We answer this question in different ways, depending on whether you wish to alter or extend your home or carry out some other form of development.
Altering or extending your home
The person drawing your plans should be able to advise you on this. However, we recognise that you may also want the security of knowing the Council's position. We offer householders a simplified procedure through our Development Enquiry Form.
There is currently (May 2015) a £60 charge for this service which will tell you if planning permission and building regulation approval are required.
If we answer telling you that planning permission is not required this is an important document that you should keep so that any future enquiries (such as at the time of sale) you can show your solicitor that no consent was necessary for the work you carried out.
If we answer telling you that planning permission is required you will still need to submit an application for which a further fee will be payable. If a planning application is necessary the £60 fee is not refundable.
If we advise that you need building regulations approval, we recommend that you follow this up with North Yorkshire Building Control Partnership because it is legally separate from planning controls.
Other forms of development
For larger or more complex development proposals, you will probably have an agent and they will be able to advise you and liaise with planning officers in the event of any uncertainty about the need for permission.
A formal, legally binding determination of whether or not planning permission is required can be sought by means of an application for a Lawful Development Certificate. Guidance on this can be found on the iApply FAQ or the Planning Portal FAQ.