interior design

Planning Permission: Property Areas

You want to add value to your home. Nothing more. Therefore, you want to avoid the legal hassles and costs of either extending, remodelling or renovating your home. Also, you may have a light pocket; hence, you wish to put a lid on your budget.  You may not require planning permission to do some building works.

As the famous dictum goes, “[t]he law is an ass”. You have to choose between tackling the law head-on and avoiding the law altogether. Hence, if you choose to avoid legal obstacles, how can you accomplish that without breaking the law?

While it is unethical to explore the grey areas of the law, it would be wise to find out and explore your “Permitted Development Rights”.

Let us be honest. Applying for planning permission is not as easy as ABC. Do not rush yourself into an uncharted area. Otherwise, you risk getting stuck in a quagmire in a way that you did not anticipate.

That is why I have compiled some ways, which can steer you in the right direction. Let us explore the projects that require planning permission and those that do not.

1. Extensions

You do not have to seek the approval of authorities to extend your home. That is if you:

  • Make an extension that does not consume more than 50% of the land area surrounding your existing house;
  • Do not raise your extension higher than the roof apex;
  • Make your principal or side elevation not to face a highway;
  • Do not extend single storeys by more than 3m beyond the back siding of your existing house if there is another house joining your original house. Also, single storey extensions of houses separated from your original house should not exceed 4m beyond the back siding of your original house;
  • Do not elevate the peak height of a single-storey extension to exceed 4m at the back of the house;
  • Extend by not elevating at least a single storey to a height of more than 3m at the back siding of the existing house;
  • Ensure that double-storey extensions are further than 7m from the rear boundary;
  • Use building materials for your extensions similar to the original house;
  • Exclude elevated platforms, verandas or balconies from your extension;
  • Glaze windows were facing side of an upper floor with obscure materials; the height of these windows should be 1.7m from the floor.
Planning permission to extend side return
Above: Joining kitchen diner with lounge by knocking through the side return wall

Besides, you do not require planning permission for conservatories. However, the rules that apply to maisonettes are not applicable to flats. Find out from your local planning authority whether your property is in a Conservation Area or is listed.

Planning permission for interior design
Above: A beautifully done interior by Hanzo designers

2. Outhouses

You do not need planning permission to make an extension of greenhouses, garages, sheds and some other outhouses. There are requirements, though. First, your outhouses should be reasonably sized, and their height should not exceed 4m.

Second, outhouses should not occupy more than 50% of the land area surrounding your existing house. You may require planning permission for some exceptions, though. So, check either the Planning Portal or visit your local planning authority just to be sure.

3. Walkaways on Garden Yard in Front of Your Existing House

Perforate the construction materials for paving to avoid building permit. Nevertheless, you require planning permission for a non-porous material for a new hard-standing that covers more than 5m2.

4. Doors and Windows

You are free to renovate your doors and windows without statutory consent. However, if your property is listed, be sure to seek a building consent. Besides, your windows require consent for Building Control.

5. External Roofing and Siding

Do not bother yourself seeking consent for skylight installation, painting and other minor repair-and-replace works. An exception to the general rule is a listed property, however. Moreover, do not risk proceeding with any alteration of your original home if its location is a Conservation Area or a Heritage Area. Finally, ensure you contact your local planning authority before you start altering the roof of your flat.

In summary, you have to exploit the areas of “permitted development” to increase your home’s value. Thus, except in some few cases, you can avoid the hassles and costs of seeking consent if you alter areas such as doors, windows, outhouses, external walls and roofs and so on.

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