When do I need planning permission?


This is purely for unofficial guidance. None of what we can tell you can be taken in any way as permission or authority to carry out works. OTRA cannot be held liable for any work you may carry out based solely on the information on this page. If in any doubt at all you can contact us for informal but non-legally binding advice, but for official advice and permisson contact Southampton City Council. This is an introductory guide and is not a definitive source of legal information.

This can not be assumed to be a comprehensive list or entirely up-to-date and currently accurate. More detailed information about the features which give the triangle its character can be see in the Character Appraisal & Management Plan


In any Conservation Area, special consideration is given to planning applications, and permission has to be obtained before a house can be demolished. The Oakmount Triangle also has Article 4 (2) protection, which means that permission needs to be sought for many minor works which would affect the public’s view of the houses. 

Please note that when asking advice from the council planning department, you must ask specifically for guidance when the conservation area has article 4 protection.

Some benefits:

  • Although this means you may need to apply for planning permission for things that you may not need to in other conservation areas, the good news is that residents in a conservation area may not need to pay the usual fee. (Update needed to confirm if this is still the case)
  • The character is preserved, and so the value of your property will not be reduced by the kind of large developments we have seen in Winn Road and Westwood Road.

General Guidelines

Note that the permissions can apply to anything visible from a road, or public space so do not apply purely to the front of the building.

Planning permission not usually required (general)

  • Repainting doors or window frames. Different colours allowed.
  • Maintenance or repair using like-for-like* materials.
  • Planting of trees (but check with Building Control regarding proximity to houses)
  • Planting, pruning or removal of shrubs
  • Landscaping in back garden

Planning permission not usually required (domestic microgeneration equipment)

  • Installation of electric vehicle charging point. Must not:
    • exceed 0.2 cubic metres
    • face onto or be within 2 metres of a road)

More Information here regarding EV charging and solar panels (download PDF). Note especially the conditions e.g. solar equipment shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building or the amenity of the area.

Planning permission required

  • Changing wall facing material (rendering, pebbledash, hanging tiles)
  • Painting unpainted walls facing the road
  • Replacement windows and doors
  • Replacement of gutters and downpipes
  • Installation or extension of hard-standing for vehicles
  • New front path or driveway
  • Paving over or hard surfacing front garden: note that in the case of impermeable or semipermeable pavings there are rules in regard to drainage. Download guidelines here
  • Removing/lopping of trees*
  • Removing, alteration or replacement of front garden walls, gates, gateposts
  • Installation/erection of new front garden walls, gates, gateposts
  • Replacement, alteration or demolition of garage door/s
  • Replacement roofing, alterations to roof and eaves
  • Installation of roof lights
  • Edition, alteration or removal of chimneys
  • Installation of solar panels or photovoltaic cells
  • Erection, alteration or removal of porches or verandas
  • Glazing to enclose porches or verandas
  • Installation of satellite dishes

Planning permission possibly required

  • Installation of or changes to conservatories, extensions or sheds at rear

Note that several houses have had alterations made before conservation area status (e.g. replacement UPVC windows, guttering etc.) which would not be permitted now.

Like for Like?

* In most cases good like for like materials are still available. All good builders will be able to source either new or reclaimed (imperial size) bricks, tiles etc. When roofs need maintenance, roofers are usually able to carefully remove and replace most of the original tiles. Where a percentage of new tiles need to be used it is advisable to mix them in randomly or use at the back of the house, in order to avoid odd looking new patches.

If in any doubt about like for like materials please contct SCC planning or conservation department.

Trees & Shrubs

See here for more information

We are happy to answer any questions or help with applications, please feel free to ask on the forum.

When do I need planning permission?