Since lockdown, my husband and I have discovered a love for our garden. Now that building work can start again, we would like to install a hot tub and shower. Do we need planning permission?

You may do. It will depend on what you are intending to build and whether it counts as "development" in the legal sense. There are some things that are covered under "permitted development rights", which are effectively granted automatically. But if your property is listed, there will be further hoops to jump through. Essentially, it will come down to three tests: permanence, physical attachment to the ground and size.

Alex Ground answers readers' questions on property and planning law in the property column of the Financial Times. 

The article is available to read on the Financial Times website via subscription. 

Alex is a partner in the real estate team. She advises on all aspects of planning, highways and compulsory purchase including planning applications, appeals, negotiating s106 agreements, challenges and enforcement.