What Planning Permission Hotels Need In Order To Make Changes in The UK

By January 10, 2024Blog

In the United Kingdom, obtaining planning permission for hotels to make changes or alterations to their properties is a crucial and complex process governed by a set of regulations and guidelines. Planning permission is a formal approval from the local planning authority, which is usually the local council, allowing the hotel to carry out specific developments or changes to its premises. The purpose of this regulatory framework is to ensure that development is carried out in a way that is consistent with local planning policies, promotes sustainable growth, and minimises adverse impacts on the surrounding environment.

Types of change that require planning permission

Hotels seeking to make changes, whether they involve extensions, alterations, loft conversions or other modifications, must adhere to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 and subsequent amendments. The act sets out the legal requirements and procedures for obtaining planning permission. The specific details of planning permission requirements can vary depending on the nature and scale of the proposed changes, as well as the local planning policies in place.

Impact to the local environment

One of the key considerations for hotels is the impact of their proposed changes on the local environment. Local planning authorities assess applications based on factors such as the scale, design, and appearance of the development. Hotels in Hertfordshire, London or anywhere in the country often need to submit detailed plans and drawings to illustrate how the proposed changes will integrate with the existing surroundings and comply with local architectural standards.


planning permission environment

Hotels have to consider their impact on the enviroment when making changes


Traffic and parking

In addition to the visual impact, hotels must also address issues related to traffic and parking. An increase in the number of rooms, facilities, or events may lead to higher levels of traffic, and hotels need to demonstrate that they have adequate parking provisions to accommodate guests and staff. Traffic management plans and assessments may be required to evaluate the potential impact on local roads and transportation infrastructure.


Hotel owners must makes sure that they continue to have hotel insurance for when the works are taking place. This is key, especially if you continue to operate when the planning permission is taking place.

Impact on nearby residences

Hotels must also consider the potential impact on nearby residential properties. Noise, increased activity, and changes in the use of space can affect the quality of life for local residents. As a result, hotels may need to submit noise impact assessments and demonstrate measures to mitigate potential disturbances. These could include soundproofing, restrictions on outdoor events, or specific operational guidelines.


Sustainability is an increasingly important factor in planning permission considerations. Hotels are encouraged to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their developments, such as energy-efficient design, waste reduction measures, and green spaces. Local authorities may prioritise applications that align with broader sustainability goals and policies.

Community engagement

Community engagement is another crucial aspect of the planning permission process. Hotels are often required to consult with local residents, businesses, and community groups to gather feedback on their proposals. This engagement allows the local community to express concerns, provide input, and, in some cases, negotiate changes to the plans to address specific issues.

The planning permission process in the UK typically involves submitting a comprehensive application to the local planning authority. This application is then subject to a public consultation period, during which interested parties can comment on the proposals. The local planning authority will consider these comments, along with relevant policies and guidelines, before making a decision on whether to grant planning permission.

Failure to obtain planning permission before making significant changes to a hotel property can result in enforcement action, including fines and the requirement to undo the unauthorized work. Therefore, hotels in the UK must carefully navigate the planning permission process to ensure compliance with regulations and to create developments that contribute positively to the local community and environment.