Changes to permitted development rules

Making changes to your home or extending it would be possible either through permitted development rights or by getting planning permission from your local council’s planning department. The extent and type of changes you could make would depend on a number of factors, such as whether your property is listed, is in a conservation area, has already had an extension in the past, or the size of extension you were seeking to make. The government has announced some changes recently and we explore what they are and how you may benefit from them in this month’s article.

What is permitted development?

Permitted development rights have been granted by Parliament under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. They enable homeowners to perform certain types of work or build extensions of a certain size (in proportion to the size of their property) without requiring formal planning permission. Permitted development rights do not apply to maisonettes or flats, nor are they applicable in commercial buildings where other rules apply. There are restrictions, including on dwellings that are in:

  • A National Park
  • A conservation area
  • An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads
  • A World Heritage Site

What has changed?

The government temporarily allowed permitted development rights to be more extensive as part of a trial to reduce the workload and subsequent timescales required for planning departments to approve planning applications. This change applied to single-storey rear extensions with the trial due to end on May 30, 2019.

However, the government has decided to make the changes permanent, effective immediately. There are still a few things to keep in mind if you are considering a single-storey rear extension, including:

  • Any proposals for such extensions will still be subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. Therefore, you must still notify your local planning authority of the proposed work using a prior approval application form.
  • No more than half the area around the original house can be covered by extensions or additional buildings. The original house is defined as that as first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (in other words, for older properties you must take into account any changes made by previous owners).
  • An extension cannot be higher than the highest point of the roof.
  • A single-storey rear extension cannot extend beyond 8m of the original wall for detached homes, or 6m for other types of properties. As above, the original wall refers to the building as it stood on 1 July 1948.
  • The maximum height of a rear extension is 4m.
  • Building materials must be similar in appearance to those of the original house.

How does the consultation process work?

By submitting a prior approval work request you are notifying the local planning authority of your intention to proceed with an extension. In turn, they will notify your neighbours. Should they raise any concerns then the council will determine the request, considering whether there is likely to be any harm to the character or enjoyment of the area. They do have the power to block the plans if they find that harm is likely.

If you are considering an extension, why not talk to Parsons Joinery? We have the skills, knowledge and experience to help you from design through to completion, including advising on planning requirements. Get in touch by phone on 01273 814870 or by email at – we’d love to help!