Do I need planning permission?

For other important planning pages please click on the related pages link in the Page Contents menu.

Step 1: Check the site is in the Bedford Borough Council area

Check the Bedford parish map (PDF)

Step 2: Are the works permitted development?

Check what is permitted development and what this means on the interactive guides on the planning portal.

See other useful guidance:

For confirmation that something, is or is not, permitted development, you must:

The links above provide the fee details and what needs to be submitted.

Step 3: Finding planning guidance online 

Our How to guides provide assistance with planning matters. For example:

  • how to find use classes of buildings / land
  • how to amend planning applications (Guide 6)
  • discharge conditions
  • how to find applications and documents

Please also see the following pages for:

You may want to appoint a professional (agent) to act on your behalf, this can be anyone that you wish to appoint, for example a builder, architect, planning consultant, loft company or someone familiar with the planning process.

If you choose to use an agent for your planning advice request, then all correspondence and enquiries will be with your agent, so please contact them if you have any queries.

Step 4: submit a planning enquiry for a response from planning

Before completing the form please read this information:

Fees and exemptions list (PDF) - this details how the service operates, the fees and any exemptions.  

Documents to be submitted with the request: You must supply an Ordnance Survey, to scale, location plan with the site outlined in red, this must not be a screenshot, photo or a copy from any website. Planning can only respond based on the information you supply and cannot design the scheme for you, therefore you must provide as much detail as possible such as the parameters of the development, design etc that you want us to consider and advise on. If you are using an agent all correspondence will be with them. To find out more about the planning process please see

Please ensure the description of the development is clear and detailed on the form, failure to do so will result in the request being invalidated. 

Important note: For permitted development queries as explained in Step 2 above, please submit a lawful development certificate. Pre-application advice is informal only, not legally binding and only based on what you have supplied and any responses we make could still advise the submission of a lawful development certificate to provide legal certainty that something is permitted development / does not need planning permission.

  • If development have not been commenced/ carried out you would submit a lawful development proposed certificate (LDP) (form 15) at planning application forms.
  • If development has already taken place or you wish to establish use you cannot submit a PREAPP request, this can only be done via a lawful development existing certificate (LDE) (form 14).

Personal data and release of information: For details on personal data please see the privacy notice on the e-form and the details on Please also note pre-application documentation can be released under EIR and FOI regulations.

Request for pre-application and other planning advice

The e-form will quote the relevant fee, accept payment, and you can attach relevant documentation. 

You can also request a paper form: Request for pre-application advice form (PDF)

Other payment methods:

  • telephone on 01234 718068 during business hours detailed here 
  • cheque to Bedford Borough Council quoting on the back the site address or e-form number provided after you submit.  

Archaeology advice

Minerals and waste pre-application enquiries

The minerals and waste planning service is provided by a team based at Central Bedfordshire Council. All minerals and waste related enquiries should be sent to:

See full details of the charging scheme:

Related pages