Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to extend and improve their homes without having to apply for planning permission.

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If the proportions don’t have enough of an impact to facilitate the need to apply, then it is seen as a permitted development.

Conservatories and Orangeries are likely to fall into this category.

Single storey extensions or larger rear extensions are more likely to be subject to a neighbour consultation scheme.

As homeowners, it’s important to understand how your development might impact neighbours and the wider environment.

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If you are completely new to the concept of permitted development rights , it may be worth visiting the government’s advice on planning practice.

So that you are certain that your proposed development is lawful and doesn’t require planning permission, you can apply for a ‘Lawful Development Certificate’ from the local authority.

Do I have permitted development rights for my proposed development?

It is most likely that if you are looking for a straightforward extension or home improvement, you will be able to carry out the work through proposed development.

If you have recently bought a home, this still applies, because home improvements added past 1948 must apply for the correct planning permission, including permitted development.

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What types of permitted development rights are there?

The rules are segmented into Classes which cover a wide range of developments:

Class A Covers the enlargement, improvement or alteration to a house. Examples of this include rear/side extensions, as well as alteration that are more general such as new windows/doors.

Class B covers any roof which enlarge your house such as loft conversions.

Class C Covers any other alterations to roofs, including re-roofing or roof lights/ window installation.

Class D Covers the installation of a porch outside an external door.

Class E Covers provision of buildings and other developments within the curtilage of the house.

Class F Covers any hard surfaces within the curtilage of the house such as driveways.

Class G Covers the installation, alteration or replace of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe.

Class H Covers the installation, alteration or replacement of microwave antenna such as satellite dishes.

Is Prior Notification and Permitted Development Rights the same thing?

Prior approval and permitted development are not the same thing.

Permitted development is a type of small scale development. A development that should require formal planning permission.

Permitted development will be subject to certain conditions and providing you meet these, you will not need planning permission.

Prior approval is a formal submission to a local planning authority. The purpose is to seek assent that parts of the development are acceptable.

There are different types of prior approval so you will you be asked to submit information on a wide variety of aspects such as:

  • Design / External aesthetics
  • The impacts of the development such as transport
  • Flooding information

This also includes whether or not materials used are appropriate and whether the proposal would correspond with the National Planning Policy Framework. , as well as environmental factors such as contamination, noise or flooding.

Provided you have given all the necessary information, then the prior approval process should be quite straight forward, with decisions being made quite swiftly.

Will I need a Lawful Development Certificate?

If your proposal constitutes Permitted Development and complies with the regulations, no application is required.

However, if you choose not to go down the prior notification process, it is advised that you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Proposed use or Development (otherwise kown as a Lawful Development certificate.)

This will ensure your proposal complies with the regulations, so that you will not inherit complications after construction.

If, once your extension or outbuilding is constructed, the local planning authority determines that the proposal does not comply with permitted development regulations, you may be faced with enforcement action.

This then would normally result in a retrospective application.

If permission is refused there is a chance that any extensions or associated works would be demolished. Considering this, confirmation using the Lawful Development Certificate is recommended.

The legislation is not the easiest to understanding, so it may be worth looking at the Planning Portal, as this is a useful resource which is used to help understand what is covered with these rights.

On the website there is an option for England or Wales, which depends on where your property is locates, so make sure you select the appropriate country for the relevant regulations.

How big can my extension be without paying for Planning Permission?

Under Permitted Development rules, the ‘original’ (As it stood before 1948) rear wall of a detached home can be extended (subject to the neighbour consultation scheme) by up to 8m on depth with a single storey extension.

This is reduced to 6m if you lived in a semi-detached or terraced house.

If your new extension will be within 2m of a boundary, then the height is limited to 3m under Permitted Development. Otherwise, a single storey rear extension must be no higher than 4m.

If you wish to build a two-storey extension (no higher than the house), this development can be up to 3m from the original rear wall, as long as it’s at least 7m from the rear boundary.

It’s also important to note that no extension can project beyond or be added to what is deemed to be the front of the house. Also, a side extension may not exceed more than half your houses width.

Also, except for conservatories, new extensions must be built of materials ‘similar in appearance’ and with the same roof pitch as the main house. While permitted development rules are beneficial, there’s a lot to consider before you start to work.

Is Permitted development right for me?

In order to be classed as permitted development, a proposal must meet all limitations and conditions of each class which is relevant to their development.

Any proposed household development must consider the permitted development rules, in order to decide whether your chosen developments would benefit from permitted development rights, and therefore doesn’t require planning permission.

For example if you wanted a two storey extension at the rear of your house that has a roof, that joins onto the main roof of your original house, the works would have to meet the requirements of both Class A (covering the enlargement of the house) and Class C ( which covers roof alterations) in order to be permitted development.

If the work also includes a dormer window to enlarge roof space, then they would also have to meet the requirements of Class B.Are there any further restrictions on permitted development?An important note to consider is that your local planning authority is allowed to remove permitted development rights in some or all of its areas by issuing what is called Article 4 Direction; Where permitted development rights have been removed , planning application will be need to complete your development.

Before undertaking any development, it is important to check with your local planning authority to check if any permitted development restrictions have been made.

What are the rules of Permitted Development for extensions?

  • You can extend a detached dwelling by 8m to the rear if its single storey or 3m if it’s double storey.
  • Semi-detached and terraced homes can be extended bu up to 6, to the rear of the property if single storey.
  • There are height restrictions, a single storey extension not being higher than 4m in height to the ridge and the eaves, and ridge heights of any extension not being higher than the existing property.
  • Two storey extension must not be closer than 7m to the rear boundary.
  • It must be built in the same or similar material to the existing property
  • Side extensions must be a single storey, with a maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original property.
  • In Designated Areas, side extensions require planning permission and all rear extensions must be single storey.
  • An extension must not result in more than half the garden being covered.
  • You can only do it once and the original building is either as it was on 1st July 1948 or when it was built. In Northern Ireland it is as it was built or as it was on 1st October 1973.
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