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Do I need planning permission?

Contact Us - Planning and Building

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Not all development and building work requires planning permission. This page is designed to help you assess whether the works you are planning require permissions.

A link to the new Exemptions Ordinance, 'The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2023', can be found here: Exemptions Ordinance 2023

Should you require any further assistance please contact the Planning Service by email at, Planning@gov.gg or by phone on 01481 226200.

To apply for permissions, find out all the information you need here.

Below is a list of the Classes and where they relate to as contained within 'The Land Planning and Development (Exemptions) Ordinance, 2023'  

Please note it is important that you also refer to the definitions as applied to the Exemptions Ordinance contained within the Interpretation and construction section here Exemptions Ordinance 2023

Please readpdf icon Practice Note PN1  - Do I need Permission for my Development? - A Householders Guide [184kb] 

  • Frequently Asked Questions - Do I Need Planning Permission for one of the following if I live in a house?

    • dwelling-house - does not include a flat, a building containing flats or a building the use of which falls within use class 6 (premises in multiple occupation)

      Please click pdf icon here [1Mb] to see the Exemptions Ordinance for Class 1 - Development within the curtilage of a dwelling-house
      Please click pdf icon here [205kb] to see the Exemptions Ordinance for Class 13 - Demolition

    • external domestic boiler? No, provided the boiler is not to be attached to a Protected Building.
    • ◾ flue to serve a wood burning stove? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (25) : Installation of a chimney stack or flue.
    • air source heat pump? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (26): Installation of an air source heat pump or air conditioning unit. 
    • ◾ domestic wind turbine? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next. pdf icon AN5 Domestic Wind Turbines [200kb] looks at the issues surrounding securing planning consent for domestic wind turbines.
    • ◾ demolition of a chimney? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (24): Demolition or rebuilding of a chimney stack.
    • ◾ demolition and re-building of a chimney? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (24): Demolition or rebuilding of a chimney stack.
    • removal of a hedge or part of a hedge? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (23): Removal of a hedge. 
    • ◾ removal of an earth bank? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next. 
    • erection of a fence? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (16): Gates, Fence and Walls. 
    • erection of a marquee? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] before making a formal pdf icon Planning Application Form [876kb]for the proposed marquee.
    • erection of a playhouse? Some play houses can be substantial structures and impact on neighbouring properties or the locality. Most are small enough to be considered 'de minimis' but where elevated or sizable they would be considered as free standing buildings within curtilage and therefore either be exempt development or require planning permission. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
    • installation of a roof-light, roof-lantern or sun pipes? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (7): Installation of roof-light, roof-lantern or sun tunnel.
    • replacement of doors or windows? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (4): Replacement of a door, window, roof-light, roof-lantern or sun tunnel in existing opening.
    • ◾ re-roofing of the house or an outbuilding? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (6): Re-roofing. 
    • ◾ solar products? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (3): Solar products. 
    • works to or to fell a tree? No, provided the tree is not protected by a Tree Preservation Order or by planning condition at any time in the past. You can find out whether a tree is protected here. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon pre-application enquiry [743kb] if you are unsure whether a planning condition exists relating to the tree.
    • demolition of a wall or part of a wall within the curtilage of a dwelling house? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 13 (1): Demolition. 
    • allotment? Growing vegetables either on a domestic or agricultural basis does not class as development therefore no planning permission is required for this. However please note that the erection of new walls, fences, sheds etc. on agricultural land does require planning permission. Therefore allotments may require planning permission. It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] if you are unsure whether planning permission would be required.
    • bed and breakfast? It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] regarding proposals to operate a bed and breakfast from your property. Please also see pdf icon Visitor Accommodation SPG 2016 [293kb].
    • external insulated render? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 1 (28): Installation of external insulated render system.
    • Please note for planning permission not to be necessary the proposed development must meet all the criteria within the relevant exemption, should development not meet one or more of the criteria then planning permission will be required.
    • If you are unsure, advice can be obtained from the Planning Service by completing a pre-application enquiry form pdf icon Pre-Application Enquiry Form [743kb]
  • Frequently Asked Questions - Do I Need Planning Permission for one of the following if I live in a flat or maisonette? 

