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Householder and Small Business Planning Advice

For householder and small business enquiries, we offer 15 minutes of free advice and guidance with a planning officer. They can assist with: 

  • The early stages of your planning application (typically before having had plans drawn up) 
  • Questions about a particular aspect of planning, including queries related to permitted development. 

Appointments for our Householder and Small Business Planning Advice are limited and typically fill up quickly. To find answers to many common questions that may result in you not needing to make an appointment, please visit the Common Projects page on the Planning Portal which has information on over 50 typical homeowner building projects. 

Please do not use the appointment to discuss multiple queries at the same or different locations – to keep the appointment to 15 minutes, the officer will only deal with the query entered when booking the appointment. 

This service can be used for:  

  • Simple extensions (typically these would be of single storey or no bigger than 40m2. For larger, more complex or multiple extensions at the same property, please use our Pre-application advice service.
  • Construction of new garages or outbuildings, or conversions of existing garages or outbuildings. 
  • Construction of the following: 
    • conservatory or porches 
    • private swimming pool 
    • dormer window(s) 
    • roof alterations 
    • solar panels and other renewable energy measures such as air source heat pumps 
    • cycle shelters 
  • Queries over garden or boundary walls and fences.
  • Conditions that have been attached to a householder planning permission. 
  • Advice on old planning applications or permitted development (including properties in conservation areas).
  • For small businesses, you can use the Householder and Small Business Planning Advice for business development queries, including a change of use or extension for business premises up to 100m2. For larger businesses, please use our Pre-application advice service.
  • For any alterations or extensions to a Council-owned property, including garden or boundary walls or fences, you will first need permission from either South Cambridgeshire District Council Housing our Cambridge City Housing before contacting the Householder and Small Business Planning Advice service. 

This service should not be used for the following: 

Please note that the Planning Officer cannot: 

  • Provide an opinion on whether planning permission would or would not be granted 
  • Discuss the technical merits of applications, refusals or appeals 
  • Agree to any minor amendments to planning permissions 
  • Discuss enforcement enquiries 
  • Deal with the discharge of any planning conditions on a decision notice 
  • Take payment for any planning service 
  • Provide any written response or documentation 

Any advice provided is informal and provided in good faith, based on the information and evidence made available at the time. Such advice is the individual opinion of the Officer and is not a formal decision of the Greater Cambridge Shared Planning service. 

Book an appointment

If you're based in South Cambridgeshire, please phone the contact centre on 01954 713000  to book an appointment.

If you're based in Cambridge City, please phone the contact centre on 01223 457000  to book an appointment.