Property owners are often unaware of the rules regarding permitted development, or under the impression that any works can be completed on a property under the regulations. Here, we take a closer look at the permitted development rules and how these should be applied in practice.

The general premise of permitted development is that homeowners are able to make certain alterations without the need to apply for planning permission. This allows “certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application”, therefore speeding up the process and allowing homeowners greater flexibility as to what they can do with their home.

In general, the alterations to residential property allowed within permitted development rights include:

  • Erection of front porch
  • Garage conversion
  • Side extension (within a certain size limitation)
  • Rear building extension (within a certain size limitation)
  • Loft conversion
  • Installation of rooflights and dormer windows
  • Internal alterations to the building
  • External solar roof panel installation
  • Erection of antennae and satellite dishes

Permitted development is regulated through local planning authorities. For further detail on the rules or to seek confirmation that your proposed works fall within the scope or permitted development, you should contact the local planning authority.

It should be noted that there are a number of exceptions to permitted development rights. For example, permitted development does not apply to leasehold properties, including flats and maisonettes, nor to listed buildings. Properties located in Conservation Areas, designated Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks or World Heritage Sites may be subject to certain additional restrictions on the scope of the works completed.

Permitted development in relation to commercial properties is a different matter entirely, with a separate set of rules and regulation applying.

A lesser-known fact is that there is a limit to the number of alterations that can be made to a building under permitted development. If a property has already been altered or extended, it may be that its permitted development rights have already been used up. It is always worth double checking if this is the case or not by speaking to your local planning authority.

If the proposed works fall outside the scope for permitted development for whatever reason, full planning consent will be required.

Permitted development can make life easier when seeking to make changes to your property. However, the rules should be carefully considered and permission sought from the local planning office in the event there is any doubt. Works that are completed under the premise of permitted development but are later found to be beyond the scope could be required to be returned to their previous state, or alterations made to bring them in line with the rules. All of these would come at the homeowner’s own cost.

When considering large-scale extensions to residential property, the team at Lea Hough are well-placed to advise. Due to the size and scale of property alterations we deal with, most works will fall outside of permitted development and planning permission will be required. This is a process we are able to manage on behalf of clients – as well as providing detailed drawings, preparing detailed specification documents and Measured Building Surveys, managing procurement and selecting suppliers and a full project management service once the work is underway. To speak to us about any of these services, please get in touch.

Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: 7 Ferry Road, Office Park, Preston, PR2 2YH.