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Some customers will receive an error message when registering with Planning Online, or when changing their Planning Online password. The error message appears after clicking the confirmation link sent to them via e-mail. The error can be ignored. It should be possible for all customers to register with Planning Online, log in and e.g. comment on a planning application. It should be possible for all customers to change their Planning Online password and log in using their new password. Torbay Council’s Planning Department has tested this. 

Planning Online’s developers are aware of this issue, which also affects other Planning Department’s web pages.

Please be advised that if you wish to comment on an application, you can do so by any of the following methods: via Planning Online, by email to, or by post to The Planning Department, Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR. If submitting a comment by email or post, please quote the relevant application number.

We have had to change the way that some of our services operate to meet the guidelines set out by the government in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Not all works require planning permission as some works can be undertaken under what are called Permitted Development Rights Opens in a new window. We advise that, before you make a formal application for planning permission, you find out if permission is required. Before applying your options are as follows:

Getting advice

  • Free informal advice about what can changes can be made to your house without needing planning permission (under permitted development rights) is available online from the Government. We also advise that you check what other planning constraints (such as Conservation Areas and local plan policies) might apply to your site as this can affect what permissions you might need.
  • General advice about Building Regulations is available online.

What happens next?

If you know that planning permission is needed:

If you know that planning permission is not needed:

  • You can apply for certification that a development is lawful (and does not require planning permission) through an application for a Certificate of Lawful Development or;
  • Make a start on your development if a later date it becomes apparent that the works undertaken did require planning permission you may find yourself open to planning enforcement action, there may be unforeseen consequences with any insurance policies with your property and may experience difficulty in selling your property.
  • It is important that you contact the Building Control Department even if planning permission is not required you may still need to submit a Building Regulations application.