Last edited 08 Dec 2020

Self-build home: Submit a planning application

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Depending on the procurement route that has been adopted, activities in this stage may be carried out by the self builder, their consultants, a design and build contractor or a kit house supplier.

Before construction can begin, it is necessary to obtain planning permission. Many clients will be unwilling to commit to paying fees for detailed design until they have received planning permission, and on particularly high-risk projects, the client may wish to obtain outline planning permission before they committ to any significant expenditure.


An application for planning permission may be a detailed planning application, or if there was already an outline planning permission for the site, may be a reserved matters application for the details of the design.

Before making a planning application it is important to contact the local planning authority:

Records should be kept of all communications with the local planning authority.

For information about what might be required as part of a planning application see Detailed planning application. There may be additional requirements for developments in conservation areas, or works to listed buildings.

It is important that the self builder checks a draft planning application before it is submitted to ensure it properly reflects the agreed design and that the proposed project is affordable.

Once an application has been submitted, it may be necessary to respond to questions from the local planning authority and it can be beneficial to make representations to the planning committee. After consideration of comments received, or following the decision (which may include planning conditions or planning obligations), it may be appropriate to submit a revised application, or to lodge a planning appeal.

If the site does not have a postal address, an application to obtain one should be made once planning permission has been granted. Utilities companies will be reluctant to connect services without a formal postal address. See applying for new postal addresses for more information.

See also the government guide Better connected: a practical guide to utilities for home builders.

Next stage: Prepare a detailed design.

List of all stages.

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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