When do I need planning permission?

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. Most older houses in the Oakmount Triangle also have 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. The exempt properties are listed on p22 of the management Plan, but are still in the conservation area.

Please note that when asking advice from the council planning department, you must ask specifically for guidance in regard to a conservation area and specifically with article 4(2) protection if it is applicable to your house.

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

We are currently in the process of collating suggested amendments and corrections to the C.A.M.P. in order to make it more accurate, up to date and clear. Some of the more significant changes to planning law relate to Solar installations and Electric Vehicle charging points, see the Microgeneration section below.

Help and advice with Application

From SCC

Pre-planning advice is available from SCC see here.
The fee is £42, but a 50% discount is viable for more limited advice at an early stage.


We are happy to answer any questions or help with applications, please feel free to ask via the contact form or on the community forum. OTRA can only give informal advice, all decisions regarding planning applications set with SCC

Guide to when you may need to apply for planning permission for minor works

Planning permission becomes an issue for homes covered by the Article 4 direction where the proposed works front a highway or open space. Prepared by OTRA for guidance only. Circumstances can vary. Householders should seek advice from the City Council or obtain independent professional advice, especially for corner plots and properties with boundaries on the common.

Planning permission✔︎=Yes
Maintenance & Decoration
Maintenance without changes to materials/appearance - like-for-like*✖︎
Changing wall facing material (e.g. removing or adding rendering, pebbledash, hanging tiles)✔︎
Repainting doors or windows, other joinery & walls already painted.✖︎
Painting of unpainted walls fronting road✔︎
Replacement windows and doors fronting road✔︎
Replacement of gutters/rainwater goods✔︎
➤ Repointing

Appropriate lime mortar should be used for structural as well as for aesthetic reasons.
Paths, drives & hard-standing
Installation or extension of hard-standing for vehicles.✔︎
Provision of new front path or driveway.✔︎
Paving-over/hard-surfacing in front garden
There are rules in regard to drainage. Download guidelines here
Changing paving material, e.g. brick paving?
Paving/paths in back garden✖︎
Gardens, shrubs & trees
Planting of trees or shrubs

➤ Check with Building Control regarding proximity to houses.
Removing/lopping of trees*✔︎
Pruning or removal of shrubs✖︎
Changing garden layout without adding paved area of front garden✖︎
Erection/alteration/removal of sheds or conservatories in rear garden.

➤ Depends on the size and is especially pertinent when neighbours' view or sunlight is affected.
Front garden walls, fences,gates & gateposts
Maintenance without changes to materials/appearance - like-for-like*

➤ See above (pointing)
Removal, alteration or replacement ✔︎
Installation/erection of new✔︎
Maintenance without changes to materials/appearance - like-for-like*

➤ Including painting doors a different colour
Replacement door/s✔︎
Roofs & chimneys
Re-roofing/alterations to roof and eaves.✔︎
Installation of roof lights✔︎
Addition, alteration or removal of chimney✔︎
Installation of solar panels and/or photovoltaic cells

See below
Front porches & verandahs
Erection/alteration/removal ✔︎
Glazing to enclose ✔︎
Satellite dishes & EV charging

Installation/alteration/replacement of satellite dishes?
Electric vehicle charging points

See below

Microgeneration (Solar & EV)

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.

See here for full information

EV Charging: (NB: to be updated on how permitted development relates to Article 4 Direction). Wall mounted points must be less than 0.2 cubic metres, not face onto or be closer than two meters from a highway.

See here for full information (Part 2 D p 25)


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


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

When do I need planning permission?