Permitted development rights can cover everything from minor alterations to extensions and garden buildings. It is always worth applying for permitted development to clear the way for your home extension. Here’s why:
• You may be able to achieve more through permitted development than through planning permission.
• Applying for permitted development can be quicker and cheaper than applying for planning permission.
• Your council cannot attach conditions to permitted development rights, so once granted, no further action is required.
Some home extensions that would be refused by local planning departments may be carried out under the General Permitted Development Order (GDPO). The following alterations could fall within permitted development:
• side extensions visible from the street
• L-shaped loft extensions
• hip-to-gable roof extensions
• rear extensions greater than 3m deep
For example, large single-storey rear extensions falling within permitted development rights are well beyond most council planning guidelines. These extensions could be as deep as 4m for detached houses and 3m for other houses. We base these measurements on the rear elevation of the storey as originally built, or as it stood on 1 July 1948.
Established in 2007 by two Architecture Association graduates, Scenario brings a fresh, contemporary approach to period architecture. We work closely with clients and local authorities to deliver beautiful, functional homes that suit the neighbourhood character and the owners. We’ve developed a deep understanding of the ways in which homeowners engage with their space and refined our methods accordingly. Our bespoke homes and home expansions reflect of the individuals living in them.
Our landmark project Scenario House, shortlisted for the RIBA London Awards in 2018, demonstrates our commitment to period properties and the modern needs of Londoners today. Homeowners seeking permitted development in a conservation area should examine its fresh, customised approach to a typical London heritage home.
Starting your project
Proposals submitted through the new Neighbour Consultation Scheme may receive permission for larger extensions of 8m and 6m for detached and other houses, respectively. The process works as follows:
• The homeowner submits all required drawings and documentation to the council.
• The council notifies adjoining owners or occupiers of the development and starts a 42-day determination period. It also sets out a timeline (a minimum of 21 days) for neighbour objections.
• The council considers all objections raised by adjoining neighbours within the 21-day period, and assesses the impact on the adjoining properties. The council cannot consider objections from third parties.
• The council may refuse an application if the effect on adjoining properties is unacceptable; if the proposal does not comply with the limitations and conditions under permitted development; or if there is insufficient evidence that the proposal complies with these limitations and conditions.
• The council must notify the developer of its decision within the 42-day determination period.
• The council may grant permission unconditionally, or with conditions relating to the impact on any adjoining premises.
• If approval is refused, the householder may appeal.
TipDiscover if your chosen architect has had success steering planning applications through your local council. Visit the “planning applications” page of your council’s website and enter the architect’s name in the search criteria.
AdviceWe have created guides for homeowners to provide additional advice and help with your project. The following eBooks are currently available for you to download:
1. Planning in London and the home counties - A guide for homeowners
2. Self build - A guide to building your own new build home
Your project >> Scenario Architecture
Working with Scenario Architecture on your project
Scenario Architecture is a dynamic studio focused on high-end residential projects in and around London. Our bespoke service handles houses of every scale and complexity: interior alterations, refurbishments, full renovations and new-builds. We collaborate closely with clients from the initial drawings through construction, and always aim to complete on time and on budget.
Scenario is a RIBA Chartered Practice. We comply with the criteria of the Royal Institute of Chartered Architects, covering insurance, health and safety and quality-management systems.
We use innovative 3D design and visualisation tools on all our projects. Our experience shows that real-time visualisations and virtual reality are extremely efficient for simulating natural light and choosing finishes, fixtures and fittings. We also use 3D building information modelling (BIM) technology to produce reliable construction information, so all our data comes from an accurate 3D model. Using this technology collaboratively with consultants and contractors saves our clients time and money.
A Chartered Institute of Building case study featuring a Scenario project demonstrates the great benefits of this advanced technology for domestic architecture.
Additionally, legislation has recently been made permanent that allows larger extensions of 8 and 6 metres for detached and other houses respectively. This is on the proviso that the proposals are put through what is referred to as the Neighbour Consultation Scheme. This process is outlined below.
1. All the required drawings and documentation is submitted to the council
2. The Council will notify the adjoining owners or occupiers of the development and will set out when the application was received and when the 42-day determination period ends. It will also say how long neighbours have to make objections (which will be a minimum of 21 days), and the date by which objections must be received.
3. If any adjoining neighbour raises an objection within the 21-day period, the Council will take this into account and make a decision about whether the impact on the amenity of all adjoining properties is acceptable. The Council is not allowed to consider any other issues or objections from any other third parties.
