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  • Writer's pictureSam Nolan RIBA Architect

Permanent Changes to Householder Permitted Development Rights

Updated: Jul 21, 2019

If you are looking to add more space or maximise the value of your home a house extension or conversion is a great way to do it. And with recent changes to planning permitted development rights (PD rights) it has never been easier.

In May this year the government announced that previous temporary permitted development rights to allow homeowners to extend their properties without a full planning application (as well as high street conversions to offices and homes) have come into permanent effect.

Under the rules, homeowners can put a single-storey rear extension on their property of up to six metres for terraced or semi-detached homes – or eight metres for detached homes. Over 110,000 extensions have been completed since 2014 under the previously temporary rules. In addition to permitted development rights for extensions there are PD rights for roof extensions, rooflights and re-roofing, porches, garden outbuildings and swimming pools, hard surfacing, chimneys & flues and satellite dishes.

There are some rules and caveats which should be noted: a single storey extension must be of a size less than 50% coverage of the original garden, have a maximum eaves height of 3 meters or lower if within 2 meters of a boundary and have a maximum height of 4 meters. A side extension must not extend beyond a side elevation that fronts a highway or principle elevation and cannot be more than half the width of the original house. No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are allowed under PD rights and the proposed materials must be of a similar appearance to the existing house.

There are some instances where permitted development rights cannot be applied. The property must be a house which is not subject to any significant land or property designations. PD rights would not apply if the property is a listed building or located within the curtilage of a listed building or if the house is located within a designated landscape such as a conservation area, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Park, SSSi etc. Similarly, PD rights can be removed from a property by the local planning authority by an article 4 direction or by a condition on a previous planning permission. If the property has been previously extended that can also have an effect particularity if the new extension would be attached to an existing extension. It must be checked with the local planning authority, an architect or planning professional if PD rights can be applied and then they should be formalised before proceeding with any work.

The process for formalising your permitted development with the local planning authority would be through a neighbour consultation scheme and that would require that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application. This application would require a scaled site location plan showing the location of the property and the local planning authority may also require additional drawings or elevations to show the extension in more detail in order to determine the application. It is important to formalise your extension plans with the local authority to ensure they are carried out lawfully.

If your extension cannot be carried out under permitted development rights do not worry, subject to the right design, siting and considerations of neighbouring properties the process for applying for planning permission for a house extension or conversion is relatively simple in the hands of a qualified professional.

Once you have achieved planning permission for your extension you will require a building control application and approval and there may be other considerations to consider such as party wall issues if you are building close to your neighbour’s house or boundary. It is recommended that any work to your most important asset should be carried out by fully qualified and insured professionals. An architect or other planning professional would be able to guide you through the entire process from inception to completion with relative ease.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like further information on permitted development rights.

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