10 Sep 2018 - Self Build, Architects

Planning permission or permitted development?

When do I need planning permission?

If you’re wanting to build something new, make a major change to your building (e.g. building an extension) or change the use of your building, you’ll probably need planning permission. You can find out if your project will need planning permission here. However, there are some instances where you may be able to use your Permitted Development (PD) rights instead, which will save you the hassle of dealing with your local planning department. PD rights give most houses automatic planning consent for a range of alterations, and they still apply within most conservation areas and even to most listed buildings.

Home Extensions

With space being tight for many families across the UK, home extensions are one of the most commonly made changes to properties in the UK and are a great way to maximise living space without having to move house. Although they require a fair amount of money upfront, extensions can be a wise investment and could even pay for themselves when it comes to selling your home. Here we run through the main types of extension, and give you an outline of when you can use Permitted Development:

Rear Extensions
Goes across the full width of the property, out towards the garden. When you can use Permitted Development – For a single-storey, ground-floor extension. On a detached house it can extend up to 4m back from the rear wall, and on a semi-detached or terraced house up to 3m – even in conservation areas. It can have a pitched or flat roof as long as the highest point is no more than 4m from the ground, and the eaves (where the gutter is) are no more than 3m from ground level.

Side Return Extensions 
Makes use of the awkward space at the side of the projection on Victorian and Edwardian terraced homes. Side return extensions can be combined with rear extensions to create wrap-around extensions. When you can use Permitted Development – They can extend as far as half of the width of the original house again. Side extensions under PD can only be single storey and are ruled out completely for houses in conservation areas.

Loft Extensions
When you can use Permitted Development – For loft conversions, planning permission is not usually required. With loft extensions, as long as you stay no higher than the highest part of the roof, the rules allow you to build additional volume.

For a full explanation of what can be achieved under permitted development, visit Planning Portal or RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architecture).    

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