Planning FAQs

If you cannot find a relevant FAQ below to assist with your query, please email us at planning@chilternandsouthbucks.gov.uk

1. Do I need planning permission?

Some works can be undertaken without planning permission if the property has Permitted Development (PD) rights. See FAQ 2 below to see how to find out if your property has PD rights.

If you have PD rights, whether you need planning permission or not may depend on quite a number of other site specific factors such as dimensions, constraints on the site etc . Please see Permitted Development or  Permitted Development (South Bucks page)  guidance and in particular the Planning Portal Interactive House.

If you consider the works fit within the PD regulations and you would like written confirmation that the works are definitely PD you will need to submit an application for a Certificate of Lawfulness for Proposed Use which is an 8 week process. If not, you will need to submit a planning application.

Making a Planning application

2. Does my property have PD rights?

Most residential properties have Permitted Development (PD) rights which means that some works can be undertaken without planning permission.

To check if a property has PD rights you need to look at the original planning permission for the property and any permissions issued since to see if they include a condition which removes or restricts PD rights. Such a condition will look something like this:

Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 3(1) of the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015 (or any Order revoking or re-enacting that Order) no development falling within Class(s) [ ] of Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the said Order shall be erected, constructed, or placed within the site unless otherwise approved by the Local Planning Authority...

Please note that flats and maisonettes do not have Permitted Development rights.

If your property has a planning permission containing such a condition or is a flat or a maisonette, you will need to submit an application.

See below on how to look at your property's planning history.

3. How do I look at my property's planning history?

Summary records and documentation from 1974 and onwards can be viewed via Public Access by putting the first line of the address (and nothing else) into the keyword search field of the Simple Search. If nothing come up, try the road name or postcode.

If you need to look go back further, email us requesting to see the plotting card for the property in question. The plotting card shows planning records going back to the early 1950's and usually covers a small group of neighbouring properties. 

If you then want details of any specific applications from either of the above sources, email us with that request and we should be able to send you the relevant information by email.

Applications prior to 1974 have not yet been digitised and cannot currently be viewed on demand at the Council Offices. Please email any such request to Planning@chilternandsouthbucks.gov.uk and we will advise how such a request can be progressed.

If you would like us to look into the history of your property for you there is a fee payable of £120 (inclusive of VAT) as referred to in our Icon for pdf Fee Schedule [141.68KB].

4. I want to do some works on my property. How likely am I to obtain Planning Permission?

We offer a Planning advice service. Please see the details and fee schedule of our Preapp service . This does not replace a Planning Permission or a  Certificate of Lawfulness, as it an informal opinion of the Council on your proposal.

5. Can my comments or my name and address on my comments be removed from the website

Our rules and policies regarding comments are set out at Commenting on Planning Applications.

All comments on current planning applications are displayed on our website whilst an application under consideration in line with common practice in Local Planning Authorities and are to be disposed of after 6 years.

Comments on Planning applications are public documents as required by planning legislation.

We use our best endeavours to ensure that signatures, personal telephone numbers, personal email addresses and other personal data are not published but it is considered that names and addresses are necessary in order that all parties can properly understand the issues, concerns and context of specific comments in relation to any particular planning application. If an objector does not wish for their name and address to be displayed they may choose to approach their Parish/Town or Ward Councillor to put forward their objection.

An individual's rights and the action they can take is set out on the Council's Privacy Notices.

6. Can my Planning Application and/or plans be removed from the website?

Planning applications (including applicant's name and address) form part of a statutory public register which the Planning Authority is legally obliged to make publicly available under article 40 of the Town & Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) England Order 2015/595. Regulation 40(14) also allows this information to be made available on the Internet, and it is both our policy and standard practice for Planning Authorities to do so.  

Individuals are clearly informed via the Council's privacy notices in relation to what information they can expect to be made public on our website in multiple places, on acknowledgment letters to the applicant (or their agent, if they have one) and clearly stated at the top of all application forms.

We are, of course, always willing to listen to customers who have specific concerns regarding their privacy and protection of their data.

We are also obliged to comply with the law and apply our policies consistently and be careful not to set a precedent in making exceptions without sound justification.  

If you consider there are special circumstances whereby we should make such an exception please contact us at planning@chilternandsouthbucks.gov.uk and we will consider your request.

7. Can you confirm the boundaries of my property?

The holding of boundary information is not a Council function. Please refer to  your deeds or contact Land Registry.

8. My neighbour is building against/over my boundary. Is that acceptable?

You can check if planning permission has been granted by searching PublicAccess .

Even if your neighbour has planning permission, any works undertaken within 1m of a boundary is likely to require the serving of a Party Wall notice . If your neighbour has not served this notice on you, this is  a civil matter and  not something the Council has any power to enforce. We would recommend you speak to your neighbour in the first instance.

If your neighbour has no planning permission or has planning permission but is building across your boundary, it could be that there is a breach of planning regulations and the Planning Enforcement may be able to investigate. They do not, however, investigate boundary disputes.

In any event, you may wish to take legal advice. Citizens Advice may be able to help.