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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:

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

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.

This advice is informal only and not legally binding and will only be based upon the information you supply. If you want legal certainty that something is permitted development / does not need planning permission prior to any works commencing, we advise you to submit a lawful development certificate application instead (see step 2 above).

If you opt for pre-application advice instead of a lawful development proposed certificate, you may still receive advice from the planning department directing you to submit a subsequent lawful development certificate.

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: