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Reception is closed, but we are open for business.

Our reception at Bridgwater House is currently closed, but Council services remain operational. You can contact us by calling 0300 303 7800 or by emailing customer.services@sedgemoor.gov.uk

The reception area will reopen to members of the public on Monday 4th October 2021 at 8:45am.

Prior Approvals


A comprehensive list of all Prior Approval is available here, with their associated fees and links to their application forms.

Please read our COVID-19 and Planning webpage


Prior approval means that a developer has to seek approval from the local planning authority (Sedgemoor District Council) that specified elements of the development are acceptable before work can proceed. The matters for prior approval vary depending on the type of development and these are set out in full in the relevant parts in Schedule 2 of the General Permitted Development Order. SDC cannot consider any other matters when determining a prior approval application.

Prior approval is required for some change of use permitted development rights. Certain other types of permitted development including the erection of new agricultural buildings, demolition and the installation of telecommunications equipment also require prior approval. The matters which must be considered by the local planning authority in each type of development are set out in the relevant parts of Schedule 2 to the General Permitted Development Order.

The statutory requirements relating to prior approval are much less prescriptive than those relating to planning applications. This is deliberate, as prior approval is a light-touch process which applies where the principle of the development has already been established. Where no specific procedure is provided in the General Permitted Development Order, local planning authorities have discretion on what processes they put in place.

Please note:

  • Validation requirements for Prior Approval Notifications are set out in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 Part 3 W.
  • Prior Approval application forms must be completed in full and include specific requirements depending on the proposal, relating to flood risk, transport / highways impacts, noise assessments, etc.
  • Development carried out using permitted development rights can be liable to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy charge. For further details please read our Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) pages.

It is recommended that you read our Planning Application Validation webpage before submitting an application.

Sedgemoor District Council welcomes and encourages planning applications submitted electronically.

Submitting an Application 

As a consequence of the restrictions put in place by the Government to deal with the Coronavirus our staff are working remotely. Unfortunately due to constraints of remote working there is approximately a 4 week delay in processing applications. We apologise for any inconvenience this causes but hope you could bear with us given the unprecedented situation.

It will help speed up the determination of your application if you can provide comprehensive photographs of the site with your application.

Direct to Sedgemoor District Council

If you have provided applications or supporting information via post there will be a delay in processing them due to staff working remotely.

Please allow 1 working day for the application to be set-up on our back office system, we will then send a confirmation letter to the Agent (if applicable)/Applicant which will include the Planning Application Number.

  • Payments - you must quote the planning application number when making your payment. We accept payment via the following methods:
    • Cheque - made payable to Sedgemoor District Council
    • BACS - it is strongly advised that you inform us if paying via this method to prevent any delay in connecting your payment to your application (Icon for pdf Sedgemoor District Council Bank Details [292.66KB])
    • Debit/Credit Card (over the phone 0300 303 7805)

Via the Planning Portal

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Prior Approval: Agricultural or Forestry Development

Prior Approval: Agricultural or Forestry Development should be used for proposals to carry out certain agricultural and forestry developments permitted under Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Sch 2, Part 6, Class A/B/E

The relevant forms, as detailed below, should be used for a proposal to carry out certain agricultural and/or forestry developments.

For agricultural units of 5 hectares or more (Class A):

  • Proposed Building form - Erection, significant extension or significant alteration of a building OR; any extension or alteration of a building on Article 2(4) land
  • Proposed Road form - Formation or alteration of a private way
  • Excavation/waste material form - Carrying out of certain excavations and/or deposit of waste materials
  • Fish tank (cage) form - Placing or assembly of a tank (cage) in any waters 

For agricultural units of at least 0.4 hectares but smaller than 5 hectares or more (Class B):

  • Proposed Building form - Extension or alteration of a building on Article 2(4) land.
  • Proposed Road form - Provision, rearrangement or replace of a private way

On land used for the purposes of forestry, including afforestation (Class E):

  • Proposed Building form - Erection, significant extension or significant alteration of a building OR; any extension or alteration of a building on Article 2(4) land
  • Proposed Road form - Formation or alteration of a private way

Anyone proposing to carry out such development must apply to the planning authority in advance for a determination as to whether the authority's prior approval of certain details is required. The local planning authority has 28 days in which to let the applicant know of its decision whether a full application is required or to inform the applicant of its decision to allow or refuse approval. No work should begin before an application is made.

