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Do I need planning permission?

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 legal confirmation that something is permitted development you should:

The links above provide the fee details and what needs to be submitted. If you want informal advice please continue below.

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:

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

For a response from planning please refer to the fees and exemptions list (PDF) and complete the request for pre-application planning advice online below. The e-form will quote the relevant fee, accept payment, and you can attach relevant documentation.

Request for pre-application and other planning advice

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.  

You must supply an Ordnance Survey, to scale, location plan with the site outlined in red. This must not be a screenshot or copy from any website. All other documentation or information to be supplied is detailed on the forms.

For details on personal data please refer to How to Guide 6. page 2 and the privacy notice on the eform. The How to guide also explains when the PREAPP documentation will go into the public realm. 

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:

Requests for temporary extension of construction hours on development sites

On 25 June 2020, the government issued draft guidance on construction site hours and deemed consent.

Local planning authorities are expected to approve requests to extend construction working hours to ensure safe working in line with social distancing guidelines until 9pm, Monday to Saturday, unless there are very compelling reasons against this. This is a temporary measure until 1 April 2021

Bedford Borough Council will consider such requests when made, but applicants will need to provide details of:

  • the planning permission to which the application relates
  • the existing agreed construction working hours
  • details to identify the condition or approved document such as construction management plan which details the working hours
  • the proposed revised construction working hours
  • the date the revised construction working hours should take effect (which must not be earlier than the end of the period of 14 days beginning with the day after that on which the application is sent to the local planning authority)
  • the date on which the application is sent
  • the date on which the revised construction working hours should cease to have effect (no later than 1 April 2021)

To aid swift decision making, applicants should also provide:

  • a short justification on why extended hours are necessary to enable safe working practices on site
  • details of their mitigation plan as set out below.

Note that applications can only be made online.

Please email information to and write ‘changes to site operating hours’ and the original Planning Decision reference number as the subject for the email.

The email will be passed to the relevant planning officer, who will consult immediately with the Environmental Health and Planning Enforcement departments to determine if the request can be agreed.

We aim to determine the request within 14 calendar days and applicants will be notified in writing.