What is permitted development in the UK?

If you live in the UK and you are wondering whether your planned renovations or home improvements fall under permitted development, you have come to the right place, keep reading!

Permitted development rights grant permission to homeowners in the UK to do certain types of work to their properties without needing to apply for planning permission. These rights include home improvement and home extensions.

Recent changes

The last two years have seen quite significant change around the rules regarding permitted development.

In 2019 and 2020, the scheme has expanded to include bigger projects and more options for home extensions and improvements.

One of the main changes to the regulations include a new order which permits homeowners to build larger rear single-storey extensions onto their homes.

These regulations were relaxed in order to take pressure off the planning departments and their processing of applications as well as the relaxation of regulations in 2012 to encourage development.

When does permitted development apply?

The rights only apply if the amount of work that is going to be carried out is out of proportion to that which requires planning permission.

For example, if you are planning to self-build a replacement dwelling and your proposed home is bigger than the existing house on site, then your permitted development rights are likely to be restricted as the amount of work that needs to be done is of a higher proportion than permitted development.

What falls outside of permitted development?

The most important thing to keep in mind is that these rights do not apply to flats, maisonettes, or buildings other than homes.

Permitted development rights are more restricted if you live in a conservation area, a national park, an area of outstanding natural beauty, a world heritage site or in the Norfolk or Suffolk broads.

Is prior notification the same as permitted development?

Prior notification is a form of permitted development where the local planning authority must be notified before any extensions or improvements are made to your home.

Even though prior notification is a form of permitted development, the process is a lot more intricate, and the local planning authority has more say than with a permitted development application.

Rules for extensions

As things currently stand, the following rules apply to permitted development for extensions.

You can extend a detached dwelling by eight meters to the rear if it is a single story or three metres if it is double. Semi-detached and terraced homes can be extended to up to 6 meters to the rear of the property if it is a single storey.

In terms of height restrictions, single storey extensions cannot be higher than four meters to the ridge and the eaves, and ridge heights of any extension cannot be higher than the existing property. Two storey extensions must not be closer than seven meters to the rear boundary. And finally, extensions must be built in the same or similar material to the existing dwelling.

A great tip is to contact your local planning authority to discuss your proposal before any work begins. If you need expert advice about planning permission and the ins and outs of permitted development, contact us. We’re happy to help!