Permitted Development - A guide to building without planning consent

Permitted development rights enables homeowners to carry out works/extensions without a full planning application being submitted. We have created an article to help give an insight to see if your project may fall into this category.


Making home alterations without permission? Sounds too good to be true, of course there are some caveats which limit the scale of works that can come under permitted development. All permitted development requirements apply to the original dwelling that was built or as it stood on 1st July 1948, therefore limiting the number of changes you can make to your home under Permitted Development. A common question people ask is when you buy a new home is the slate wiped? Any space added by the past owners since 1948 is accountable for your permitted development allocation.


Do all extensions comply with the constraints of permitted developments? Sadly they don’t. The scale of the proposed extension, the location on the existing dwelling, the type of windows, brickwork and cladding will all have significant importance in determining if it falls under PD.


Understanding the PD rights can be useful even if you intend to make a planning application for something slightly larger than the restrictions allow. Your local council is duty bound to compare what you propose, against what you can do under permitted development, therefore improving the chances of it being passed. A design and access statement can accompany the application to help justify the reference to PD rights to help aid the full planning application. Just to clarify, if PD on your house enables you to extend a certain size and your proposed design is only a few meters higher or longer, the council can only assess the impact of those additional elements. Falling back on your PD they cannot prevent that so its only the additional elements which they can legitimately object to.


In relation to in depth restrictions for your property, it is best to check with your local authority or get confirmation from an Architect or surveyor who will be fully up to date with the restrictions that concern your dwelling. For further information on restrictions and development rights in relation to Permitted Development visit the Planning Portal.


To conclude you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate – these are not essential however come with their benefits. To ensure the works that are being carried out comply with PD rules, you issue information to your local authority explaining how the proposed works complies with Permitted Development. This is a good way of being certain and when it comes to selling your house it is proof that it was a legal development. Note this is not gaining planning permission it is a Lawful Development Certificate that costs half the fee of a full planning application.

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