Not all development in Guernsey requires an application for planning permission. Changes to your home and garden that may not require planning permission are known as 'exemptions'. All exemptions are subject to a number of general rules, which are:

  • The development must be within your domestic curtilage, which is usually your garden area
  • There is a limit on the total area of exempt development which can be permitted within the curtilage of a house. No more than 50% of the curtilage, excluding the ground floor of the house as originally constructed, may be covered
  • All of the conditions of the exemption must be satisfied for the exemption to apply

Exemptions could cover development such as:

  • Externals walls
  • Extensions
  • Re-roofing and roof lights
  • Windows and doors
  • Dormers
  • Porches
  • Satellite dishes
  • Other domestic developments like solar panels, glasshouses and cesspits/soakaways
  • Gates, fences, walls and earth banks
  • Sheds
  • Trees and hedges
  • Hard surfaced areas and timber decking
  • Garages and other domestic outbuildings.

However exemptions do not apply to:

  • A flat or maisonette or a building containing one or more flats or maisonettes, or
  • Any building which was originally constructed, adapted for use or is used, as self-contained self-catering holiday accommodation

Remember planning exemptions do not apply to building regulations, and a separate application for permission under building regulations may be required.

Planning permission will be required in all cases for changes to protected buildings unless the contrary is specifically stated in the exemption.

Finally, bear in mind that there may be conditions of previous permissions that affect exemptions, for example, planning permission for your property may have been granted subject to a condition removing exemption rights for walls, sheds etc. If you suspect your property may be affected by such a condition, you should check your own property records, speak with your property advocate and/or request that the Environment Department checks its records.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.