Advice on whether you'll need planning permission for your building works.

Planning law is complex and we can only give basic informal advice on our site.

How to find out if you need planning permission

You don't need planning permission for some building works. This is called permitted development.

You can use the interactive house and guides on the Planning Portal website to see if you need planning permission.

Building regulations

You'll need to meet building regulations even if you don't need planning permission.

Solar panels

You don't usually need planning permission for solar panels on houses. You can read about restrictions on solar panels at the Planning Portal website.

If you live in a listed building, you'll need listed building consent.

If you live in a conservation area, you'll need planning permission if the panels are fitted on the principal or side wall and are visible from the road.

Listed buildings and conservation areas

Some of Bristol's older houses have protection as listed buildings. A number of local areas are designated as conservation areas because of their special character and appearance.

Tighter planning controls apply to both listed buildings and houses in conservation areas.

To find out if your property is a listed building you can search The National Heritage List for England.

To find out if your property is in a conservation area, search for it on our Planning Online site. Choose the Constraints tab to see what restrictions apply.

If you are still unsure about planning permission

You can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. We'll decide whether the proposed works need planning permission and send you a formal notice.

You can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate on the Planning Portal for:

  • a proposed use or development
  • an existing use or development

To request a Lawful Development Certificate for Listed Building you must send us:

Send the completed form to our Planning Business Support team at customerservices.ptsd@bristol.gov.uk

If you need help, we have pdf guidance on filling out the Lawful Development Certificate application form (54 KB) . You can also contact us or seek independent professional advice before carrying out building work.

Privacy statement

Read our privacy statement and our pdf Development Management: planning and enforcement privacy notice (118 KB)  to see what we do with your personal information.

Contact information

Development Management

City Hall
PO Box 3399
Bristol, BS1 9NE

Email: development.management@bristol.gov.uk
Tel: 0117 922 3000