Planning Advice

Welcome to our planning advice and enquiries page

Do I need planning permission?

Not all development requires planning permission and can be carried out without any contact with the Planning Authority. This is know as permitted development. The Planning Portal website has a number of areas which include advice and guidance on common household projects that can be done without planning permission. For other types of development advice can also be found on the Planning Portal website.

If you still don't know if you need planning permission, then you can use our permitted development enquiry service . This will allow us to review your proposal, look into the planning history associated with your building/land and offer some informal advice as to whether planning permission is required. Please be aware this advice is not legally binding and there is a charge for this service of £60.

We will do our best to respond to your enquiry within 3 weeks from the date it is received. If we are not able to respond within this timeframe we will contact you to explain the delay and provide you with a revised timeframe for a response.

If a formal response is needed about whether planning permission is required, please submit a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use Application. The application form, information and details of the appropriate fee for an application for a Certificate of Lawful Proposed Use can be found on the Planning Portal website here. .

In some cases where planning permission is not required you may still need building regulations approval.

Pre-Application Advice

Our pre-application service is a service aimed at giving applicants, architects and developers clear advice about whether the Authority would be likely to support a proposal. It is important to note that this service is for the provision of advice - it does not provide any formal approval or refusal and all advice is given without prejudice to any decision the Authority may make on any subsequent application.

Why is pre-application advice helpful?

Open and constructive pre-application discussions are an opportunity for the Authority and applicants to work together. This helps to achieve developments that deliver benefits to the individual, community, environment and the economy.

It can also save time and costs and avoid unnecessary protracted discussions.

Benefits of pre-application enquiries and discussions include:

  • Saving time and resources;
  • Helping raise the quality of development;
  • Speeding up the validation process;
  • Gaining community acceptance through engagement if required;
  • Reducing the number of unsuccessful planning applications;
  • Identifying the need for specialist input earlier;
  • Provide sufficient information to support final application

What does it cost?

Exmoor proposed charging schedule

Do I need Planning Permission?

pre-app householders Including Listed Buildings

All other non major development, Including Listed Buildings

Agricultural development

Major development









What information do I need to provide?

The following information will be required when submitting any enquiry or pre-application request. This ensures that you give us all the information we need.

  • The relevant Pre-application fee (please call 01398 323665 to make a payment);
  • A site location plan, clearly identifying the site in question;
  • A sketch plan showing the proposed development work;
  • Full description of the development proposed; and
  • Photographs of the site if they would help to put the development in context

and if appropriate;

  • A summary of any community/neighbour consultation that has been carried out

Depending on the complexity of the proposal, you may need to provide additional details. However, the more information you can give us initially, the more detailed and comprehensive the response from officers can be.

Pre-Application Advice

If you wish for an officer to give you advice on the likelihood of your development proposals being acceptable, then the easiest way to get advice is to submit your draft proposals in to Exmoor House by post or e-mail them to and officers are happy to then meet in the office or on site as appropriate. Other officers of the National Park Authority, for instance, tree and archaeology officers, can also be contacted with draft proposals that cover their areas of expertise so that they can advise as to whether further information is needed. Planning Officers can also put you in touch with the appropriate Highway Engineers or Environment Agency officers as appropriate to your proposals so that you can have a direct dialogue as needed. If there are queries regarding the level of information that is required with your submission then please contact the Development Control Section of the National Park Authority.

Submitting Applications

We encourage you to submit your application electronically via the national Planning Portal. The Portal assists by providing a structured way to complete the forms, checks the planning fee and allows the completed process to be completed on line (or partially on line if your prefer). The Planning Portal also provides a range of planning and Building Control guidance. The Portal can be accessed here.

Find Planning Advice on ...

Planning Permission - do I need it?

Information to help you decide if you need to make an application or not.

Section 106 Agreements

Planning Obligations (also known as s106 agreements – of the 1990 Town & Country Planning Act) are legal agreements between a planning authority and a developer.

Sustainable Drainage Systems

Sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) are a natural approach to managing drainage in and around properties and other developments.

Affordable Housing

The National Park Authority is committed to working with both communities and individuals to try to meet the local affordable housing needs of Exmoor.

Self-Build housing on Exmoor

In October 2014, Exmoor and Dartmoor National Parks were given the opportunity to lead the way on self-build housing opportunities after being given the green light to proceed as a ‘Right to Build’ Vanguard until 31 March 2015

Listed Buildings

Most people are aware whether or not they live in a listed building, but if there is any doubt it is worth checking before any work or repairs are carried out.

Conservation Areas

Exmoor National Park has 16 Conservation Areas. These are areas designated for their 'special architectural and historic interest.'

Domestic solar pv

All you need to know before thinking about installing domestic solar pv.

Other sources of Planning Advice

Planning Aid England (PAE) provides  free planning advice and support to help individuals and communities engage with the planning system and get involved in planning their local area. This is primarily provided through a website that provides information on all aspects of the planning system and an email advice service offering a limited amount of free, general planning advice. Further information is available via their website