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

General guidelines regarding conservation status

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 what may be considered quite 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 in regard to a conservation area with article 4(2) protection.

  • Sadly residents in a conservation area now need to pay the usual householder planning application fee of £206

Planning permission not usually required (general)

  • Repainting doors or window frames. Different colours allowed.
  • Maintenance or repair using like-for-like* materials. Repointing would normally be considered like for like repair – appropriate lime mortar should be used for structural as well as aesthetic reasons.
  • Planting of trees (but check with Building Control regarding proximity to houses due to possible root damage to foundations)
  • Planting, pruning or removal of shrubs
  • Landscaping in back garden

Planning permission required

(Unless considered like for like)

  • Changing wall facing material (removing or adding rendering, pebbledash, hanging tiles).
  • Painting unpainted walls.
  • 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.
  • Erection, alteration or removal of porches or verandas.
  • Glazing to enclose porches or verandas.
  • Installation of satellite dishes.
  • Installation of solar panels or photovoltaic cells *
  • (TBC) Installation of electric vehicle charging points †

* Solar Panels There has been confusion in the past, e.g. with residents being informed that planning permission is not necessary. This is not (or not now) the case. The rules (or application of the rules) regarding Article 4(2) conservation areas, seems to change frequently. Recent communication from SCC implies that permission is required for solar panels on a front roof (or wall) but not necessarily on a side facing roof, even if visible. However there may still be restrictions if there is significant impact on the environment. It may be advisable therefore to get pre-panning advice.

† EV Charging: to be updated on how permitted development relates to Article 4(2). Note there are conditions  for installation of charging points  see here for full information. NB: must be less than 0.2 cubic metres, not face onto or be closer than two meters from a highway.

Planning permission possibly required

  • Installation of, or changes to, conservatories and/or extensions or sheds at rear. This may depend on the size and is especially pertinent when neighbours’ view or sunlight is affected.


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. You cannot assume that because another house has been altered in certain way, that this means you can automatically do the same.

For information about what has or has not been approved (either before or since conservation status) you can use the SCC website advanced search function . Enter Oakmount Triangle in the Conservation Area field of the search form.

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.

Lime mortar is advised to retain the character. It is also advised for structural reasons as modern hard cement mixes can cause issues in combination with older bricks.

Sources for materials

More recommendations gratefully received…

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

Trees & Shrubs

All trees in a conservation area have protection similar to a Tree Preservation Order and it is an offence to fell or prune any tree with a trunk diameter greater than 75 mm at 1.5 m above the ground without giving prior notification to the Council. Presumably shrubs with greater diameter trunks are exempt from this (to be confirmed!)

See here for more information

Help and advice with Application

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

When do I need planning permission?