Planning Permission

In most cases you will not need to apply for planning permission to knock down a building, unless the council has made an article 4 direction restricting the permitted development rights that apply to demolition.

If you decide to demolish a building, even one which has suffered fire or storm damage, it does not automatically follow that you will get planning permission to build any replacement structure or to change the use of the site.

Where demolition of any kind of building is proposed, the council may wish to agree the details of how you intend to carry out the demolition and how you propose to restore the site afterwards.

You will need to apply for a formal decision on whether the council wishes to approve these details before you start demolition. This is what is called a “prior approval application” and your council will be able to explain what it involves.

Listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas.

You do not normally need to make a planning application to demolish a listed building but you may need listed building consent. If the building is in a conservation area you may need planning permission for relevant demolition in a conservation area.

You should discuss this with your local planning authority before you take any decision to demolish such buildings, to avoid the risk of legal action being taken against you.

Read more about permitted development rules.

Building Regulations

Demolition is dealt with under the Building Act 1984. Generally, it requires six weeks prior notice to be given to the Local Authority Building Control before demolition begins.

The Local Authority Building Control may decide to issue a notice within six weeks on receipt of the notification to specify conditions that need to be met which may include precautions to protect adjoining properties and the public.

Demolition work must also comply with the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2007 and a health and safety plan produced by the principal contractor

Building Regulations relating to site preparation and resistance to contaminants and moisture will need to be met once the preparation work starts on the site.

Please contact local authority Building Control for further advice.


This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information. Read the full disclaimer here.

This guidance relates to the planning regime for England. Policy in Wales may differ. If in doubt contact your Local Planning Authority.