Do You Need Planning Permission for Internal Alterations?

Understanding when you need to apply for planning permission is important if you’re going to do any major renovation work on your home. In most cases, you don’t need planning permission for internal alterations.

open plan kitchen

There are some exceptions, however, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with them before investing anything significant into your project.

General case

You should almost never need planning permission for internal alterations. This includes various types of projects, such as:

  • Loft conversions
  • Kitchen remodelling
  • Bathroom renovation
  • Staircase work
  • Changing the layout of rooms

As a general rule, as long as all of the work is exclusively contained within the building, you don’t need planning permission. This also includes changes to your windows.

However, as soon as any part of the project spills over to the exterior, you should definitely get in touch with a specialist who can assess your situation from a legal perspective.

front house extension with bricks

Special cases

There is one major exception to the above rule. If you live in a listed house, you’re required to apply for planning permission for any kinds of changes. No matter if you’re only doing interior work, it’s mandatory to have planning permission.

Failing to obtain permission in this case can be very costly. Listed houses receive special treatment from the government, so you should always stay on the safe side and familiarize yourself with the full extent of legal requirements involved in working on them.

When in doubt, it’s worth paying an attorney for a consultation. This will help you clarify the situation and avoid potentially costly legal trouble.


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Hamstead Architect