Planning permission and advice

Many simple building projects don’t need planning permission. But you do need permission for most new buildings, and for various other projects.

You should always find out if your project needs planning permission before you apply for building regulation approval or make arrangements with a builder.

Check your local planning authority

There are two planning authorities for East Hampshire. We cover one third of the area, the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) which stretches from Eastbourne to Winchester covers the rest.

You can check the South Downs National Park website to see if you live in the area.

East Hants

South Downs National Park

Officers at EHDC will process your claim on behalf of the South Downs National Park, but it is important you know if your claim is inside or outside the park because their pre-application advices fees and local requirements policies are different.

Pre-application advice

Getting the right advice before you apply will make the application process quicker and easier. Find out about our pre-application planning advice service.

Submitting your planning application

The easiest way to submit your planning application is through the government’s Planning Portal. The Planning Portal tells you which form you should fill in for your project, and what supporting documents you will need. For more information, please visit our submit a planning application page.

Plans, documents and Ordnance Survey copyright

The most common reason for rejection of planning applications is that plans are not drawn up correctly. The easiest way to make sure they meet requirements is to get them from approved suppliers on the Planning Portal.

Ordnance Survey copyright

Site location and block plans submitted with planning applications must be accurately drawn. Copyright legislation allows us to only accept plans which are based either on a site survey or which use Ordnance Survey information.

Site survey plans drawn by a surveyor must carry a statement to that effect and confirming that Ordnance Survey information has not been used.

License to use Ordnance Survey information

Ordnance Survey plans submitted with planning applications must bear a valid license number from Ordnance Survey which allows the applicant/agent to use that information.

If they don't your application will not be accepted by the council, which will delay your application until the information is received.

You should also be aware that illegal use of Ordnance Survey information can lead to legal proceedings and a fine.

You can get licensed plans from Ordnance Survey or their authorised suppliers. If you need any help or have any questions, please contact: or call 08456 050505.

The decision process

We will inspect the site and consult anyone who might want to give an opinion, such as neighbours and the parish council.

We will also consider other things, such as:

  • Local development policies like the local plan
  • National planning legislation 
  • Flood risk areas
  • Our natural and built heritage.

Around 80% of planning decisions are straightforward and are made at officer level. More complex decisions are made by the planning committee which meets every three weeks.

Most planning applications are decided within 8 weeks. For large or complex projects, the time limit is extended to 13 weeks. We will do our best to help you make any necessary changes so that your application can be decided within these times.

Our decision

We will send the official decision notice to you, or your agent, by email. If your plan is approved, it’s very important that you read the decision notice carefully. It may set out conditions for your project, and you should clarify any points you are unsure about.

If your plan is refused, you have two options:

  • Investigate if it is possible to modify your plan to overcome the problem – you may need professional advice to do this 
  • Appeal against our decision.