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What is a planning application?

Since 1947 the "development" of land has required planning permission. "Development" is defined (in Section 55 of the Planning Act) as "…..   the carrying out of a building, engineering, mining or other operations, in, on, over or under land, or the making of a material change in the use of any buildings or other land." 

For the purposes of this Act "Building operations" include demolition of buildings, rebuilding, structural alterations or additions, and other operations normally undertaken by a person carrying on business as a builder.

Certain "operations" are specifically defined as not involving development of the land: 

  • works for the repair and maintenance of any building, internal works, or works which do not materially affect the external appearance of any building
Certain uses are specifically defined as not involving a "material change" in the use of the land:   
  • the use of land for agriculture does not involve development; the use of two dwellings as one does not involve a material change (but one into two does)

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