You may find it useful to contact our Planning Duty Officer, who will be able to provide you with informal advice with this type of application.

When making your submission, you will need to include the following:

  • Completed Agricultural Prior Notification Form
  • Fee: £96
  • Location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 with the proposal. For example: agricultural buildings edged in red, and any other land in the same ownership edged in blue

Application Form

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

Validation Checklist 

 

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Prior Approval: Collection Facility for a Shop

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Collection Facility within the Curtilage of a Shop. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 7, Class C.

The provision of a single click and collect facility within the curtilage of a shop, for example, on car parks. One facility per retail premises may be erected. Any buildings will be limited to 4 metres in height and a gross floor space of up to 20 square metres.

The right does not apply in conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites. Nor do they apply to land within the curtilage of Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments, or Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Demolition of Building

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Demolition of Buildings. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Sch 2, Part 11, Class B.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Development for Electronic Communications Network

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Development by or on behalf of an electronic communications code operator for the purpose of the operator's Electronic Communications Network in, on, over or under land controlled by that operator or in accordance with the electronic communications code Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Sch 2, Part 16, Class A

The local planning authority has 56 days in which to let the applicant know of its decision whether a full application is required or to inform the applicant of its decision to allow or refuse approval. If no decision is made in this period consent is deemed granted.

It is often helpful to discuss your proposal with us before you send in your application - this is known as pre-application advice, for further details please see our  Pre-Planning Application Advice  webpage.

When making your submission, you will need to include 2 copies of the following items (unless the application is submitted electronically):

  • Completed Prior Approval Form
  • Fee: £462
  • Location plan at a scale of 1:1250 or 1:2500 with the proposal. For example, the proposed structure edged in red, and any other land in the same ownership edged in blue
  • Block plan at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200, which shows the layout showing the fenced compounds etc, drawn to scale
  • Proposed elevations at a scale of 1:50 or 1:100 showing the mast, antennae, dishes, etc.

Application Form

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

 

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Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension

This notification can be used by a household to notify a local planning authority of the intention to use the permitted development rights to build a single-storey rear extension of greater than four metres up to eight metres for a detached house, and greater than three metres up to six metres for any other type of house outside Article 2(3) land* and sites of special scientific interest. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 1, Class A 

* Land within a National Park, the Broads, an area of outstanding natural beauty, an area designated as a conservation area and land within World Heritage Sites.

If the Prior Approval Procedure is applicable to your proposal:

  • The Council must write to adjoining neighbours.
  • If no objection is received, we can formally confirm that Prior Approval is not required.
  • If an objection is received, we must then assess impact on residential amenity. We then decide whether the proposal can be granted accordingly having taken residential amenity into account.
  • We must assess impact on all neighbours not just those who objected.
  • We can ask for additional information at this stage if necessary.
  • We have a 42 day deadline after which Prior Approval is deemed to be granted.

Application Form

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

Checklists

  • All sections of the Application form completed in full, dated and signed (typed signature if sent electronically).
  • Fee: £96
  • Location Plan
  • Block / Site Plan (existing and proposed)

For other Householder applications please go to our Householder Application page.

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Prior Approval: New Dwellinghouses on Detached Blocks of Flats

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: New dwellinghouses on detached blocks of flats. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 20, Class A

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Roof Mounted Solar PV on Non-Domestic Building

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Installation, Alteration or Replacement of other Solar Photovoltaics (PV) equipment on the Roofs of Non-domestic Buildings.  Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 14, Class J.

The right does not apply in relation to any roof slope which fronts a highway in Conservation Areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites. Nor do they apply to Listed Buildings or on a building within the curtilage of a Listed Building or Scheduled Monuments.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Agriculture to Dwelling

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use of Agricultural Buildings* to Dwellinghouses (Class C3), and for building operations reasonably necessary for the conversion. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class Q.

*Agricultural buildings are permitted to change to C3 use (dwellinghouses) together with some building operations reasonably necessary to facilitate the conversion, subject to meeting certain criteria.  Click here to view the criteria

Development is not permitted where the building is a listed building, the site is or contains a scheduled monument, is located on Article 2 (3) land, or the site is, or forms part of a site of special scientific interest, a safety hazard area or a military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Agriculture to Flexible Commercial Use

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use of Agricultural Buildings to a flexible use within Shops (Class A1), Financial and Professional Services (Class A2), Restaurants and Cafes (Class A3), Business (Class B1), Storage or Distribution (Class B8), Hotels (Class C1) or Assembly and Leisure (Class D2)*. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class R.