    • Flat means a self-contained dwelling comprising part of a building and laying wholly or partly above or below some other part of that building including - 

      (a) that part of the building forming the external walls immediately outside the flat,
      and
      (b) any part of the roof of the building which only serves the flat,

    • Please click pdf icon here [2Mb] to view the Exemptions Ordinance for Class 2 - Development within the curtilage of a flat or building containg flats

    • Guidance notes for Class 2 will be published in due course.

    • ◾ external domestic boiler? No, provided the boiler is not to be attached to a Protected Building.
    • ◾ solar products? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (3): Solar products. 
    • ◾ replacement of doors or windows? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (4): Replacement of a door, window, roof-light, roof-lantern or sun tunnel in existing opening. 
    • ◾ re-roofing? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (6): Re-roofing. 
    • ◾ installation of a roof-light, roof-lantern or sun pipes? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (7): Installation of roof-light, roof-lantern or sun tunnel.
    • ◾ hard surfacing? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (9): Hard - surfaced areas.
    • ◾  demolition of a chimney?  No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (14): Demolition or rebuilding of a chimney stack.
    • ◾ demolition and re-building of a chimney? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (14): Demolition or rebuilding of a chimney stack.
    • ◾ removal of a hedge or part of a hedge? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (13): Removal of a hedge.
    • ◾ external insulated render? No, providing you meet all the criteria of the exemption Class 2 (15): Installation of external insulated render system. 
    • ◾ flue to serve a wood burning stove? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next. 
    • ◾ air source heat pump? Yes, please visit the applying for permissions page for details of what to do next.
    • Please note for planning permission not to be necessary the proposed development must meet all the criteria within the relevant exemption, should development not meet one or more of the criteria then planning permission will be required.
      If you are unsure, advice can be obtained from the Planning Service by completing a pre-application enquiry form pdf icon Pre-Application Enquiry Form [743kb]. 

  • Planning Exemptions - residential, non-domestic and agricultural works not requiring planning permission

  • Do I need planning permission for maintenance, repair and minor alterations?

    • There are exemptions in relation to repair and minor alterations please click pdf icon here [345kb] to see the Exemptions Ordinance for Class 5.
    • It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] before you undertake work on site.
    • Planning permission is not required for the maintenance, repair or minor alteration to a dwelling, flat, a building containing flats or non-domestic building or a structure or feature in the curtilage of the building (including Protected Buildings) provided:
      • the work is not exempt under another part of the Exemptions Ordinance.
      • the works do not relate to the painting of a significant part of the building or feature for the first time
      • there is no material effect on the external appearance of the building or structure or other feature as a result of the repainting work undertaken.
  • Do I need planning permission for trees, hedges and earthbanks?

    • Carrying out works to earthbanks, trees or hedges may require an application for planning permission.
    • Trees
    • Some trees are protected by the planning system, and these generally require planning permission before they can be heavily pruned ("lopped or topped") or removed.
    • Detailed information can be found in pdf icon Exemption Ordinance Class 9 - Trees [244kb].
    • 1) Tree Protection Orders (TPOs) may be made, mostly for trees which are under threat from potential development works and protect trees against poor pruning, felling and other damaging activities. pdf icon Tree Protection Orders [961kb] provides further information however if you have further queries please submit an enquiry for pre-application advice.
    • 2) Planning conditions stating that no tree may be "lopped, topped or felled" may be attached to Development Permits and subsequent planning permission is required to carry out such work on the trees that are the subject of the planning condition. Please note that "lopping" and "topping" are generally regarded as synonyms for pollarding, or reducing the height or spread of the crown of a tree but minor pruning such as crown lifting (in accordance with BS 3998 Tree Work - Recommendations) does not require planning permission. No fee is required in these cases as the application is required because of a planning condition.
    • You can find out if a tree is protected using the webmap or by viewing the pdf icon Protected Trees List [65kb].
    • Hedges
    • Since 2009 when the new Law was enacted hedges anywhere in Guernsey, whether or not they can be seen from a public place, require permission to be removed/partly removed (e.g. making a gap in a hedge).
    • However, under Class 1 (23) - Dwelling-houses, Class 2 (13) - flats or building containing flats and Class 4 (10) - Development within the curtilage of a non-domestic building, there is provision to remove a hedge without planning permission, but providing that all necessary criteria within the relevant exemption is met.
    • Ordinary maintenance work such as trimming or restoring an overgrown hedge does not require permission. Planning permission is not required to plant a hedge.
    • Earth banks
    • ◾ Planning permission is required for the removal of an earth bank either in part or in full.
    • ◾ Planning permission is not required for the construction of an earth bank under Class 1 (35) in relation to Dwelling-houses, providing that works accord with all of the relevant criteria of that exemption. However, in all other cases planning permission will be required.
    • pdf icon CN3 Earth Banks in Guernsey [4Mb] provides information on the creation and maintenance of earth banks.
  • Do I need planning permission for artificial grass ?

