What is Planning Permission? | Colchester Borough Council

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What is Planning Permission?

TEST: Article

We know planning can seem a bit daunting when you are new to it, so let's start with the basics.


  • What planning permission is
  • How planning permission is decided
  • Do you need planning permission for your project?
  • Information about building control and factors that might affect your application

What is planning permission?

It focuses on the impact your building project has to other people and other areas outside of the site.

For example, its visual impact, impact upon neighbouring properties and access. 

Planning permission decides whether a certain building project takes place, controlling the right to build on land and protecting other people.

Read more on the Planning Portal


How is planning permission decided?

All our decisions are made based on The Local Plan. This is the strategy for the future development of the local area. 

The following are just a few of the areas that we look at when considering an application:

  • Design, appearance and materials 
  • Impact on trees, landscaping and wildlife 
  • Highway safety 
  • The planning history of the site 
  • All forms of pollution such as noise, fumes and contamination 
  • Heritage conservation 
  • Creating opportunities for new employment or affordable housing

Read more on the Planning Portal

What happens after you have submitted an application?


Do you need planning permission for your project?

When planning a project is it important that you know what kind of works require planning permission and what you can do under permitted development guidelines. 

Read more about how you can find out if you need planning permission


Building Control approval is different to planning permission

Being granted Building Control approval is different to being granted planning permission.  

The regulations in Building Control set standards for the design and construction of a building to ensure the safety and health of the people using it. Planning guides the way that our towns, cities and countryside develop.  

Any easy way to remember the difference is that Building Control relates to the inside of a building, and Planning relates to the outside and how it fits into the surrounding area. 

Read more about what the team in Building Control do


Factors that could affect your planning application

There are a numbers of factors that could relate to your property and it's location that could affect your application for building works and whether it can be granted or not, such as Conservation Areas, Tree Preservation Orders and Restricted Development Rights. 

Read more about things that might affect your application here.