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Do I need Planning / Building Permission?

Contact Us - Planning and Building

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Not all development and building work requires planning permission or the issuing of a Building Regulation Licence. Further information regarding work that does not require planning or building permission and pre-application enquiries can be found here.

pdf icon Do I need permission for my development? [4Mb] provides guidance in relation to the need for planning permission and development which can be carried out by householders without requiring the specific grant of planning permission.

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Do I Need Planning Permission for one of the following?

    • external domestic boiler? No, provided the boiler is not to be attached to a Protected Building.
    • flue to serve a wood burning stove? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next.
    • air source heat pump? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next. Further information and guidance is contained in pdf icon Planning Advice Note: Air Source Heat Pumps [424kb]. Please note, following adoption of the Island Development Plan on the 2nd November 2016, this guidance is under review. Please refer to the relevant policies  and Annexes of the Island Development Plan 2016. Please contact the Planning Service should you require any further information.
    • domestic wind turbine? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next. pdf icon AN5 Domestic Wind Turbines [387kb] looks at the issues surrounding securing planning consent for domestic wind turbines. Please note, following adoption of the Island Development Plan on the 2nd November 2016, this guidance is under review. Please refer to the relevant policies  and Annexes of the Island Development Plan 2016. Please contact the Planning Service should you require any further information.
    • demolition of a chimney? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next.
    • demolition and re-building of a chimney? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next.
    • removal of a hedge or part of a hedge? Yes, apply for planning permission provides details on what to do next.
    • erection of a fence? Yes, unless the pdf icon exemption criteria [1Mb] including regarding the location and height of the fence are all met. pdf icon Fences FAQs [118kb] contains information regarding the erection of a fence around dwellings. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
    • erection of a marquee? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] before making a formal pdf icon Planning Application Form [1010kb]for the proposed marquee.
    • erection of a playhouse? Some play houses can be substantial structures and impact on neighbouring properties or the locality. Most are small enough to be considered 'de minimis' but where elevated or sizable they would be considered as free standing buildings within curtilage and therefore either be exempt development or require planning permission. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
    • installation of sun pipes? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] regarding proposals to install sun pipes. Please ensure your enquiry includes details regarding the size and appearance of the sun pipes proposed.
    • works to or to fell a tree? No, provided the tree is not protected by a Tree Preservation Order or by planning condition at any time in the past. You can find out whether a tree is protected here. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon pre-application enquiry [345kb] if you are unsure whether a planning condition exists relating to the tree.
    • demolition of a wall or part of a wall within the curtilage of a dwelling house? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] regarding proposals to demolish a wall.
    • allotment? Growing vegetables either on a domestic or agricultural basis does not class as development therefore no planning permission is required for this. However please note that the erection of new walls, fences, sheds etc. on agricultural land does require planning permission. Therefore allotments may require planning permission. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
    • bed and breakfast? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] regarding proposals to operate a bed and breakfast from your property. Please also see Planning and Building Permissions - Change of Use of Visitor Accommodation.
  • Planning Exemptions - householder works not requiring planning permission

