When can you extend without Planning permission

The government is currently undergoing a consultation process to review the permitted development rights to domestic properties. A lot of our clients have heard of Permitted Development but are not totally sure whats actually allowed under this framework and what isnt. Its important to stress that the changes proposed are not definate yet, as mentioned only consultation at present. Below is a guide to what you can currently do under the current rules. Its a very general guide and more advice can be sought from your local planning dept or feel free to contact ourselves.

Back in 2008, the government changed the planning regulations to allow many more household projects to go ahead without the need to apply for planning permission. Then Housing and Planning Minister Caroline Flint said, ‘The new rules will cut out planning permission for about 80,000 households a year…saving as much as £1,000 in some cases.’

Crucially, though, the rules don’t mean that you can just go ahead and extend with impunity. It’s important to follow the guidelines on size, position and design if you don’t want the hassle and expense of applying for planning permission.

Remember, too, that if you live in a listed building, or World Heritage Site, Conservation Area, National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads then your rights are different, so you’ll need to check with your local authority when you’re extending in one of those areas.

The rules apply to houses, so if you live in a flat or maisonette, check out government advice on the government’s planning portal

You can extend without an application for planning permission so long as you don’t cover more than half the area of land around the original house. For planning purposes ‘original house’ means as it was first built, or as it stood at 1 July 1948 if it’s older than that. Don’t forget, too, that any existing extension by the house’s previous owner(s) counts towards the total allowance.

Your extension shouldn’t be forward of the principal elevation of the house, ie the front, but also shouldn’t be forward of the side of the house if this is what fronts the road.

Terraced Houses

A single-storey or more than one storey rear extension can go a maximum of 3m beyond the rear wall of the original house. The maximum height of a single storey extension is 4m.

Loft conversions can have a maximum volume of 40 cubic metres (and any additions by the previous owners count towards this).

Semi-Detached Houses

A single-storey or more than one storey rear extension can go a maximum of 3m beyond the rear wall of the original house. The maximum height of a single storey extension is 4m.

Loft conversions can have a maximum volume of 50 cubic metres (and any additions by the previous owners count towards this).

Detached Houses

A single-storey rear extension can extend go a maximum of 4m beyond the rear wall of the original house; if it’s more than one storey, the maximum is 3m. The maximum height of a single storey extension is 4m.
Loft conversions can have a maximum volume of 50 cubic metres (and any additions by the previous owners count towards this).