planning application drawings

 Planning Permission not Necessary

Some building projects require planning while some do not. Since we try to avoid legal costs and hassles, there are times when we cannot avoid the law completely. For example, you do not need planning permission to extend and to renovate windows and doors.

We tend to focus primarily on how we can improve our homes without needing to apply for planning permission. Home improvements for which you do not require statutory consent must be compliant with the Building Regulations.

The General Development Order of 1993 gives you the right to “permitted development”. You may also be unsure whether what you are doing to your house is legal. It is advisable to consult the local area planning officer. Besides, you should seek a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development if you are unsure what you already have done is legal.

planning permission
Above: A schematic computer-aided design drawing for planning permission

There are many instances in which statutory consent is not applicable. Let us look at some of them.

1. Build an Orangery or a Conservatory

You can build a conservatory as the extension of your main house. You do not need planning permission. Nonetheless, it has to comply with the Building Regulations.

2. Convert Part of Your Existing Property into Apartments

You can convert part of your existing house into a flat or compartment. However, you will require planning permission.

3. Convert Part of Your House into Working Area

Consult your local planning office to find out whether you need planning permission to convert part of your house into a homeworking area.

4. Demolish

You need consent to demolish a property that occupies a Conservation Area. If your property lies within Village Character or Townscape Area, seek a permit.

5. Construct an Extension

You do not require planning permission so long as:

  • More than half of total area of cartilage should not go into either extension or any outbuilding. This property area excludes the main house.
  • The peak of the roof of an existing should always be higher than the height of any extension section.
  • The eaves of the original house should always be higher than the eaves of an extension.
  • Any extension part should not project in front of any wall facing a driveway if that section is the principal or side elevation of an existing house.
  • If any extension section occurs within the 2m margin around the main house’s perimeter, then the height of the eaves should not exceed 3m.
  • Use construction materials similar to your main house for exterior work.
  • The window on the upper floor of a side elevation should use obscure glazing if it occurs within 15m from a neighbouring house. That window should also be non-opening. Otherwise, if you can open some parts of that window, then they should be at the height of not less than 1.7m from the floor of the room where you inserted the window.
  • The height of a side extension should not be more than 4m. Alternatively, the width of a side extension should exceed half the width of the main house.
  • For a single-storey extension:
  1. If it is a detached house, it should project ahead of the rear wall by less than 4m. For any other house type, it should project by less than 3m;
  2. The extension height should not be more than 4m;
  3. Any extension part should not occur inside a 3.5m margin around the property perimeter if the rear wall of a house faces a road.


Side and rear extensions for detached house

Above: Side and rear extensions for the detached house. Source: Portal Planning

If the house is a listed property, seek a Listed Building Consent. If create an extension within the total area of the compound around a listed property, then apply for planning permission.


Build double-storey Home extension

Above: Two-storey rear extension to terraced house

All in all, visit the Planning Portal or consult a local planning officer.

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