    • Carrying out works in relation to the use of artificial grass may require an application for planing permission.
    • Please refer to more information by clicking on this link: pdf icon FAQ Artificial Grass [114kb]
  • Do I need planning permission for signs and adverts?

    • Some signs can be installed without requiring the specific grant of planning permission.
    • Planning permission will be required in all cases for signs attached to or within the curtilage of Protected Buildings unless the contrary is specifically stated.
    • pdf icon Signs and Adverts FAQs [189kb] - contains information regarding signs and adverts.
    • It is recommended you submit a pdf icon planning pre-application enquiry [743kb] before installing or making a formal planning application for a sign. If you are not the owner of the property or land please ensure you have owner's authority and please submit the completed and signed pdf icon Owners Declaration [255kb] with your enquiry.
    • Please click pdf icon here [1Mb] to see the Exemptions Ordinance for Class 10 - Signs, adverts and Temporary Art Installations.
    • Signs that can be erected without the specific grant of planning permission:
       
      • Contractors signs- see Class 10 (1)
      • Nameplates - see Class 10 (2)
      • Signs for charity and public events- see Class 10 (3)
      • Election signs- see Class 10 (4)
      • Garden produce/Hedge Veg signs- see Class 10 (5)
      • Repainting or replacing an existing sign- see Class 10 (6)
      • Terre a l'amende signs- see Class 10 (7)
      • Heritage signs and interpretation boards -see Class 10 (8)
      • Signs within an existing fascia-see Class 10 (9)
      • Signs applied to a glazed area-see Class 10 (10)
      • Electric charge point signs-see Class 10 (11)
      • Parish signs-see Class 10 (12)
  • Do I need planning permission for a change of planning use?

  • Do I need planning permission for dower units/annexe accommodation?

    • IMPORTANT NOTICE: Please note that the guidance in this section is currently under review. The guidance document  in this section relates to the policies of the superseded Urban Area Plan and Rural Area Plan and may not be relevant or consistent with the policies of the newly adopted Island Development Plan 2016. Please refer to the relevant policies and Annexes of the Island Development Plan 2016 and contact the Planning Service should you require further information before submitting a planning application.
    • pdf icon AN1 Dower Units [624kb] provides advice about the way planning applications for dower units will be considered. A dower unit is normally considered to be part of or an addition to a house used for the accommodation of dependent relatives. It usually takes the form of an extension but may comprise a converted outbuilding. Alternative names include a granny annexe or granny wing.
  • Do I need planning permission for a change of use of visitor accommodation?

    • pdf icon Visitor Accommodation SPG 2016 [293kb]sets out detailed advice and guidance on the land use planning policy approach which is currently taken by the States of Guernsey towards proposals which involve the change of use of existing visitor accommodation be that hotel, guest house, hostel or self-catering accommodation, and relates to the policy position under the Island Development Plan, 2016.
    • However, please click pdf icon here [950kb]  to view Class 12 Visitor accommodation change of use, as provision has been given to allow in certain circumstances temporary change of use to other uses.
  • Do I need planning permission for minor/occasional use as guest accommodation?

