Permitted Development for House Extensions

If you’re planning on extending your property, then you may have come to the conclusion that you’re going to need planning consent. However, not all development requires you to have planning permission—you may be able to carry out your extension under national permitted development rights. This means you may be able to extend your home without any planning approval, and no need to rely on the local authority to grant planning permission.

 

Permitted Development For House Extensions

If your extension walls within the national permitted development rights, you are able to carry out building work right away without applying for planning consent.

The planning development rules need to be understood and interpreted correctly to ensure that the building works comply. If the extension does not comply, the local authority could issue an enforcement notice that calls for the extensions demolition.

Confirming that your proposed works are permitted development prior to beginning is in your best interests. You can do this by applying for a lawful development certificate. It isn’t compulsory to gain one of these certificates, but they simply give you confirmation that the work you plan on carrying out does not need planning consent. This certificate will also be required by anyone who may purchase the property in future so that they know the extension is lawful. The process if gaining one of these certificates is similar in nature to making a planning application. Simply use the Planning Portal online and the local authority processes it for you. The local authority have 8 weeks to determine your application. If this is the case, why not just apply for planning?

 

Why Go For Permitted Development Over Planning?

As the timeframes, application forms, and drawings required for a lawful development certificate are similar to planning applications, many wonder why they shouldn’t just apply for planning. The process is different in that the local authority will assess the application against permitted development rights, instead of planning policies. While planning development rights are similar to local planning policy, they are different and separate.

This is an important factor to bear in mind as planning policies are usually subjective, with requirements such as ‘in keeping’ and ‘not detrimental’. Permitted development rights are usually quantifiable with clear and descriptive requirements, like size, height, and volume defined in an easy to understand way. Permitted development is much less open to interpretation and planning policies are more restrictive. You may be able to carry out development that would be restricted by the local planning policy.

For example, the local authority may not want you to build a roof extension the size that you desire, but under permitted development rights, there’s a chance that you can do so if you meet the applicable criteria.

As permitted development has less subjectivity, there is less risk involved in starting the next stage of work. However, if you were to go for a full planning application you would need to wait for a decision before moving on to the next stage of your project. Taking the planning development route can therefore help you to speed things up and get your build on site earlier.

Although many things are possible under permitted development rights, there are also restrictions and conditions that must be followed to be successful. Having an architect go through these with you can help you to better understand what you can and can’t do. Restrictions may exist in certain areas, for example, and for certain types of buildings. Designated areas, listed buildings, and properties where permitted development rights have been withdrawn should be researched and considered. Legal restrictions that are associated with the land may also need to be taken into account.

It’s worth noting that permitted development rights that apply to common projects for houses don’t apply to flats, maisonettes, or other buildings. Commercial properties do have some permitted development rights but they are different in nature to those given to residential dwellings. You also need to consider that a large number of permitted development rights do not apply to listed buildings. Any alterations to listed buildings will require planning permission from the local authority, more often than not. It’s also worth bearing in mind that even where permitted development rights do exist, it could also be necessary to seek listed building consent.

Understanding permitted development rights for house extensions will ensure you can complete your project in keeping with the specific regulations laid out without having to go for full planning permission.

This guide is suitable for anyone requiring consent from the local council to alter a home. It reviews the ins and outs of UK planning and strategies for successfully navigating it, based on our own experience.