Useful Websites | Colchester Borough Council

Winter support

Colchester Borough Council is providing support for residents, businesses and communities throughout winter.

Useful Websites

TEST: Article

Here are some websites we thought you would find helpful that give great guidance and information on all aspects of Planning.


  • A collection of links to websites that provide help and guidance with all aspects of Planning.

Planning Guidance

  • Plain English Guide to the Planning System - The Department for Communities and Local Government have put together a downloadable PDF guide of the different aspects of the planning system. This is good if you are completely new to planning and would like to read about everything in more detail.  
  • The Planning Portal: 
    1. Interactive House - The Interactive House on the Planning Portal is an informative guide to common projects that takes the yawn-factor out of planning.  Choose the type of property then click on the different areas to find planning and building regulations advice.  
    2. Mini Guides - The Mini Guides on the Planning Portal give planning advice and information on Permitted Development guidelines for common projects such as conservatories, extensions, loft conversions, outbuildings and porches. Choose which project you would like information on and read through the steps. 
    3. Home Improvement Projects - This section of the Planning Portal gives general advice for planning, building and completing your project.  
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Planning Advice - Royal Town Planning Institute are able to give free advice to individuals and communities on planning matters. They can also provide bespoke support to those who are eligible.  
  • Historic England - Historic England are a public body that that looks after England's historic environment. You can seek advice on planning if your property or site is listed. 


Building Control

  • The Planning Portal - The Planning Portal gives in depth information on Building Control and how to get Building Regulations approval.  
  • Guide to Extending your Home - This guide will take you through the Building Control process for projects such as loft conversions, garage conversions, cellar conversions and domestic extensions.  


Planning in your Community

  • National Planning Policy Framework - The National Planning Policy Framework sets out government's planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied. 
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Neighbourhood Planning Advice - Royal Town Planning Institute can provide help for groups of residents in different communities develop neighbourhood plans which go on to form part of the development plan for their area. 
  • Historic England - Historic England are a public body that that looks after England's historic environment. They celebrate and help to protect historic places. You can search the National Heritage List for England to find listed buildings, monuments and areas and you can apply for somewhere to become listed.  


Topics & Services related to Planning 

  • The Planning Portal: 
    1. Other Considerations before you Start Work - A section providing information about other issues you need to bear in mind before you begin building 
    2. Other Permissions you may Require - This section gives information on other permissions you may need aside from planning permission or Building Regulations approval.  
  • The Environment Agency - You can search The Environment Agency's website flood maps and coastal erosion areas.  
  • HM Land Registry - Search HM Land Registry for information relating to property ownership information, property/site boundaries and title deeds.