Permitted Development

Not all changes or improvements to your home need permission from the planning department. There are many that you can carry out with implied consent, known as Permitted Development. It is well worth being aware of these rights, and recent changes to the rules, if you want to make any significant home improvements. It could save you time and money!

What is Permitted Development?

Permitted Development (PD) grants rights to enable homeowners to undertake certain types of work without the need to apply for planning permission. There are many innovative opportunities whereby PD rights can bring significant benefits to anyone who wants to undertake a project to improve their existing home or is looking to maximise the potential of a new investment.
To take advantage of PD you need to fully understand what is involved and the criteria — as well as stay up to date with all the latest changes.
This implied consent of Permitted Development is granted in the form of General Development Planning Orders (GDPOs) which apply separately to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Do double check with your local authority or get confirmation from a qualified surveyor that your proposed works are classed as Permitted Development before you begin. It may be beneficial to submit a prior notification application.

Do I Have Permitted Development rights?

Most likely yes, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Unfortunately, the slate is not wiped clean when you buy a home — any space added by past owners since 1948 counts towards your Permitted Development allocation.
If your house is located in a Designated Area, such as a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Conservation Area then your Permitted Development rights may be restricted or removed under what is known as an Article 4 direction. This is where rights have been removed in the interest of maintaining the character of the local area. This could also be the case if your property is listed.
Alternatively, if you’re planning to self build a replacement dwelling and your proposed new home is bigger than the existing house on site, then your Permitted Development rights are likely to be restricted or even removed on condition of granting planning permission.
Remember that all Permitted Development requirements apply to the dwelling as it was originally built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948.
PD Rights do not apply to flats or maisonettes due to the impact that any alterations could have on neighbouring properties.

When or why might this apply to you?

Home Extensions

Class A – Extensions (enlargement, improvement or alteration)
You can extend a detached dwelling by 8m to the rear if it’s a Detached House or 6m if it’s Semi-Detached or Terraced. There are height restrictions but they boil down to a single storey extension not being higher than 4m in height to the ridge and 3m to the eaves, and ridge heights of any extension not being higher than the existing property.
Two storey extensions must not be closer than 7m to the rear boundary
It must be built in the same or similar material to the existing dwelling
Extensions must not go forward of the building line of the original dwelling
Side extensions must be single storey, maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half of the original building
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

Loft Conversions

Loft Conversions are permitted without planning if you do not exceed more than 50 Cubic Meters on a Detached House & Semi-Detached House, or 40 Cubic Meters on Terraced & End Of Terrace Houses.
This also includes a hip-to-gable element as long as the maximum cubic meterage is not over the maximum permitted.

Outbuildings

This allows for an outbuilding to be erected within a residential curtilage as long as it is sited behind the principal (often the front) elevation, does not cover more than 50% of the curtilage and is not more than 3m in height (4m for a dual-pitched roof; 2.5m where within 2m of a boundary).

Do I Have Permitted Development rights?

Most likely yes, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Unfortunately, the slate is not wiped clean when you buy a home — any space added by past owners since 1948 counts towards your Permitted Development allocation.
If your house is located in a Designated Area, such as a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Conservation Area then your Permitted Development rights may be restricted or removed under what is known as an Article 4 direction. This is where rights have been removed in the interest of maintaining the character of the local area. This could also be the case if your property is listed.
Alternatively, if you’re planning to self build a replacement dwelling and your proposed new home is bigger than the existing house on site, then your Permitted Development rights are likely to be restricted or even removed on condition of granting planning permission.
Remember that all Permitted Development requirements apply to the dwelling as it was originally built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948.
PD Rights do not apply to flats or maisonettes due to the impact that any alterations could have on neighbouring properties.

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