    • Some work can be carried out by householders without requiring the specific grant of planning permission, these are known as Exemptions.
    • Please Note:
    • ⇒ There may be conditions of previous permissions that affect exemptions, for example, where planning permission for a group of houses was granted subject to a condition removing exemption rights for walls, sheds etc.
    • ⇒ planning permission will be required in all cases for changes to Protected Buildings unless the contrary is specifically stated in the exemption.
    • Please seek pre-application advice if your query relates to a:
    • ⇒ Protected Building
    • ⇒ flat or commercial building.
    • All exemptions are subject to a number of important general provisos, which are:
    • ⇒ The development must be within your domestic curtilage. This is usually, but not always, your garden area.
    • ⇒ There is a limit on the total area of exempt development which can be permitted within the curtilage of a house. No more than 50% of the curtilage, excluding the ground floor of the house as originally constructed, may be covered.
    • ⇒ All of the conditions of the exemption must be satisfied for the exemption to apply.
    • Exemptions for dwelling houses' do not apply to:
    • ⇒ A flat or maisonette or a building containing one or more flats or maisonettes, or
    • ⇒ Any building used as self-contained self-catering holiday accommodation.
    • Open the document on the relevant type of development for additional information on what is permitted under planning exemptions and the conditions that apply.
    • 1. pdf icon Exemption 1 External Walls [916kb] - relates to alterations to the external walls of a dwelling
    • 2. pdf icon Exemption 2 Satellite dish [515kb] - relates to satellite dishes on a dwelling
    • 3. pdf icon Exemption 3 Solar Panels [815kb] - relates to solar panels on a dwelling and within domestic curtilage
    • 4. pdf icon Exemption 4 Replacement Window & Doors [783kb] - relates to replacement windows and doors in an existing opening
    • 5. pdf icon Exemption 5 New Window or Door [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a door or window in a new or enlarged opening
    • 6. pdf icon Exemption 6 Re-roofing [712kb] - relates to re-roofing a dwelling or outbuilding
    • 7. pdf icon Exemption 7 Rooflights [9Mb] - relates to the installation of rooflights
    • 8. pdf icon Exemption 8 Dormer [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a dormer
    • 9. pdf icon Exemption 9 Porch [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a porch
    • 10. pdf icon Exemption 10 Extension [2Mb] - relates to the erection of an extension
    • 11. pdf icon Exemption 11 Garden Structure [1Mb] - relates to the erection of garden structure used to support plants
    • 12. pdf icon Exemption 12 Shed [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a shed
    • 13. pdf icon Exemption 13 Glasshouse [1019kb] - relates to the erection of a glasshouse
    • 14. pdf icon Exemption 14 Garage or Outbuilding [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a detached garage or outbuilding
    • 15. pdf icon Exemption 15 Hardsurfacing [507kb] - relates to the creation, extension or re-surfacing of a hardsurfaced area
    • 16. pdf icon Exemption 16 Gates & Fences [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a gate, fence, wall or earth bank - see also Trees, Hedges and Earthbanks below
    • 17. pdf icon Exemption 17 Domestic Fuel Containers [891kb] - relates to the installation of fuel containers
    • 18. pdf icon Exemption 18 Cesspits and Soakaways [703kb] - relates to the installation of cesspits or soakaways
    • 19. pdf icon Exemption 19 Pool [1006kb] - relates to the installation of a swimming pool
    • 20. pdf icon Exemption 20 Traffic Mirrors [705kb] - relates to the installation of a traffic mirror
    • 21. pdf icon Exemption 21 Flagpoles [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a flag pole
    • 22. pdf icon Exemption 22 Caravans [736kb] - relates to placing a caravan or a motorhome within your domestic curtilage
  • Planning Pre-application enquiry

    • If you have not yet made a planning application, you can request written advice regarding:
    • ⇒ Whether planning permission is required.
    • ⇒ Planning exemptions.
    • ⇒ Requests for opinions on planning proposals (i.e. whether what you are proposing is likely to be acceptable under planning policy).
    • ⇒ EIA screening - some development may require an Environmental Impact Assessment. The pre-application enquiry service can provide you with advice on whether your proposal is one of these projects.
    • The pre-application enquiry service is free. Please use the pdf icon Pre-Application Enquiry Form & Guidance Notes [345kb] to submit your request for written advice.
    • If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority. Please submit the completed and signed pdf icon Owners Declaration [106kb] with your enquiry.
    • In some instances a meeting with a Planning Officer is useful and can be used to discuss specific proposals, although it should be noted that any advice provided is without prejudice to formal consideration of the planning application. Please read the pdf icon PN 3 Meetings with Planning & Building Control [181kb] for more information before contacting us to arrange a meeting.
  • Maintenance, repair and minor alterations

    • It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] before you undertake work on site.
    • Planning permission is not required for the maintenance, repair or minor alteration to a dwelling or non-domestic building or a structure or feature in the curtilage of the building (including Protected Buildings) provided:
    • ⇒ the work is not exempt under another part of the pdf icon The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2007 [241kb]
    • ⇒ the works relate the the painting of a significant part of the building or feature for the first time
    • ⇒ there is no material effect on the external appearance of the building or structure as a result of the repainting work undertaken.
  • Trees, Hedges and Earthbanks

