Making improvements to your home can increase its value and make it more comfortable to live in. Plus, if you choose energy-efficient improvements, you can expect to benefit from lower bills too.

Many exterior home improvements, such as property extensions and certain types of loft conversions require planning permission before they can be carried out, but do you need planning permission for external wall insulation? We outline what you need to know so that you can move forward with confidence.

Do you need planning permission for external wall insulation?

Solid external wall insulation does not count as an enlargement or extension and is considered ‘permitted development’, meaning that planning permission is not usually required to start the work. 

External wall cladding to a single dwelling is also considered permitted development as long as the new cladding is similar in appearance to the existing cladding and structure of the property.

You will still need to have the work carried out by a professional external wall insulation installer and the EWI will need to meet any necessary building regulations.

When might planning permission be required for external wall insulation?

While you don’t usually need planning permission for external wall insulation, there are a few situations where it may apply.

If you live in a conservation area or listed property, then you may need planning permission before you do any external work, even external wall insulation.

Another situation where planning permission may be required, or external wall insulation may be denied, is if the EWI’s addition would cross the boundary line onto a neighbour’s property. It can often be unclear where exactly property lines lie, so you may have to consult with your neighbour to ensure they are happy for the work to go ahead.

Even if your external wall insulation doesn’t cross the property line, but is physically close to another property, it will need to meet building regulations for fire resistance so that, if a fire does occur, it won’t spread.

Can planning permission be approved in a listed or conservation area?

It is difficult to speculate about whether planning permission will be approved in general terms because local authorities often make decisions on a case-by-case basis.

If planning might be a problem for you, such as in a conservation area, there is one aspect that might make your application more likely to be approved. If your property is already rendered, then the finish can be matched when the EWI is installed, meaning you get all the benefits of EWI, but your property will look exactly the same!


The good news is that, in most cases, you do not need planning permission for external wall insulation, but there are situations where it may apply. If you are at all unsure, you should check with your local council and planning authority before you proceed with installing external wall insulation.

If you are ready to have external wall insulation installed at your property, then please get in touch with us – we’ll be happy to help!