The central concept in this Act is the definition of what amounts to development. Development means the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any building or land. In practice this may affect any works depending on the location, as some activities that are normally exempt may need consent, for example if they involve a listed building or are in a conservation area.
There are a number of exemptions from the definition of what constitutes development, including:
Maintenance, improvements and alterations which only affect the interior of the building, or do not materially affect the external appearance.
Works to highways by local authorities and statutory undertakers.
Agriculture and forestry
However it is advisable to approach the relevant local planning authority for advice on whether planning is required for any project undertaken.
 S.55 (1) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
 S.55 (2)(a-d) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990
Page last updated: 28 April 2010