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Approval and permission for building work and home improvements

Depending on the work you’re doing you might need to get planning permission or building regulation approval, or both.

If you go ahead without permission or approval, you might end up having to put things back to how they were. 

Planning permission

You’ll probably need planning permission if you want to:

  • build something new
  • make a major change, like building an extension
  • change the use of your building

We also have specific rules for Manchester that might affect whether you need planning permission. To be sure, contact us to check if you need planning permission.

Building regulation approval

You need building regulation approval to check the work you’re doing reaches certain safety and energy efficiency standards.

You probably need building regulation approval for:

  • a new building
  • an extension
  • a loft-conversion
  • alterations to the structure of the building
  • home improvements like a new boiler, radiators, bathroom, fuse box, electric, windows, doors, and roofing 

Check if your work needs building regulation approval on the Local Authority Building Control website

Once you know you need approval:

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The Guide to Development in Manchester

Guide to Development in Manchester – Supplementary Planning Document and Planning Guidance (SPD)

The Guide to Development in Manchester – Supplementary Planning Document and Planning Guidance (SPD) was officially adopted on 11 April 2007. The Guide is a refreshed and updated version of the original Guide to Development in Manchester that was published in 1997 and was hailed as a major success.

The Guide reflects the growing recognition, at all levels of Government, of the importance of attractive, well designed, well maintained, neighbourhoods, in supporting sustainable development and ‘neighbourliness’. In particular, in recent years, the publication of the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Strategy and Planning Policy Statement 1: Delivering Sustainable Development; and the establishment of the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), with the publication of its key document ‘By Design’, has reaffirmed this commitment to design quality.

The Guide to Development in Manchester – Supplementary Planning Document and Planning Guidance aims to support and enhance the ongoing shaping of the City by providing a set of reasoned principles which will guide developers, designers and residents to the sort of development we all want to see in Manchester. Its role is to inform the ongoing development of the City over the next decade by highlighting its many and varied existing qualities and describing how they can be enhanced in the future.

The Guide to Development in Manchester – Supplementary Planning Document and Planning Guidance and its associated documents can be viewed, or a copy downloaded, by following the links below:-

Please note that we are not charging a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in relation to any planning permission.  We may, however, seek contributions through relevant Section 106 agreements.

Contact: Planning Strategy Team, Room 7043, FREEPOST MR 1514, Town Hall Extension, Manchester M60 2BR Email planningstrategy@manchester.gov.uk

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Check if you need planning permission – Manchester City Council

If you go ahead without permission, you may end up having to put things back to how they were.

As a general guide, you need planning permission for new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and to change the use buildings or land.

But you don’t usually need it for changes inside a building, for small alterations to the outside, or to put up walls or fences below a certain height.

For more about when you do and don’t need planning permission, see:
Planning Portal: Do you need permission?

Manchester specific rules

We may have specific rules for Manchester that may affect whether you need planning permission. For example, In Manchester you will need planning permission to change a family house into a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) or, in some areas, to change offices to flats because we have Article 4 Directions in place.

If in doubt contact us before you do any work.

Validation Checklists

We have a comprehensive list of local planning validation requirements covering the following types of applications:

  • Full, Outline, Reserved Matters, Variation or removal of conditions
  • Householder
  • Listed building
  • Advertisements
  • Prior approval for telecommunications
  • Prior approval for demolition

Do you need building approval?

As well as getting planning permission you may need separate approval for a new building, extension or major alteration.

The work needs to reach certain standards so that the building is safe and energy efficient