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Do you need to apply for a permit or register an exemption?

Find out if you need to apply for a permit or register an exemption

Step one: understand the difference between an exemption and a permit

Exemptions are for activities that don’t need a permit. Many of these need to be registered with us so we know they are taking place. Most exemptions are free.

Standard permits are a set of fixed rules for common activities. If you can meet the requirements you are entitled to have a standard permit. They have fixed charges.

Bespoke permits are written specifically for your activity. They take longer to process than standard permits so they tend to be more expensive.

If you can’t meet the requirements for an exemption or standard permit then you will need to apply for a bespoke permit.

Step two: find out if the activity you plan to carry out is exempt from permitting or needs a permit

We strongly advise you to have a pre-application discussion with us before preparing and submitting an application. This should help you get your permit application right first time and raise issues early, ultimately saving you time and money.

In these discussions we can give you advice on:

  • how to prepare your application
  • what guidance is available
  • what type of information you need to provide to show us that your proposals will protect the environment and will not harm human health

Help with your application

Look at our How to apply for an environmental permit page before you apply, for up-to-date information on the application process.

If you are not already in contact with a local officer please call our Customer Contact Centre on 0300 065 3000. They will put you in touch with someone in your local office. Alternatively you can email us or write to us using the address below.

General enquiries email -
General enquiries number 0300 065 3000


Permit Receipt Centre
Natural Resources Wales
29 Newport Road
Cambria House
CF24 0TP

What we do

It is our responsibility to:

  • assess every application for potential impacts
  • have regard to our aims and legal duties
  • listen to members of the public who may be affected by the proposals

Apply for a permit

To make an application for an environmental permit use the bespoke permit, standard permit, change, transfer and surrender links in the section below.

You will then be able to find out what forms you need to complete and what supporting information you should send us, depending on the type of permit you wish to apply for. Look at our How to apply for an environmental permit page before you apply, for up-to-date information on the application process.

How much will my permit cost?

Our charging scheme for 2016-17 is in place from 1st April 2016 until 31st March 2017. See the link to our charge scheme, below. For bespoke permits, you will need to complete an OPRA profile.

When will I get my permit?

We'll determine your application as soon as is practically possible. If your application for a permit is more complex because of other legislation or planning constraints, or we have particular concerns about the proposal then we may need to agree a different timescale with you.

We have to determine your application within the timescales set out in our Customer charter.

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