Extending a home without having to submit a planning application

PUBLISHED: 3rd May 2019

Want to extend your home, or a property that you are planning to buy? Here's how to do it without having to submit a planning application.

Permitted development rights enable homeowners to make certain building works on a property without planning permission from the local council and without approval from a neighbour.

The rules were originally brought in as a temporary measure in 2013, but they have recently been made permanent.

If you are in the process of buying a property (to live in or rent out), this means you have a number of rights to extend or change it after you have completed the purchase.

If your property is semi-detached or terraced, you can add a single-story rear extension of up to six metres. For detached properties, the limit is eight metres. Extensions cannot cover more than half of the land surrounding the original house and materials should be of similar appearance. The rules do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other types of buildings and do not apply to balconies, verandas and platforms (above 30cm).

Before you proceed, it's essential that you check with your local planning authority first. Permitted development rights should provide you with automatic planning permission for:

  • Small extensions
  • Single storey extensions
  • Double storey extensions
  • Demolition
  • Loft conversions (under 40 cubic metres)
  • Garage conversions
  • Basement conversions

 

When might the rights be restricted?

If your property is within a conservation area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Beauty, a World Heritage Site or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission.

 

Planning  dream home? What else can you do to get around the planning laws?

If your property lies within an isolated location and your renovation plans can be considered 'truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture', under paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework, you could get planning permission, where standard permissions would not be granted. A number of spectacular properties have been developed using this clause. But be warned! Planning consent for such projects is hard to achieve and you are best advised to select an architect and planning consultant that has experience of and success with Paragraph 79 projects.

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