    • Carrying out works to trees or hedges may require an application for planning permission.
    • Trees
    • Some trees are protected by the planning system, and these generally require planning permission before they can be heavily pruned ("lopped or topped") or removed.
    • Detailed information can be found in pdf icon Class 7 of The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2007 [241kb].
    • 1) Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) may be made, mostly for trees which are under threat from potential development works and protect trees against poor pruning, felling and other damaging activities. pdf icon AN4 Protected Trees [282kb] provides further information however if you have further queries please submit an enquiry for pre-application advice.
    • 2) Planning conditions stating that no tree may be "lopped, topped or felled" may be attached to Development Permits and subsequent planning permission is required to carry out such work on the trees that are the subject of the planning condition. Please note that "lopping" and "topping" are generally regarded as synonyms for pollarding, or reducing the height or spread of the crown of a tree but minor pruning such as crown lifting (in accordance with BS 3998 Tree Work - Recommendations) does not require planning permission. No fee is required in these cases as the application is required because of a planning condition.
    • You can find out if a tree is protected using the webmap or by viewing the pdf icon Protected Trees List [60kb].
    • Hedges
    • Since 2009 when the new Law was enacted hedges anywhere in Guernsey, whether or not they can be seen from a public place, require permission to be removed/partly removed (e.g. making a gap in a hedge).
    • Ordinary maintenance work such as trimming or restoring an overgrown hedge does not require permission. Planning permission is not required to plant a hedge.
    • Earth banks
    • IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the guidance in this section is currently under review. The guidance document  in this section relate to the policies of the superseded Urban Area Plan and Rural Area Plan and may not be relevant or consistent with the policies of the newly adopted Island Development Plan 2016. Please refer to the relevant policies and Annexes of the Island Development Plan 2016 and contact the Planning Service should you require further information before submitting a planning application.
    • pdf icon CN3 Earth Banks in Guernsey [4Mb] provides information on the creation and maintenance of earth banks.
  • Signs and Adverts

    • Some signs can be installed without requiring the specific grant of planning permission.
    • Planning permission will be required in all cases for signs attached to or within the curtilage of Protected Buildings unless the contrary is specifically stated in the pdf icon Class 8 of The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2007 [241kb].
    • pdf icon Signs and Adverts FAQs (August 2012) [152kb] - contains information regarding signs and adverts.
    • It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [345kb] before installing or making a formal planning application for a sign. If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority and please submit the completed and signed pdf icon Owners Declaration [106kb] with your enquiry.
    • Signs that can be erected without the specific grant of planning permission:
    • 1. Contractors signs - the temporary display of a signboard on a building or site where the contractor is currently working. Provided the work being carried out has planning permission, there is only one such signboard on the site, the sign is not illuminated and the sign is removed when work is complete.
    • 2. Nameplates - displayed on a building which identifies the individual, company or firm carrying on a trade, business or profession in or from that building. Provided the trade or business is operating in accordance with the Law, the nameplate is not internally illuminated and the sign does not exceed 60cm measured in any dimension.
    • 3. Signs for charity and public events - the temporary display of a sign advertising or giving directions to a charity or public event. Provided the sign is not illuminated (internally or externally), the sign is not displayed for more than two weeks prior to the date of the event and is removed immediately after the event. In St Peter Port or St Sampson a banner displayed across a street must not include any commercial advertising material.
    • 4. Election signs - the temporary display of a sign promoting a candidate during the period immediately preceding an elevation for any States or Parish office.
    • 5. Garden produce/Hedge Veg signs - displayed within the curtilage of a dwelling (including a Protected Building) of one sign advertising the sale of produce grown on a non-commercial basis within that curtilage. Provided there is only one such sign within the curtilage and the size of the sign does not exceed 60cm measured in any dimension.
    • 6. Repainting or replacing an existing sign - Provided the repainted or replaced sign is not internally illuminated and the overall size and location of the sign does not change.
    • 7. Terre a l'amende signs - displayed on a wall or building. Provided the Royal Court has granted an application for the land in question for a notice to be published in La Gazette Officielle, the sign is not illuminated (internally or externally) and the size of the sign does not exceed 60cm measured in any dimension.
  • Winter Lets