    • There is provision for you to operate a bed and breakfast from your home (your permanent residence) without requiring planning permission for a change of use.
    • The primary use of the dwelling should remain as your home and in addition there must not be a material change of use of the property having regard to the number of rooms in use for bed and breakfast purposes and comings and goings associated with this use.
    • For example, one bedroom in a three bedroom dwelling could be used for bed and breakfast accommodation without resulting in a material change of use requiring planning permission. Use of two bedrooms and a separate sitting/dining room for bed and breakfast accommodation would require planning permission as this would amount to a material change of use of the dwelling.
    • Your home (your permanent residence) can be used as a holiday let, for example if you rent your house out when you are on holiday away from the Island (such as Airbnb), for up to a maximum of ten weeks over the course of a single year on the proviso that no single let shall exceed 28 days' duration. For this a short term permit for visitor accommodation is required. A fee is payable and the property will need to follow certain requirements/minimum standards. Find out more here or email: qualitydevelopment@gov.gg.
    • Please note
      • there may be a separate requirement for a Boarding Permit from the Committee for Economic Development and it is recommended you contact them regarding your proposals. To contact the team, please email qualitydevelopment@gov.gg
      • a separate enquiry should also be made to Building Control to ensure compliance with the Building Regulations before the use commences.
  • Do I need planning permission for winter lets?

  • Do I need planning permission for renting out a house or flat?

  • Motorhomes/Caravans and Motorhome/Caravan Permits

    • A motorhome is defined as "a van or truck like vehicle (built on a truck or bus like chassis) and designed to serve as self-contained living quarters for recreational travel or camping".
    • A caravan is defined as "a large enclosed vehicle capable of being pulled by a car and equipped to live in."
    • You may not need permission to keep your motorhome or caravan within your garden or if you are visiting friends or family on Guernsey and wish to park your motorhome or caravan within the garden of their property. It is important, however, that you satisfy all the requirements set out in the pdf icon Class 1 (22) Caravan Exemption [1Mb].
    • Holiday makers with motorhomes can be accommodated at Fauxquets Valley, La Bailloterie, Beaucette Marina and with motorhomes or caravans at Vaugrat campsite.
    • Please note:
    • If you are visiting for any other purpose you should contact the Planning Service for further advice. You can use the form available pdf icon here. [743kb]
    • Our roads are narrow and often have limited access.
    • You may bring a motorhome or caravan to the island only if:
    • a) the motorhome is not more than 9.45m long / the combined length of the towing vehicle and caravan is not more than 12.19m long.
    • b) the motorhome or towing vehicle/caravan is not more than 2.31m wide (excluding mirrors/indicators)
    • c) the motorhome is  booked onto one of the four registered campsites/the caravan is booked into one of the registered campsites.
    • d) you have a motorhome or caravan permit from the campsite operator.  (The ferry operator is unlikely to allow a motorhome or caravan onto a ferry in the absence of a motorhome or caravan permit)
    • In order to monitor demands campsite operators keep a log of motorhomes and caravans including details of visitors, vehicles and length of stay.
    • Before travelling to Guernsey:
    • Contact the campsite of choice to check availability and make a provisional booking
    • Complete the booking with the ferry operator - Please note that different vehicle length limits operate within the Condor fleet. You are advised to check this with the ferry operator before confirming your booking.
    • Confirm the booking with the campsite operator
    • Campsite operator sends two copies of the motorhome/caravan permit (one for you and the other for the ferry operator).
    • The motorhome/caravan permit must be available for inspection at the ferry check-in point and by the Guernsey Border Agency on arrival to Guernsey.
    • The window sticker provided with the motorhome/caravan permit must include the dates for which the permit is valid and be displayed at all times during the stay in Guernsey.
    • The dates for which the motorhome/caravan permit is valid must correspond with your travel dates.
    • Whilst on the Island, motorhomes can be driven on the roads but must display the windscreen sticker and the motorhome must return to the campsite each night.
    • Whilst on the island, caravans are restricted to one journey to the campsite and one journey to the port, following a permitted route only.
    • Visits to the Island by a motorhome/caravan are limited to a maximum period of one month.
  • Planning Duty Officer

    • Please look at the relevent pages on our website for any planning information you may require, should you still wish to speak to the Duty Planner please e-mail planning@gov.gg. or alternatively telephone 01481 226200 between 9am - 4pm Monday to Friday - Your enquiry will then be passed to the duty planning officer and they will contact you directly.
    • Please note:
      • The Duty Planning Officer is able to provide general guidance only and cannot provide site specific advice.
         
      • To discuss an application that you have already submitted please email planning@gov.gg , telephone 01481 226200 (between 9am - 4pm) or contact us. ensuring you quote the application reference.

 

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