Not all development and building work requires planning permission. This page is designed to help you assess whether the works you are planning require permissions.
Do I need permission for my development? [4Mb] provides a householder's guide to help you to assess whether permission is required for your development under planning legislation. It is tailored to the needs of householders wishing to carry out domestic development.
To find out whether you need permissions for specific developments, please use the dropdowns below.
To apply for permissions, find out all the information you need here.
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, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next.
- ◾ air source heat pump? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next. Further information and guidance is contained in 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, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next. 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, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next.
- ◾demolition and re-building of a chimney? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next.
- ◾ removal of a hedge or part of a hedge? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next.
- ◾ erection of a fence? Yes, unless the exemption criteria [1Mb] including regarding the location and height of the fence are all met. Fences FAQs [118kb] contains information regarding the erection of a fence around dwellings. It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
- ◾ erection of a marquee? It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] before making a formal Planning Application Form [486kb]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 planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
- ◾ installation of sun pipes? It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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 pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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 planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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 planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
- ◾ bed and breakfast? It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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. Exemption 1 External Walls [916kb] - relates to alterations to the external walls of a dwelling
- 2. Exemption 2 Satellite dish [515kb] - relates to satellite dishes on a dwelling
- 3. Exemption 3 Solar Panels [815kb] - relates to solar panels on a dwelling and within domestic curtilage
- 4. Exemption 4 Replacement Window & Doors [783kb] - relates to replacement windows and doors in an existing opening
- 5. Exemption 5 New Window or Door [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a door or window in a new or enlarged opening
- 6. Exemption 6 Re-roofing [712kb] - relates to re-roofing a dwelling or outbuilding
- 7. Exemption 7 Rooflights [9Mb] - relates to the installation of rooflights
- 8. Exemption 8 Dormer [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a dormer
- 9. Exemption 9 Porch [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a porch
- 10. Exemption 10 Extension [2Mb] - relates to the erection of an extension
- 11. Exemption 11 Garden Structure [1Mb] - relates to the erection of garden structure used to support plants
- 12. Exemption 12 Shed [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a shed
- 13. Exemption 13 Glasshouse [1019kb] - relates to the erection of a glasshouse
- 14. Exemption 14 Garage or Outbuilding [1Mb] - relates to the erection of a detached garage or outbuilding
- 15. Exemption 15 Hardsurfacing [507kb] - relates to the creation, extension or re-surfacing of a hardsurfaced area
- 16. 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. Exemption 17 Domestic Fuel Containers [891kb] - relates to the installation of fuel containers
- 18. Exemption 18 Cesspits and Soakaways [703kb] - relates to the installation of cesspits or soakaways
- 19. Exemption 19 Pool [1006kb] - relates to the installation of a swimming pool
- 20. Exemption 20 Traffic Mirrors [705kb] - relates to the installation of a traffic mirror
- 21. Exemption 21 Flagpoles [1Mb] - relates to the installation of a flag pole
- 22. Exemption 22 Caravans [736kb] - relates to placing a caravan or a motorhome within your domestic curtilage
Do I need planning permission for maintenance, repair and minor alterations?
- It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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 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.
Do I need planning permission for trees, hedges and earthbanks?
- Carrying out works to trees or hedges may require an application for planning permission.
- 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 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. 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 Protected Trees List [60kb].
- 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
- ⇒ CN3 Earth Banks in Guernsey [4Mb] provides information on the creation and maintenance of earth banks.
Do I need planning permission for 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 Class 8 of The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2007 [241kb].
- Signs and Adverts FAQs (August 2012) [152kb] - contains information regarding signs and adverts.
- It is recommended you submit a planning pre-application enquiry [744kb] 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 Owners Declaration [255kb] 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.
Do I need planning permission for a change of planning use?
- It is recommended you submit a pre-application enquiry [744kb] for the change of use of a building or land from one use to another.
- If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority. Please submit the completed and signed Owners Declaration [255kb] with your enquiry.
- The current Planning Use Classes are found in Land Planning and Development (Use Classes) Ordinance 2017 [346kb].
- Information on planning exemptions for; industrial and storage and distribution change of use proposals are found in Class 6, and for administrative, financial and professional use classes in Class 9 of The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2007 (as amended) [241kb].
