Engineering development and planning permission

The term engineering operation covers any construction work which is not a 'building'. It includes other structures, for example, roadways and bridges and also any earth-moving operation, excavation, or permanent changes to any land-form.

Local authorities, the Environment Agency, the utility companies and other public bodies can undertake certain works in relation to engineering development without specific planning permission. In general, planning permissions and consents are required to undertake a range of engineering operations. 

Is permission required?

  • Create or extend a pool You can create or extend a pool in an existing domestic garden without planning permission as it is covered by Permitted Development. For work to outside gardens, permission is required. Please check with a Planning Officer before starting work.
  • Farm reservoirs Most farm reservoirs need a Prior Notification before any work begins. Reservoirs must be demonstrably 'necessary for the purposes of agriculture' and you will need to provide evidence.
  • Slurry tanks or pits If the area is more than 465 square metres, or the facility would be less than 400 metres from another house, then planning permission is required. Outside these criteria, Prior Notification is needed.
  • Create an earth bund or embankment  Permission is normally required, unless it is part of an existing permission or approved landscaping scheme. If the project requires soils to be brought in, then this may also be a 'deposit of waste' and other regulations will also apply.
  • Repair a retaining wall or a mill weir or other existing engineering  Genuine like-for-like repairs should not need planning permission. Any significant changes to materials, for example, changing a stone wall to gabions or changing the profile of a bank, would need planning permission. If the property is listed other requirements may apply.
    Please seek advice in advance of starting work. 

For more information or advice about a proposed project, please contact:

Minerals and waste contact details

For more information or advice contact Rebecca Jenman - Principal planning officer, minerals and waste

Telephone: 01432 261961

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