*Development is not permitted where the building exceeds 500 square metres or is a listed building or Scheduled Ancient Monument or is or forms part of a safety hazard area or military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Agriculture to School or Nursery

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use of Agricultural Buildings to State-Funded School* or Registered Nursery**. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class S

* "state-funded school" means a school funded wholly or mainly from public funds including an Academy school, and alternative provision Academy or a 16 to 19 Academy established under the Academies Act 2010, or a school maintained by a local authority as defined in section 142(1) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

** "registered nursery" means non-domestic premises in respect of which a person is registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006 to provide early years provision.

Development is not permitted where the combined floor area of building and land ("the site") proposed to change use exceeds 500 square metres. Development is not permitted where the building is a listed building, the site is or contains a scheduled monument, or the site is, or forms part of a site of special scientific interest, a safety hazard area or a military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Amusements/Casinos to Dwellings

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Amusement Arcades/Centres or Casinos (Sui Generis Uses) to Dwellinghouses (Class C3), and for building operations reasonably necessary for the conversion. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class N

Development is not permitted where the combined floor space of the building to the proposed change to dwellinghouses (Use Class C3) exceed 150 square metres. After changing to a residential use, existing permitted development rights for dwellinghouses (Class C3) will not apply.

Development is not permitted in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites, Listed Buildings or land within the curtilage of Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, or in Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Safety Hazard Areas and Military Explosives Storage Areas.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Business/Hotel/etc to School/Nursery

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Business (Class B1), Hotels (Class C1), Residential Institutions (Class C2/C2A) or Assembly and Leisure (Class D2) to State-Funded School* or Registered Nursery**. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class T.

*"state-funded school" means a school funded wholly or mainly from public funds including an Academy school, and alternative provision Academy or a 16 to 19 Academy established under the Academies Act 2010, or a school maintained by a local authority as defined in section 142(1) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

**"registered nursery" means non-domestic premises in respect of which a person is registered under Part 3 of the Childcare Act 2006 to provide early years provision"

This permitted development right is for the use of a building and land within its curtilage as a state-funded school or as a registered nursery and for no other purpose apart from purposes ancillary to those uses. 

Development is not permitted if the building is a listed building (or within the curtilage of a listed building), a scheduled monument (or the site contains one) or the site is, or forms part of a safety hazard area or military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Light Industrial to Dwellinghouses

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Light Industrial (Class B1(c)) to Dwellinghouses (Class C3). Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class PA

Please note: Development will not be permitted if the 'prior approval date' is on or after 1 October 2020.
The 'prior approval date' is the date on which either:
- Prior approval is given or determined to not be required; or
- The 56-day period for determining the application, following the date it was received, expires

Development is not permitted if the gross floor space of the building exceeds 500 square metres.

Development is not permitted where the building is a listed building or is within the curtilage of a listed building, the site is or contains a scheduled monument, in a site of special scientific interest, in a safety hazard area or in a military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Office to Dwellinghouse

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Offices (Class B1(a)) to Dwellinghouses (Class C3). Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class O.

Development consisting of a change of use of a building and any land within its curtilage to a use falling within Class C3 (dwellinghouses) of the Schedule to the Use Classes Order from a use falling within Class B1(a) (offices) of that Schedule. Development is not permitted where the building is on Article 2(5) land, is a Listed Building or is within the curtilage of a listed building or the site is, or contains, a Scheduled Monument, or is or forms part of a safety hazard area or military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

 

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Retail to Assembly/Leisure

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Shops (Class A1), Financial and Professional Services (Class A2), Betting Offices or Pay Day Loan Shops (Sui Generis Uses) to Assembly and Leisure (Class D2). Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class J.

Development is not permitted where the total combined floor space in the building will exceed 200 square metres.

Permitted development rights to convert a D2 premises to a registered nursery or state funded school do not apply to premises that change to D2 use under these rights.

The permitted development right does not apply in conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage sites. Nor do they apply to land within the curtilage of Listed Buildings and land within the curtilage of Listed buildings, Scheduled Monuments, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Safety Hazard Areas or Military Explosives Storage Areas.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

 

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Retail to Restaurant/Café

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Shops (Class A1), Financial and Professional Services (Class A2), Betting Offices, Pay Day Loan Shops or Casinos (Sui Generis Uses) to Restaurants and Cafés (Class A3), and for building or other operations for the provision of facilities for ventilation, extraction and the storage of rubbish. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class C

Development is not permitted where the total combined floor space in the building will exceed 150 square metres.

