Planning Permission

The planning department is not open to visitors due to the fact that staff are continuing to work from home and there is  restricted access to the Council Offices. All applications, documents, comments on applications  and compliance complaints must be submitted electronically. Planning applications need to be made on the planning portal,  CIL forms need to be emailed to , comments on applications need to be made on the online by searching for the application and entering a comment  and compliance forms must be made on the online form


Planning Permission

If you wish to build on land, or make alterations to an existing building or structure within the Arun District, you may need planning permission and/or an application under the current building regulations. 

Please view our Online Planning Guide which contains useful information on the planning process.

Please see the Building Control pages for details about your obligations under the current building regulations. The following pages will help you to decide whether planning permission is required, as well as to search for other applications, relating either to your own, or to any other property within the district. If you wish to build or alter a structure within the South Downs National Park area of the Arun district, you will need to apply for permission through the South Downs National Park Authority planning service. Please visit this link on their pages for details about which land falls within the South Downs National Park boundary.

A planning Duty Officer service is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9-12 by telephoning 01903 737756 but this service can only provide very general advice. If  you need specific advice on whether a proposal needs planning permission or whether planning permission is likely to be forthcoming on a proposal you will need to follow the more formal routes listed below.

The organisation Planning Aid also offers a planning advice service for communities and members of the public (not businesses), where 15 minutes of planning advice is offered for free. To contact them please email  or telephone 03301 239 244 (Local call rate from landlines and mobiles). The service operates 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday.


Do I need planning permission?

General advice on whether planning permission is needed for certain household developments can be found on the government’s planning portal. There are also some interactive tools to help: The Interactive House and The Interactive Terrace.

Some works are deemed 'Permitted Development' and can be carried out without making a formal planning application, however, the advice on the portal is very general and care should be exercised. In addition, you should always check the planning history of your property in case any conditions, imposed as a result of previous applications, have removed your 'permitted development' rights. You should also check to see whether your property is a Listed Building, in a Conservation Area, or within an area where there is an Article 4 Direction removing 'permitted development' rights.

If you would like formal confirmation from Arun District Council that planning permission is not required you should make an application for a  Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use or Development. Please also see: Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness Guidance and Certificates of Lawful Development Validation List.pdf [pdf] 96KB . This type of application simply asks the question, "is planning permission is required". If it is not required you will be issued with a certificate confirming this. If planning permission is required, you will then need to continue on to a formal planning application.

For specific types of work please see the 'do you need permission' area of the portal.


How we will deal with your planning application.

The Council has performance targets set by national government on the timescales for the determination of planning applications. These are that 80% of major applications are determined within 13 weeks and 90% of minors and other applications are determined within 8 weeks. Because of these limitations on us, there is a requirement to make timely decisions on planning applications and it is therefore essential that applications contain sufficient information to allow determination. Before making your submission, please ensure that you have viewed the requirements of the Council’s Local Validation Checklist and have taken account of the other requirements of any relevant development plan policies.

Below is how we will deal with your application;

  • Where an applicant has chosen not to submit a pre-application enquiry, the application will be very likely be determined as submitted and the Council will not negotiate.
  • If an application is submitted following a prior pre-application enquiry, and it has not taken our advice, the Council will not negotiate on anything substantive. We will determine the application as submitted.
  • If an application is submitted following a prior pre-application enquiry, and negotiations on minor amendments are required, we will seek those amendments.
  • For Discharge of Condition’s, we will not allow more than one attempt at submitting amended information pursuant to discharging.
  • Where an application is retrospective and it is refused planning permission, we will take formal action immediately after the decision is issued.


Pre-application planning advice

If your proposal does need planning permission you can apply for pre-application advice. This service enables prospective planning applicants to address planning issues prior to the submission of a formal application. This service is only for proposals that require planning permission and does not deal with the question of whether planning permission is required. 

Please note that the application must be submitted together with the correct fee and any appropriate plans of the proposal. Please read guidance notes.pdf[pdf] 89KB before submitting your request.

Pre-application advice form and payment

 Pre Application Fees.pdf [pdf] 114KB

Please note that if the local planning authority receives a request under the Freedom of Information Act or the Environmental Information Regulations, to disclose information relating to pre application enquires, they are required to do so unless the information is deemed as exempt under the act. We can only withhold information if it falls into one of exemptions or exceptions set out in the legislation. If you consider your enquiry to be confidential, please set out the reasons why and for what period any information relating to the enquiry needs to remain confidential. However, whilst we will take account of the information provided, the final decision on whether the information should be withheld remains with the council as it needs to comply with the legislation.


Please find below a list of useful links to external websites. (Arun District Council cannot accept any liability for its accuracy or content.)


West Sussex County Councilcarry out strategic planning functions across the County, and deal with minerals and waste issues and highways.

The Planning Portal provides advice on planning issues - including the need for planning permission and online application procedures.

The Planning Inspectoratedeal with planning appeals that are lodged by an applicant or agent.


Professional Institutes:

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) are the professional body for town planners.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) are the professional body for surveyors, and are concerned with all land, property and construction works.

The Royal Institute of British Architects(RIBA) are the professional body for architects.

The Landscape Institute is a Chartered Institute in the U.K. for Landscape Architects that incorporates various agencies working towards conserving and enhancing the environment.


Government Departments/Legislation:

The Ministry of Communities and Local Governmentis responsible for planning at a national level.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) is concerned with sustainability issues and improving the environment.

The Department for Transport is responsible solely for transport issues. provides access to legislation.

The Party Wall Act provides legislation pertaining to works to party walls.


Urban Design:

The Urban Design Group brings together the decision making, creation and use of the urban environment.


Protection of the Environment:

The Environment Agency(EA) is responsible for protecting and improving the environment and ensuring its long term future.

Natural England brings together English Nature, The Countryside Agency and the Rural Development Service to conserve and enhance the natural environment.

English Heritagepromotes England's spectacular historic environment and is responsible for the administration of Listed Buildings.

The Council for the Protection of Rural England (CPRE) is a national organisation committed to protecting the countryside.



British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) is a U.K. charity working with people to bring about positive environmental change.