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Most common questions

Most common questions

I’m a householder – do I need planning permission?

Whether planning permission is needed for work on your house depends on the nature and scale of your alterations.

In some cases, you can carry out minor changes to your house without needing planning permission providing you meet certain conditions. This is known as ‘permitted development rights’.

Are planning policies the same across the whole of the national park?

Yes – the same planning policies apply across the National Park. Our ‘local plan’ document sets out National Park-wide planning policies.

Will I get planning permission to extend my house?

Most applications are approved (80%). The key thing is to make sure that the design and materials are in keeping with the existing property and the surrounding area. It’s always best to discuss your plans with your neighbours before making a planning application. Any extension must not exceed 30% of the habitable floor space of the house as it was in 1982 (where the house is outside of a defined New Forest Village and/or not classified as a small dwelling – less than 80 square metres). The floorspace can be worked out by looking at our planning records.

What can I do if my neighbour applies for planning permission?

We will notify all immediate neighbours by letter, and post a site notice. You then have three weeks to comment on the application. Please contact us if you want to discuss the application. As well as looking at the design and choice of materials, we also take into account any neighbour impacts such as overshadowing or overlooking. Proposals will also have to comply with the relevant planning policies.

What if I own a flat, not a house?

There are no permitted development rights for flats. A flat is legally defined as:

‘A separate and self-contained set of premises constructed or adapted for use for the purpose of a dwelling and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally’.

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