Do I need planning permission for dower units/annexe accommodation?
- IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the guidance in this section is currently under review. The guidance document in this section relates 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.
- AN1 Dower Units [523kb] provides advice about the way planning applications for dower units will be considered. A dower unit is normally considered to be part of or an addition to a house used for the accommodation of dependent relatives. It usually takes the form of an extension but may comprise a converted outbuilding. Alternative names include a granny annexe or granny wing.
Do I need planning permission for a change of use of visitor accommodation?
- Visitor Accommodation SPG 2016 [293kb]sets out detailed advice and guidance on the land use planning policy approach which is currently taken by the States of Guernsey towards proposals which involve the change of use of existing visitor accommodation be that hotel, guest house, hostel or self-catering accommodation, and relates to the policy position under the Island Development Plan, 2016.
Do I need planning permission for minor/occasional use as guest accommodation?
- There is provision for you to operate a bed and breakfast from your home (your permanent residence) without requiring planning permission for a change of use.
- The primary use of the dwelling should remain as your home and in addition there must not be a material change of use of the property having regard to the number of rooms in use for bed and breakfast purposes and comings and goings associated with this use.
- For example, one bedroom in a three bedroom dwelling could be used for bed and breakfast accommodation without resulting in a material change of use requiring planning permission. Use of two bedrooms and a separate sitting/dining room for bed and breakfast accommodation would require planning permission as this would amount to a material change of use of the dwelling.
- Your home (your permanent residence) can be used as a holiday let, for example if you rent your house out when you are on holiday away from the Island, for up to a maximum of ten weeks over the course of a single year on the proviso that no single let shall exceed 28 days' duration.
- Please note
- ⇒ there may be a separate requirement for a Boarding Permit from the Committee for Economic Development and it is recommended you contact them regarding your proposals.
- ⇒ a separate enquiry should also be made to Building Control to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations before the use commences.
Do I need planning permission for winter lets?
- Winter Lets FAQs [87kb] contains information regarding tourist accommodation during the winter months.
Do I need planning permission for renting out a house or flat?
- FAQ Renting out a House or Flat [101kb] contains information regarding renting out a house or flat.
Motorhomes/Caravans and Motorhome/Caravan 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 or caravan within your garden or if you are visiting friends or family on Guernsey and wish to park your motorhome or caravan within the garden of their property. It is important, however, that you satisfy all the requirements set out in the Caravan Exemption [736kb].
- Holiday makers with motorhomes can be accommodated at Fauxquets Valley, La Bailloterie, Beaucette Marina and with motorhomes or caravans at Vaugrat campsite.
- 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 here. [744kb]
- Our roads are narrow and often have limited access.
- You may bring a motorhome or caravan to the island only if:
- a) the motorhome is not more than 9.45m long / the combined length of the towing vehicle and caravan is not more than 12.19m long.
- b) the motorhome or towing vehicle/caravan is not more than 2.31m wide (excluding mirrors/indicators)
- c) the motorhome is booked onto one of the four registered campsites/the caravan is booked into one of the registered campsites.
- d) you have a motorhome or caravan permit from the campsite operator. (The ferry operator is unlikely to allow a motorhome or caravan onto a ferry in the absence of a motorhome or caravan permit)
- In order to monitor demands campsite operators keep a log of motorhomes and caravans 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 - Please note that different vehicle length limits operate within the Condor fleet. You are advised to check this with the ferry operator before confirming your booking.
- Confirm the booking with the campsite operator
- Campsite operator sends two copies of the motorhome/caravan permit (one for you and the other for the ferry operator).
- The motorhome/caravan 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/caravan 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/caravan 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.
- Whilst on the island, caravans are restricted to one journey to the campsite and one journey to the port, following a permitted route only.
- Visits to the Island by a motorhome/caravan are limited to a maximum period of one month.
Planning Duty Officer
- Please look at the relevent pages on our website for any planning information you may require, should you still wish to speak to the Duty Planner please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. or alternatively telephone 01481 226200 between 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday - Your enquiry will then be passed to the duty planning officer and they will contact you directly.
- 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 email email@example.com , telephone 01481 226200 (between 9am - 4pm) or contact us. ensuring you quote the application reference.