7 things you can do without planning permission

The thought of applying for planning permission can often delay a project - the paper work seems daunting and the cost also adds to the overall project expense. Thankfully over the past few years, the government have relaxed the rules around planning permission and there is now a surprising amount of changes you can make to your home that is within permitted development. 

Here is our guide to some of the work that you can do without planning permission.


1. Garage conversion

Converting your garage is a great way to add more living space to your home without having to carry out major building work. In most cases you do not need planning permission to convert an integral garage as you are not actually changing the structure or adding to the footprint. The normal exceptions are if the garage is a separate building or if you are adding footprint.


2. Extensions

The rules around extensions have changed in recent years and in many cases you can build an extension without planning permission. The main criteria for an extension falling within permitted development is the size. For a single storey rear extension, you can build up to 6 metres to the rear of a terraced or semi-detached property and 8 metres for a detached. For a double storey extension this is 3 metres, so you have less scope. 

There are other criteria your extension must meet including the proximity to the boundary, maximum height and the front elevation. Visit the government's planning portal to find out more.

3. Loft extension

One of the biggest criteria for your loft extension to fall within permitted development is the size. If your loft extension is less than 40 cubic metres in a semi, or 50 cubic metres for a detached, it is likely that you will not need planning permission for your loft conversion. There are other criteria including the look of the extension, the height of the roof and whether you are facing a main road. For more information on loft extension permitted development then check out the government's planning portal.


4. Internal remodel

Often you have enough floor space but the layout of your home is all wrong. An internal remodel is the best solution rather than moving - it's a great way to make your home feel bigger by creating either an open plan living space or take some space from a large bedroom to create an en-suite. Thankfully, internal remodelling is usually within permitted development as you are not changing the overall footprint, nor are you changing the look from the outside. Exceptions would include a listed building.

5. Conservatories

Conservatories fall into the same planning permission rules as single storey extensions and, as they are normally modest in size, it is likely to be within permitted development. To find out more about planning a conservatory, check out your guide - conservatories.


6. Change the exterior

If your home is not in Article 1(5), (i.e. is not in an area of natural beauty, conservation area etc) then you can change the look of the exterior of your property by cladding, rendering or painting. Always check your local area and whether your home falls into this category. Giving your home an exterior face-lift can significantly change the kerb appeal and add value to your home.


7. Adding a porch

You are able to add a porch as long as it's not more than 3 metres high, 3 metres wide or closer than 2 metres to the front boundary. A porch is a great way to smarten up your exterior and give extra space for shoes & coats.


A final word.....

This article is only a guide and before you carry out any work in your area, always check your local council authority. Additionally, if you live in a conservation area, National Park or area of natural beauty, it is likely you will always need planning permission. Similarly if you are significantly changing the look of you home (such as an extension that is a completely different style) it is also likely that you will require permission.

Although you may not need planning permission, you must always comply with building regulations and it is likely that you may have to apply for other permissions such as the Party Wall Act.

Published: November 22, 2018

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