Do I Need Planning Permission?

One of the biggest questions to ask if you are planning to extend your home is whether you need planning permission. The rules were recently changed so that you can now build larger extensions without the need for planning permission, but there are still many circumstances that might require you to seek planning permission before you hire your residential builders. Understanding the rules and regulations is essential before you decide to extend and finalise your designs for your extension. Let us help you through the specifics so that you will have a clear idea of whether you will need to seek planning permission.

Do I Need Planning Permission?

When you extend or add on to your property, there are various conditions that, if you meet them, mean you don’t require planning permission. The size of the extension is one of the main concerns for the design of your extension. To avoid the need for planning permission, it can be no more than half the area of the land around the original house. It can’t be higher than the highest part of the roof, and a single storey rear extension can be no higher than four metres.

Other restrictions on size include:
  • Single storey rear extensions cannot extend beyond the rear wall more than eight metres for a detached house or six for any other house
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres.
  • Side extensions must be single storey, with a width no more than half of the original house
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house

There are various other rules concerning size and positioning, which you can find on the Planning Portal website, along with other advice on planning permission.

Materials and Matching

If you want to avoid seeking planning permission, your extension should use similar materials to those used for the existing house. The materials don’t need to be exactly the same, but the appearance should be similar so that they don’t stick out too much. There should also be no verandas, balconies or raised platforms. This may mean that old materials need to be disposed of and new ones bought.

Article 2(3) Designated Land

You might have to consider some specifics if your home is on “Article 2(3) designated land”. This includes land that is within a conservation area, a National Park, a World Heritage Site, an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, or any area specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside. If this includes your home, you cannot have a rear extension of more than one storey, exterior cladding or side extensions without planning permission.

The Neighbour Consultation Scheme

If you don’t need planning permission, your extension will still be subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. This means that your neighbours can still have a say when it comes to your extension, and you still need to let your Local Authority know about the planned work.

Your building contractors may be able to help you with planning permission, whether it be residential or commercial, or will help submitting an application to build an extension without planning permission.