4. The development may go ahead if no objections are received from adjoining neighbours within the 21-day period and the development complies with all the relevant criteria, or if objections have been received, that following consideration the Council decides that the effect on the amenity of adjoining properties is acceptable.
5. The Council may refuse the application if the proposal does not comply with the limitations and conditions that apply under permitted development or if you have supplied insufficient evidence to establish if the proposal complies with these limitations and conditions.
6. The Council must notify the developer of its decision within the 42-day determination period.
7. The Council may grant permission unconditionally or with conditions relating to the impact of the proposed extension on the amenity of any adjoining premises.
8. If approval is refused, the householder may appeal.
In our clients words
Great ideas and vision to help with our substantial improvement of a Victorian terrace. In our experience Scenario’s method prioritises the final result. That may mean more professional fees or higher quotes from contractors, as they understand the exact requirements.
Great, professional service. Good drawings and models and ultimately passed planning at the first attempt with Hackney Council. Would certainly recommend!
Scenario Architecture have created an outstanding design and space that was beyond my expectations. The design was through their unique process of understanding the client’s daily scenarios and collaborating with the client to come up with a unique design. The design process is one of the most memorable parts of the process and they also stretched my existing ideas to help create this unique space. A stress free journey throughout the whole process which Scenario were indispensable by giving advice on many difficult design and build decisions.
We wanted to renovate our house in a conservation area in central London. Given this involved a complete demolition and new build with an extra floor on top, getting planning approval was always going to be tricky. Scenario did an amazing job on the new house ‘envelope’ and throughout the planning phase. We couldn’t have wished for better from them and having succeeded in gaining planning approval owe them a very big ‘thank you’.
Scenario were great at thinking imaginatively and coming up with a design for a ground floor extension that was more ambitous than other architects we spoke to. They also helped us find a contractor who was able to complete the project working within timescale and our tight budget. I would recommend for mid to large sized projects with sufficient budget to allow for full utilisation of their creativity.
- Collaborative – We start the conversation with planners early and advise most of our clients to seek pre-planning advice prior to submission of a full planning application. Our experience shows that when properly consulted and liaised with, most planning case officers will be receptive to conduct a professional dialogue, increasing chances of successes.
- Strategic – We tailor a custom planning strategy for each project based on its circumstances such as planning history, local context and specific challenging elements. We sometimes split applications or introduce minor tweaks to the scheme during the consideration period in conversation with the officers to prevent one contentious element from jeopardising approval of the main scheme.
- Professional – Our experience shows that the quality and clarity of the submission in terms of background research, planning history of the property and context, precedent and of course the arguments presented to support the case has a tremendous effect on success rate.
- The decision period clock only starts ticking once the application is validated by the Council, This requires then to check that the forms are completed correctly and that the submission contains all the necessary drawings, statements and reports.
- Although required by law to provide a decision within the statutory eight weeks period, it is not uncommon for councils to miss the deadline of the consideration period, normally only by a few days, sometimes longer.
- In some cases the council may ask us as your agent for an extension of time, this may be requested due to internal reasons or as an acceptable result of a professional discussion that we are conducting with them about certain aspects of the application that they are not sure about.
- Our experience shows that planning officers respond better to projects when they feel consulted and collaborated with. We find that when we truly listen to their often helpful and valid feedback and treat them as consultants for the projects and not representative of an evil enforcing authority, they tend to collaborate well with us and demonstrate increased flexibility.
- Although the council in theory have eight weeks to consider your application, in practice they are constantly overloaded. They will only look at your application in the last few days of the consideration period. If this is the first time that they come across a scheme that they were never consulted about, our chance to secure permission for you in a single attempt is significantly compromised.
- The standard practice is for the council to consider the full planning application as submitted and then issue a yes or no decision. Case officers are not required or even encouraged to enter a discussion with us or accept resubmission of minor changes to the proposed scheme during the consideration period.
- Scenario based design – We start each and every project with a meticulous analysis of our client’s vision, requirements and aspirations. We do this by asking our clients to imagine their everyday scenarios living in the completed house and describe their desired interaction with it.
- Uniquely interactive - Our client’s deep involvement in the process does not stop with completion of the brief. Our design meetings are highly interactive, informal and fun.
- Designed to reflect you – Based purely on your lifestyle, aspirations and requirements and free from externally imposed concepts, metaphors and pre-conceptions, a completely fresh and unique design will gradually emerge and it will tell your story not ours.