Planning Permission


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 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.


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. 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.


Pre-application planning advice

Our pre-application advice 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. 

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.

Please note that the application must be submitted together with the correct fee and any appropriate plans of the proposal. Please read the Pre Application Service Guidance Notes.pdf [pdf] 132KB  before submitting your request. 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.

You can now apply and pay on-line for pre-application advice 

Pre Application Fees.pdf [pdf] 114KB

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


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 Council carry 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 Inspectorate deal 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 Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has replaced The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and is 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.

The Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) provides access to Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO) and delivers a wide range of services and information to the public and government.

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.

Resource for Urban Design Information (RUDI) is a site that offers good practice advice in urban design.


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 Heritage promotes 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.

Radar The Disability Network is a national organisation campaigning for equal rights for disabled people, promoting good practice and legislation.