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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans for our places and open spaces

Planning Development Services


The principal role of the Planning Development Services team is to determine planning applications.

The service also performs the following statutory functions:

  • Controlling advertisements
  • Protecting Listed buildings, Conservation Areas and trees with Preservation Orders (TPOs)
  • Enforcing against unauthorised development

We aim to provide a planning service which is helpful and accessible to all. A Duty Officer is available every day for general enquiries, however if you would like to speak to a specific Case Officer you must make an appointment as their availability cannot be guaranteed - please contact us with appointment requests.


Do I need planning approval

There are many rules governing whether planning approval is required for a development. Detailed guidance can be found on the Planning Portal website.

You can also download and complete our Planning Permission - Initial Enquiry Form to get an idea if your development ideas will require full planning permission. Please complete the relevant sections and submit to us by post or email

We will then advise if you need to apply for planning permission.

For some relatively small-scale and uncontentious types of home improvement and alteration, Permitted Development Rights for householders remove the need to apply for planning permission. Flats do not benefit from permitted development rights. We have set out below some of the developments that are covered by Permitted Development Rights.

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2015 came into effect on 15 April 2015 and with it a number of new permitted development rights. The new rights include larger rear extensions to houses and the change of use from offices to dwellings. Many of the new rights still require you to submit your plans to the Council in advance – known as prior approval notification and the development must be completed before the 30 May 2019.

The main changes are:

  • Larger rear extensions to dwellings
  • Change of use from office Use Class B1(a) to residential dwelling(s)
  • Change of use of redundant agricultural buildings to a range of other uses
  • Temporary change of use of shops (and other similar commercial premises) to a range of other uses for up to two years Larger extensions to retail, industrial, warehouse or office buildings
  • Greater flexibility in changing between the business use classes for larger buildings

These new rules do not apply within Conservation Areas or where Permitted Developments rights have been removed.

However please contact us if you require additional advice. We provide a one-stop-shop enquiry service which can provide a no-cost informal detailed opinion on your proposed development. This will allow you to assess a development's potential or get advice on whether you need to seek planning approval without having to submit a formal planning application.

You can contact us on or telephone 01642 526022.