What Can You Build Without Planning Permission?

Planning permission is the legal authorisation for you to build or build upon a property. If you’re planning on remodelling, renovating or adding an extension to your property you may or may not need planning permission; depending on what you aim to do. Many projects can be completed without planning permission under what is known as permitted development rights.

Nevertheless, building regulation is almost always required, even if the building work is classified as a permitted development.

Local Planning Authorities

Remember though, some permitted development rights are not fixed and local planning authorities have the power to remove them from your area. Therefore, it is always advisable to contact your local planning authority for guidance first before you begin any work. It is also recommended that you obtain written evidence that you are exempt.

Permitted Development Exceptions

The following list of projects may fall under the category of permitted developments:

  • Household extensions (not flats or apartments)
  • Loft conversions
  • Doors and window renovation
  • Solar panels and wind turbines
  • Garden structures
  • Building a garage
  • Gates, walls and fences
  • Minor home improvements

Permitted Development for Extensions

Planning permission is not required in most cases for general extensions that reach up to 15% of the property’s original size. The maximum size you can add is 112 cubic metres; any more than this will usually require planning permission. See below for more information on particular properties:

  • Terraced houses –up to 10% increase in size.
  • One storey extensions – Cannot be higher than 4 metres or 3 metres for a flat roof.
  • Two storey extensions – You can build up to the existing floor level.

At all times your extension must not be higher than the highest part of the roof. Extensions to the side of the property may only be one storey, with a maximum height of 4 metres and a width no more than 50% of the property’s size. In most cases, to avoid planning permission, your extensions should not include balconies or raised platforms. Lastly, your extension should take up no more than 50% of the area of land around the property.

Increased Extension Sizes to May 2019

Between May 2013 and May 2019, you can build certain one storey extensions without the need for planning permission. These include:

  • Detached properties – usually the allowance is up to 4 metres beyond the back wall – now you can double this to 8 metres.
  • All other properties – usually the allowance is up to 3 metres beyond the back wall – now you can double this to 6 metres.

Still Unsure Whether You Need Planning Permission?

If your plans do not comply with any of the permitted development criteria, you will indeed need to apply for planning permission. Ultimately, as the owner of a property, it is your responsibility to comply with planning rules and building regulations. Failure to comply will result in remedial action against the owner, which could go as far as demolition.

It is highly recommended you seek general advice from your local planning authority and from the people responsible for building your extension prior to the project commencing. If you are still unsure whether you need planning permission for your extension project plans, contact our team today on 01172 591122 for more information.

Posted May 18, 2016