Building a porch onto your property offers heaps of added appeal, from increased security and extra storage space to reduced heat loss and improved aesthetics. A well designed and constructed porch can be an architectural feature all by itself. Such a beneficial home improvement often means people assume they require planning permission to build one, but this is not always the case. In fact, you can build a porch with an area up to 3m² and up to 3m in height before you need to submit a planning application.
To clarify, your proposed porch must satisfy the following rules for the build to be considered a permitted development and, therefore, needs no planning approval before starting works:
The porch footprint (the total floor area it takes up) is no bigger than three square metres when measured externally.
It is located within two metres of your property boundary and road.
Your proposed porch height is less than three metres.
Your property is not listed or within a conservation area.
Even if you feel confident that your porch meets the criteria to be categorised as a permitted development, we always recommend getting a second, official opinion and confirmation from the relevant planning department before any work commences. You will also be able to check that there are no other approvals that need to be obtained for your build prior to investing in a new porch.
When will I need planning permission to build a porch?
If the porch does not satisfy the following rules, it will not comply with your permitted development rights and therefore you will need to seek permission from the local planning department:
- The size of the planned porch is bigger than 3 square metres when measured externally.
- The size of the planned porch is taller than three metres.
- The porch is located within two metres of the property boundary and road.
- The porch is to be built on a listed building or the property sits within a conservation area.
Building a porch on a listed building
If you own a listed building, you will also have to apply for listed building consent, and it is important to do this before you pay out for materials or commence building works. Listed building consent applies to any alterations, demolitions, or extensions that you wish to add or change on any listed building you own. Failure to gain consent is illegal.
Do I need building regulation approval to build a porch on my property?
Planning permission often gets confused with building regulations. However, they are in fact two separate pieces of legislation. Sometimes you may need both, sometimes you may only require one, and sometimes none at all. Building regulations deal mainly with health and safety matters in the interest of the people who will use the building, whereas planning permission deals with the use of the land, the appearance of buildings, landscaping considerations, road access, and the impact that the development may have on its surrounding environment.
A porch will not typically need building regulations approval if it is built at ground level height and its floor area is under three square metres. This is assuming that any glazing or fixed electrical installations already comply with their own sections of the building regulations. You must also ensure that the front external door of your property remains in place and that any disabled access to the property (such as a ramp) is not affected by adding a porch. If those rules are met, you should be exempt from seeking building regulations approval.
Do I need planning permission to build a porch on the side of my house?
If you decide to build a porch on the side of your house, you may also be exempt from submitting plans for approval. In this scenario, the porch would be considered a side extension and, therefore, as long as you meet the criteria for building a side extension, your planned porch may fall under permitted development – your porch would need to be:
- Attached to the house (flats and maisonettes would not qualify).
- Located outside of conservation areas.
- Must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres (if it is an attached house) or by four metres (if it is a detached house).
- Single storey (no more than four metres above ground level).
- No more than half the area of land around the original (as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 if it was built prior to that date).
- No wider than half the width of the original house. If the porch is within two metres of a boundary, maximum eaves height should be no higher than three metres to be permitted development.
As well as satisfying these conditions, you’ll need to notify the local authority of your side extension proposal and formally consult neighbours. If there are objections, the proposal might not be allowed, so it’s wise to seek advice before getting started.
Typically, you will not need planning permission or buildings regulations approval for a porch, but we cannot stress enough how important it is to get advice and official confirmation from the relevant planning department before any work commences. If you risk breaking the rules, the consequences could be both timely and costly.
As professional bespoke joiners, we can design, craft, and install porches for all types and ages of property. We have worked extensively in Georgian, Victorian, and Edwardian homes, as well as some earlier timber-framed 15th and 16th century properties. As such, we have an in-depth understanding of planning regulations and restrictions to share with you. Plus, we are well practiced in working with properties of historical importance, including those in conservation areas and heritage or listed properties.
That said, we are equally comfortable and experienced at designing and installing contemporary joinery for modern buildings. In fact, our experience with all styles of joinery has enabled us to expand our customer base to include West Susses, Kent, Surrey, and London.