  • Renting Out a House or Flat

  • Motorhomes and Motorhome Permits

    • A motorhome is defined as "a van or truck like vehicle (built on a truck or bus like chassis) and designed to serve as self-contained living quarters for recreational travel or camping".
    • A caravan is defined as "a large enclosed vehicle capable of being pulled by a car and equipped to live in."
    • You may not need permission to keep your motorhome within your garden or if you are visiting friends or family on Guernsey and wish to park your motorhome within the garden of their property. It is important, however, that you satisfy all the requirements set out in the pdf icon Caravan Exemption [736kb].
    • Holiday makers with motorhomes can be accommodated at Fauxquets Valley, La Bailloterie, Beaucette Marina and Vaugrat campsites.
    • Please note:
    • ⇒ If you are visiting for any other purpose you should contact the Planning Service for further advice. You can use the form available pdf icon here. [345kb]
    • ⇒ We do not normally allow touring caravans in to Guernsey in order to protect the special environment of the Island and because of our narrow roads
    • ⇒ Our roads are narrow and often have limited access.
    • You may bring a motorhome to the island only if:
    • a) the motorhome is not more than 6.9m long
    • b) the motorhome is not more than 2.3m wide (excluding mirrors/indicators)
    • c) the motorhome is  booked onto one of the four registered campsites
    • d) you have a motorhome permit from the campsite operator.  (The ferry operator is unlikely to allow a motorhome onto a ferry in the absence of a motorhome permit)
    • In order to monitor demands campsite operators keep a log of motorhomes including details of visitors, vehicles and length of stay.
    • Before travelling to Guernsey:
    • ⇒ contact the campsite of choice to check availability and make a provisional booking
    • ⇒ complete the booking with the ferry operator
    • ⇒ confirm the booking with the campsite operator
    • ⇒ campsite operator sends two copies of the motorhome permit (one for you and the other for the ferry operator).
    • The motorhome permit must be available for inspection at the ferry check-in point and by the Guernsey Border Agency on arrival to Guernsey.
    • The window sticker provided with the motorhome permit must include the dates for which the permit is valid and be displayed at all times during the stay in Guernsey.
    • The dates for which the motorhome permit is valid must correspond with your travel dates.
    • Whilst on the Island, motorhomes can be driven on the roads but must display the windscreen sticker and the motorhome must return to the campsite each night.
    • Visits to the Island by a motorhome are limited to a maximum period of one month.
  • Planning Duty Officer

    • Telephone 01481 717200 or come to our reception Desk at Sir Charles Frossard House between 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday, and ask to speak to the Duty Planner.
    • Please note:
    • The Duty Planning Officer is able to provide general guidance only and cannot provide site specific advice.
    • To discuss an application that you have already submitted please contact the allocated Officer on 01481 717200 or contact us.
  • Building Regulations Exemptions

    • The following may be exempt from the need for a Building Regulation Licence:
    • ⇒ Conservatory or sun lounge     ⇒ Covered yard or way
    • ⇒ Shed or greenhouse                  ⇒ Greenhouses
    • ⇒ Carport                                        ⇒ Temporary buildings
    • ⇒ Porch                                           ⇒ Ancillary buildings
    • ⇒ Detached garage
    • Detailed information can be found in the pdf icon GN 01 Exempt Buildings and Works [228kb] and if the work you intend to undertake falls under one of these groups you can submit an pdf icon Exempt Work Notification Form [999kb] filling out the necessary information.
    • In some instances a meeting with a Building Control Officer is useful and can be used to discuss specific proposals, although it should be noted that any advice provided is without prejudice to formal consideration of the application. Please read the pdf icon PN 3 Meetings with Planning & Building Control [181kb] for more information before contacting us to arrange a meeting.
    • If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority. Please submit the completed and signed pdf icon Owners Declaration [106kb] with your enquiry.
  • Building Control Duty Officer

    • Telephone 01481 717200 or come to our reception Desk at Sir Charles Frossard House between 9am - 10.30am and 3.30pm - 5pm Monday to Thursday (4.30pm on Friday). Non-technical general advice and assistance can be provided by Technical Support Staff throughout the day.
    • Please note:
    • The Duty Building Control Officer is able to provide general guidance only and cannot provide site specific advice.
    • To discuss an application that you have already submitted please contact the allocated Officer on 01481 717200 or contact us.
    • In some instances a meeting with a Building Control Officer is useful and can be used to discuss specific proposals, although it should be noted that any advice provided is without prejudice to formal consideration of an application. Please read the pdf icon PN 3 Meetings with Planning & Building Control [181kb] for more information before contacting us to arrange a meeting.
    • If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority. Please submit the completed and signed pdf icon Owners Declaration [106kb] with your enquiry.
  • Planning and Development Law

    • Planning and Development Law exists to protect, enhance and facilitate the sustainable development of the physical environment of Guernsey. It provides for legal controls on the development of property or land in the interests of the wider community. It provides for legal controls on the development of property or land in the interests of the wider community.
    • The current Planning and Development Law came into force together with related Ordinances on the 6th April 2009.
    • The substantive legislation is contained in The Land Planning and Development (Guernsey) Law, 2005 which sets out the purposes of the principal Law and its application.
    • The Law is accompanied by Land Planning and Development Ordinances of the States which relate to various aspects of Planning and Building Control.
    • Links to the Law and related Ordinances can be found in the Government (Laws) of the website.

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