Planning Permission Guides: Do I Even Need Planning Permission?

Planning Permission Guides: Do I Even Need Planning Permission?

We all know that extending our home and adding that all important space is much easier and often much cheaper than the hassle of having to move home. You get to choose how you home looks and have the pleasure of enjoying a fresh and modern new look. But if that new look comes at the price of the stress and extra expense of applying for, and potentially not even being granted planning permission you may think twice.

In some circumstances however, planning permission isn’t necessary, so rather than write off the idea of extending your house, it’s worth checking whether planning permission is required, or even changing your plans to fit within the exemptions. We are very pleased to say that if you choose to build your extension within certain limits you can get away without having to apply for planning permission at all. That is great news for anyone who is looking forward to improving their home on a budget and without the potential hassle of applying for permission.

Permitted development

In order to accommodate the numbers of people who want to easily add space to their homes (and no doubt save some money in administering the vast volume of planning applications), the government brought in the concept of permitted development. This allows homeowners to extend their homes without Planning Permission as long as they stay within certain parameters. The rules are as follows:

  • The extension must cover no more than half the land surrounding the original home (as it was first built)
  • The extension must be on the back of the house only or to the side if it cannot be seen from the road
  • The extension cannot be higher than the roof line
  • A single story extension can extend up to 3 metres for a terrace or semi and 4 metres for a detached house. (New rules until 2019 have doubled these figures under the Neighbour Consultation Scheme)
  • The eaves must not extend further than within 2 meters of the boundary
  • Side extensions can only be single storey
  • Two storey extensions cannot be closer to the boundary than seven metres
  • Similar materials should be used
  • You cannot add verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  • Side facing windows should be obscured glass
  • Your home cannot be listed or in a conservation area
  • Your home cannot be a flat or maisonette.

If all of these rules are adhered to, you can build your extension without Planning Permission. You mostly likely still need to adhere to building regulations, to ensure that the extension meets the requirements for that type of build. This will include looking at insulation, footings, window choice, drainage and general construction.

If your extension is any larger than this or it will take up more room than you should have available you will need planning, but this is usually fairly straightforward (if a little time consuming) and you will be able to get your builder or architect to take care of it for you.