What Can I Do to My House Without Applying for Planning Permission?

Unless your house is Listed, or you live in a designated area such as a National Park or Conservation Area, you can conduct certain types of building works, extensions, or alterations without requiring a Planning Permission. These permissions are known collectively as Permitted Development Rights.

The main Permitted Development Rights include:

  • Building an additional storey onto your house.
  • Converting an existing cellar or basement to provide living accommodation.
  • Replacing ceilings or floors.
  • Building a small rear extension (either single storey or double storey).
  • Building a small single storey side extension.
  • Converting your loft to provide living space.
  • Converting your garage to provide living space.

In this short article we will be taking a closer look at the conditions of Permitted Development Rights for extensions:


Permitted Development Rights for All Extensions

  • Up to half the area of land around the “original house” can be covered by extensions or other buildings.
  • An extension cannot be higher than the apex or ridge of the existing roof, or higher at the eaves than the existing eaves.
  • Where the extension comes within two metres of the boundary the height at the eaves cannot exceed three metres.
  • An extension is not allowed to be built forward of the ‘principal elevation’ or, where it fronts a highway, the ‘side elevation’.
  • The extension cannot have:
    1. verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
    2. television aerials or satellite dishes.
    3. a chimney, external flue or external soil and vent pipe.
    4. any effect or change to the roof of the existing house.
  • The materials used in any exterior work on the extension must be of a match those on the exterior of the existing building or be similar in appearance.

Permitted Development Rights for Side Extensions

If the proposed extension protrudes beyond the ‘side elevation’ of the original house, the extension:

  • Must not be higher than four metres.
  • Must only be a single storey structure.
  • Can only be up-to half the width of the original house.


Permitted Development Rights for Single Storey Extensions

  • Single-storey rear extensions on detached properties must not project more than four meters beyond the rear wall of the original house.
  • Single-storey rear extensions on semi-detached or terrace properties must not project more than three meters beyond the rear wall of the original house.
  • If the Local Planning Authority give ‘Prior Approval’ then it may be possible for an extension to project up to eight metres for a detached house, or six metres for a semi-detached or terrace house.
  • No single-storey rear extension can exceed four metres in height.


Permitted Development Rights for Extensions of More Than One Storey

  • Extensions of more than one storey cannot extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres or be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house.
  • The roof pitch of any extension more than one storey must match the roof of the existing house as far as attainable.
  • Any upper-floor window located on the ‘side elevation’ must contain obscure-glazing and be non-opening.


Certain types of caveats, limitations, and conditions apply to the above Permitted Development Rights. If you would like more information, please contact us on 01327 361664 or alternatively visit www.planningportal.co.uk