Premises may revert from Class A3 use to their original use class if that was Class A1 (shops) or Class A2 (financial and professional services) under existing permitted development rights. A planning application will be required for change of use from Class A3 to a betting office or pay day loan shop.

The right does not apply to land within the curtilage of Listed Buildings or Scheduled Monuments, to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Safety Hazard Areas and Military Explosives Storage Areas.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Retail/Takeaway to Dwellinghouse

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Change of Use from Shops (Class A1), Financial and Professional Services (Class A2), Takeaways (Class A5), Betting Offices, Pay Day Loan Shops or Launderettes (Sui Generis Uses); or a Mixed Use combining use as a Dwellinghouse (Class C3) with a Shop (Class A1) or Financial and Professional Service (Class A2), Betting Office, Pay Day Loan Shop or Launderette (Sui Generis Uses); to Dwellinghouses (Class C3), and for building operations reasonably necessary for the conversion. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class M.

Development is not permitted where the cumulative floor space changing use exceeds 150 square metres.

Development is not permitted where the building is in a conservation area; in an area of outstanding natural beauty; a listed building, or is a scheduled monument, or where the building is located on Article 2(3) land, in a site of special scientific interest, in a safety hazard area or in a military explosives storage area.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Change of Use - Retail/Takeaway to Offices

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed Change of Use from Shops (Class A1), Professional and Financial Services (Class A2), Takeaways (Class A5), Betting Offices, Pay Day Loan Shops or Launderettes to Offices (Class B1a). Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 3, Class JA.

Development is not permitted if the total combined floor space in the building (previously and in this proposal) changed under this permitted development right exceed 500 square metres.

Development is not permitted if any of the land, site or building is:

  • in a conservation area;
  • in an area of outstanding natural beauty;
  • in an area specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside;
  • in the Broads;
  • in a National Park;
  • in a World Heritage Site;
  • in a site of special scientific interest;
  • in a safety hazard area;
  • in a military explosives area;
  • a scheduled monument (or the site contains one);
  • a listed building (or within the curtilage of a listed building)

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Temporary School on Previously Vacant Commercial

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Provision of Temporary School Buildings on Vacant Commercial Land and the use of that land as a State-funded School* for up to 3 Academic Years**. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 4, Class CA

*"state-funded school" means a school funded wholly or mainly from public funds including an Academy school, and alternative provision Academy or a 16 to 19 Academy established under the Academies Act 2010, or a school maintained by a local authority as defined in section 142(1) of the School Standards and Framework Act 1998.

**"academic year" means any period beginning with 1st August and ending with the next 31st July. The site must be approved for use as a state-funded school by the relevant Minister (Secretary of State with policy responsibility for schools).

Development is not permitted if:

  • new buildings provided would cover more than 50% of the total area of the site;
  • the total floor space of the new buildings provided would exceed 2,500 square metres;
  • the land was last used more than 10 years before the date on which the developer applies for prior approval;
  • development is not permitted if the site forms part of a site of special scientific interest, a safety hazard area, a military explosives storage area;
  • where any land adjacent to the site has a residential use (any use under Use Class C), any part of any temporary building provided is within 5 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of that residential land;
  • the height of any new building provided would exceed 7 metres

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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Prior Approval: Temporary Use for Commercial Film-Making

Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed: Temporary Use of Buildings or Land for the purpose of Commercial Film-Making and provision of Temporary Structures, Works, Plant or Machinery required in connection with that use. Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (as amended) - Schedule 2, Part 4, Class E.

Development is not permitted on land which is more than 1.5 hectares (15,000 square metres) or for overnight accommodation.

To be eligible for this permitted development right, the proposed use for the purpose of commercial film-making must be temporary, not exceeding 9 months in any 27 month period.

The right does not apply in conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Broads and World Heritage Sites. Nor does it apply to Listed Buildings or land within the curtilage of Listed Buildings, Scheduled Monuments, to Sites of Special Scientific Interest, Safety Hazard Areas or Military Explosives Storage Areas.

We welcome and encourage applications submitted electronically.

Guidance Notes

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