Permitted development

You may be allowed to make certain types of changes to a property without planning permission, this is known as ‘permitted development’.

The most common of these permitted development rights relate to extensions and alterations to dwelling houses, although they also apply to retail, industrial and other types of development. They also allow certain changes of use.

Some properties do not have permitted development rights. This means that planning permission will be required in most cases if your property:

  • is a flat or maisonette
  • is a listed building
  • is in a conservation area
  • has an Article 4 direction in place.

The Planning Portal provides:

If your project is permitted development

You can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) on the Planning Portal to confirm that your proposed or existing work does not need planning permission.

Prior approval

Certain forms of permitted development require you to notify us or seek our approval before any work begins.

For more information about the legislative requirements of these permitted developments please see the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, which is the principal order. 

Legislation says that permitted development rights for upwards extensions on existing blocks of flats, houses and commercial or mixed-use buildings cannot apply if the land is within 3km of the perimeter of an aerodrome.  Please see Schedule 2, part 20 of the General Permitted Development Order.

In Tower Hamlets, the affected land is within 3km of the perimeter of Skyports Heliport on the Isle of Dogs,  Royal London Hospital Helipad and London City Airport. You can check whether this affects you on the council’s aerodrome consultation map. If you need further clarity for your address an e-mail can be sent to 

If the address you propose to extend is within one of these areas, you will need to apply for full planning permission.