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We are currently preparing bids to the Future High Streets Fund (Whitehaven) and Towns Fund (Millom and Cleator Moor)

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Do I need planning permission?

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Find out if you need planning permission and how to apply. This page relates to other forms of development that are not householder related. 

Other forms of development

Change of use

Uses of land and buildings are divided into various categories known as Use Classes.

In many cases involving similar types of use a change of use of a building or land may not need planning permission. Planning permission is not needed when both the present and proposed use fall within the same Use Class, for example a greengrocers shop can change to a shoe shop without permission.

You will need planning permission if a material change of use occurs for example changing from a residential use to a business use or changing from a retail shop to a hot food takeaway.

More information about the different use classes and the changes of use which are permitted without the need for planning permission is available on the planning portal.

Commercial developments

Most alterations to business premises do need planning permission, including:

  • most shop and office extensions
  • alterations to shop fronts
  • external security shutters or grilles

You can find more information from the Government's publication ' Planning Permission A Guide for Business'.

Agricultural development

Farmers enjoy certain exemptions from planning control and some farm buildings do not require the submission of a formal planning application.   You can find more information in A Farmer's Guide to the Planning System'.  

Satellite dishes

Satellite dishes are often difficult to locate in an acceptable position. You can find out if planning permission is required and where satellite dishes should be ideally located by looking at A Householder's Planning Guide for the Installation of Antennas including Satellite Dishes.

Renewable energy

The installation of most small-scale micro generation equipment can be made without planning permission. Further information on whether planning permission is required for the installation of renewable technologies on your home is available under the greener homes section of the planning portal.

Cumbria Action for Sustainability has developed a number of factsheets which provide useful guidance on low carbon and energy efficient development

You can find out more about renewable energy for your home or business at The Energy Saving Trust

Outdoor advertisements and signs

Displaying some adverts or signs may require consent. You can find out more information by looking at our advertisement and signs page.


Demolition of any building is now classed under the definition of development.

If you intend to demolish any building you will need to notify us using the prior notification form.

Conservation Areas

Demolition of non listed buildings within Conservation Areas will normally require Conservation Area Consent.

Listed Buildings

Any alteration or demolition works to a listed building will normally require Listed Building Consent.

Free development enquiry service

You can use our free development enquiry service to seek advice on all development proposals. If you provide details of your proposal we will provide a written response to your development enquiry.

If you are in doubt please contact us to discuss your proposal directly at

Apply for permission