General Planning Enquiries
- Who deals with planning in the National Park?
The SDNPA has a unique partnership with the local authorities within the National Park.
If you live in:
- Adur and Worthing
- Brighton and Hove
Then the SDNPA is responsible for the planning and enforcement matters within those areas. These are commonly referred to as the Recovered Areas.
You can check if you live in the National Park by following this link.
If you live in one of the following Delegated Areas, you will need to contact your local authority:
- I need to talk to someone, can I get advice over the phone?
We offer general planning advice over the phone or in person via our free to use duty planning officer service.
This service only relates to the areas of the following districts which are within the National Park:
- Adur and Worthing
- Brighton and Hove
If you live in a Delegated Area, you will need to contact the duty planning officer for your area:
There is also assistance and help on the Governments national website called the planning portal:
And they also have an ‘interactive guides’ which may offer assistance.
- How do I find out if something has planning permission?
If you have an address or a planning number (Normally, if it has been deal with by the SDNPA it will look something like this: SDNP/19/00123/FUL), you can access the public access system on the SDNPA website site and enter the details in the search option.
- How do I find out about planning in general?
If you follow the below link to the Planning practice guidance, this will assist.
- Does all building work require planning permission from the SDNPA (Authority)?
All development requires planning permission. It is whether or not it requires formal planning permission also known as ‘Express Permission’ granted by an Local Planning Authority or does it fall into the ‘deemed category’ which is controlled within one of the classes in Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order 2015.
This is the rule book which controls what can and can’t be done without the need for formal or express permission.
There are instances where some work does not need either, however, you are advised to either visit the Planning Portal website for further details
Or we ask that you submit a ‘Do I need planning permission form’ which is free service the SDNPA offer.
The ‘Do I need Planning Permission’ (DINPP) is available to all residents in the SDNPA. Complete the form and if you live in one of the recovered areas then send it to the SDNPA (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if not then your local Authority, for example Chichester.
- Is it unlawful to carry out development without planning permission?
On certain properties, such as listed buildings, it might be a criminal offence to carry out development without planning permission. If the works are considered to be unacceptable by the Authority and the development cannot be dealt with by the means of a retrospective planning application or one is refused, then the Authority may take formal action.
This could result in the development being changed or completely removed. Some unauthorised developments which include, listed buildings, unauthorised advertisements, and works to trees are criminal offences and may result in prosecution by the Authority if considered to be harmful, unacceptable or it is expedient and in the public interest to pursue.
- Is the Authority required to take action to change or remove unauthorised developments whenever they are identified?
The Authority has to establish:
- Has a breach occurred?
- Do the works require planning permission?
- Whether the works are demonstrably harmful in terms of their visual, aural or amenity harm?
- Whether they comply with the Authority’s adopted planning policies?
- Is expedient to do so.
This would be done on a case by case basis.
- Is there a time limit on when the Authority is able to take action against unauthorised development?
The Authority has 4 years to take action if considered necessary against unauthorised development, and 10 years in respect of material change of use of land and failure to comply with a condition attached to a planning permission.
However, when it comes to listed buildings, there is no time limit for enforcement.
There are other time limits and it is wise to seek advice from your Local Planning Authority.
If you have any further questions regarding time frames please consult the SDNPA Enforcement Guide for a more detailed answer.
- Can the Authority enforce convenants and similar restrictions on title deeds of property or take these into account in deciding whether to take planning enforcement action?
These are entirely civil law matters and the Authority cannot deal with this type of matter.
- Is the Party Wall Act, if it applies, taken into account in planning enforcement investigations?
This is civil legislation and cannot be enforced or taken into account, by the Authority in carrying out planning compliance investigations. If you have reason to consider that a neighbour has failed to comply with any of the provisions of this legislation then you may need to consult a solicitor to assist you further with this.
- Is it an offence to fail to comply with a planning condition that has been attached to a planning permission?
In genera, it is not illegal but applicants should take care to comply with all conditions attached to their planning permission as the Authority can serve either a breach of condition notice or a breach of condition enforcement notice which if not complied with can result in prosecution.
If the condition is considered to go to the heart of the permission, for example a land contamination condition and it is not discharged, it can invalidate the permission and unauthorised development will have occurred.
Care should be taken and time should be considered when constructing a time frame for the development and ensuring all required conditions are discharged before the development begins.
The exception to this is listed buildings. Where works are preceding without conditions discharged, may constitute a criminal act.
- Can the National Park take action against work which is subjected to encroach upon a neighbour’s property?
The National Park cannot arbitrate over the precise position of boundaries, and neither can it take action simply because works are considered to extend beyond the property boundary. This is a civil law issue.