Do I need planning permission?

by | Dec 5, 2019 | Extensions, Inspiration, Your Home

Permitted Development Rights (Read more on the website) were extended permanently this year. This gives you the right, as a homeowner, to build certain extensions on your property without the need for planning permission. The rules around this are specific and can, at first glance, seem complicated so here’s what you should consider before drawing up any plans…

What is permitted development?

Permitted development grants you permission to extend your property without having full planning permission, providing that your designs fall within government guidelines relating to the size and appearance of the extension. If you’re thinking of extending your home, it’s worth taking some time to understand this legislation as it could save you the time and complication associated with full planning applications.

What to consider

Before ploughing ahead with any plans, it’s important to consider that permitted development does not give you free rein; you must still meet standard building regulations.

It also matters where in the UK you live because regulations differ according to geographical area, varying between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The type of land that your property is on could also make a difference. Permitted development rights can be removed in areas classed as designated land, such as national parks, conservation areas, world heritage sites and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. For this reason, you should always consult your local planning authority to be sure the allowances apply.

It’s a good idea to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate from your local council as this will provide evidence that your extension meets regulations. Although it’s not mandatory, this is something that potential buyers will want to see, should you decide to sell your property in the future.

Size Matters

Permitted development allows a single-storey extension to the rear of your property, up to 6m for terraced or semi-detached houses and up to 8m for detached houses. Where previously there was a time-limit on this, the new regulations make these rules permanent.

These rules apply to the original evaluation of the property, as it stood on July 1st, 1948. This does mean that your permitted development rights may already have been used by a previous owner if the house has been altered since it was first built. If you think this might be the case, be sure to check before proceeding with any plans.

In addition, no more than 50% of the land around the original property can be covered by buildings. Your extension must be no more than 4m in height, measured from the highest point of natural surface ground, and this reduces to a maximum of 3m if your extension is within 2m of a boundary.


When designing your extension under permitted development rules, the construction materials you use must appear similar to those used on the existing property.

You are not permitted to include a chimney or any verandas, balconies or raised platforms. These limitations don’t mean that you can’t be adventurous when designing your addition, though. There are plenty of things you can do to ensure your extension looks beautiful and has a modern feel.

Consider hiring an architect to help you get the best possible design.

Everybody needs good neighbours

Although larger extensions (3-6m depth if semi-detached/terraced or 4-8m depth if detached) can now be built under Permitted Development, they must be approved by your immediate neighbours under what’s called a Prior Notification Application. This requires you to submit your plans to the local council for neighbourhood consultation. The council will notify adjoining property owners, or any occupiers to your development, giving them 21 days to raise any objections.

If no objections are received, and it is decided that you meet permitted development criteria, the council will notify you within 42 days that you may commence building. If your application is refused, you will have the right to appeal but may want to consult an expert to help you through this process.

Even though permitted development is intended to make the process simpler, it can still seem a little daunting with so many factors to consider. Here at Arkiplan we take some of the stress out of extending your home by creating your drawings and submitting them to the local council for you! You pay the council fee and we follow up the council until the very end. Get a quote for drawings here.