.Internal walls

As long as you don’t live in a listed building, you should be able to remove internal walls without any objections, subject to building control.

6.Converting the Basement

Unless you’re digging new space or making an alteration to the external appearance of the home, converting a basement for residential use will also fall under permitted development.

7.Conservatories and some Extensions

You don’t need planning permission for a conservatory or some extension (subject to listed building and conservation areas).

This list certainly isn’t everything that is included and is only for informational purposes. We always recommend seeking professional advice before undertaking any work based on self-sufficient research.

Hopefully this has given you some insight into planning permission and when it’s needed.

Design & Build

With our Design & Build service, we take care of the planning permission portion of your project. 

Our Design & Build service is aimed at those people that are at the beginning of their journey without architect plans. Working with an in house design team we can take care of the project from design stage all the way through to completion. Keeping it under one roof can help manage the design with the clients budget keeping the timeline effective and the dream realistic. If you would like to find out more about how Olive & Umber can help you, send us an email to and one of our team will be in touch.

Home Renovations - Work in Progress

Where We Operate: Olive and Umber are building contractors based in Peterborough providing design and build service for home renovation, house extensions, loft conversions, plumbing services and new builds across the UK including LondonOakhamHuntingdon, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Cambridge, Wisbech, Ely and more.