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What is Permitted Development 2023

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

What is Permitted Development ?

Permitted Development was introduced by the government in 2015 by the Ministry of housing, Communities & Local Government. They drew up a set of fixed regulations which can be applied to every household in the UK looking to undertake an extension. The idea is to allow common house holder extensions and conversions to be approved without the need to apply for planning permission.

This has helped house holders out hugely as it provides vast opportunities and exciting prospects to invest into your own home and create the new space you are striving for!

Permitted Development rights can be complex and changes are always on the horizon... so make sure you are up to date with exactly what you can achieve under permitted development right here at the UK's leading permitted development practice.

What part of my house can I extend under Permitted Development?

Permitted Development allows you to extend almost every part of your house which was part of the original dwelling. The original dwelling is taken as what stood on July 1st 1948 and if your property was built built after 1948, don't worry, you most certainly have your PD rights intact. The only properties in England that do not have their permitted development rights are the small number that fall in the following categories:

  • You live in the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.

  • In most instances when your property in listed by Historic England.

  • When you local council has issued an article 4 direction on your land.

  • If your property has been built recently as a new dwelling in the last few years.

So, for the 99% of us...

We can extend the Rear, Side, Loft, Porch of our homes and even create new Outbuildings to enjoy the use of in our gardens. In reality, almost 90% of all common house holder extensions can be achieved under permitted development!

So it is vital to discover what exactly you can achieve on your own home before applying for planning permission.

Is there a limit to how large I can extend under my permitted development rights?

In short, there are limits to what is achievable, however, the allowance keep on being increased and with 90% of home extensions last year being undertaken with permitted development rights you can't go too far wrong at all. Even if you wish to increase over your permitted development allowance, there is the Larger Home Extension Scheme (Prior Approval), which allows you to increase even further with consent from your neighbours, up to 8m to the rear for detached properties. Remember though, it is to the original dwelling only, so if you have bought a property that has already had an extension since 1948, this will eat into your permitted development allowance.

Has the council removed my permitted development rights?

It is rare that your council has removed your permitted development rights, however, this is not to say that it hasn't happened to you. Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) issue what's called an Article 4 Direction on your land. This totally removed all of your permitted development rights, however, don't worry, it just means that for all extension you will have to go the traditional route of obtaining planning permission from your LPA. In most cases, if you then design to the permitted development regulations, your LPA should be looking to approve the planning application, however, planning officers do occasionally have their different opinions.

What is a Lawful Development Certificate?

A Lawful Development Certificate (LDC) is the official document that your LPA provides you to guarantee that your extension is legal and has been designed correctly to you permitted development rights. In short, it takes the place of a planning decision notice that is issued after a successful planning application. It is recommended to achieve your LDC in the pre-construction phase of your project before work has begun, as often we find ourselves at having to apply for retrospective planning applications for those who jumped the gun and have been mislead by the builder. There is a win too, the LDC fee is half the price of a planning application at the council! :)

What is the Larger Home Extension Scheme & Prior Approval?

The Larger Home Extension Scheme (LHES) can be seen as a close branch of permitted development. It is there for homeowners looking to extend past their standard permitted development allocation and utilise their full permitted development allowance. It only applies for single storey rear extensions and when adding additional storeys to your existing property. LHES allows you, with neighbour's consent, to extend up to 6m for a terraced / semi-detached home and up to 8m for a detached property. And yes, you did read correctly, Prior Approval allows you to add two additional storeys for all houses and add a single storey for a bungalow! So, you really have to the right place to achieve your new extension!

How do I start my extension under Permitted Development?

Permitted Development is just like all building work, it should be approached with the correct process. You need to first appoint and architect that will design your extension to you individual needs to maximise your properties permitted development potential. At for example, we will take your right from the beginning and be right by your side to design and complete all the architectural drawings required so you project runs as smoothly as possible. Once your extension is designed to your specification, a lawful development certificate will be obtained from you local planning authority and with permitted development providing you a 100% success rate, your architect can start to prepare your extension for building. This includes building regulation drawings and then full structural design calculations. Once the engineers are finished, you are ready to go! You will have all the information in hand to provide your builder of choice to start constructing.

Does permitted development have to meet building regulations?

Permitted development has to meet all the current building regulations. Building regulations are governed by a separate department within you Local Planning Authority called Building Control. Building Control needs to be informed of any extension work that is being carried out whether permission was obtained via a planning application or lawful development certificate. Building regulations can either be met via 'Full Plans', where your architect completes a full set of building regulation drawings and submits to Building Control for approval, or, you can undertake a Building Notice, here your builder then satisfies the building inspector sent by the council that the regulations have been met during the construction phase.

What happens if I build without a Lawful development Certificate?

A lawful development certificate is required. It guarantees that your extension is legal and you don't want to be in the position of having to submit a retrospective planning application and run the risk of the council demolishing all work completed that doe not meet the permitted development regulations. Additionally, you have to receive a lawful development certificate when selling your home, as the solicitors require a lawful development certificate on all extension work completed under permitted development to enable them to exchange contracts. So due to these reasons it is best to obtain your lawful development certificate before works start, as it will save you from all the headaches the future holds.

Can my neighbour stop my permitted development?

No. Your permitted development rights are your rights, and your neighbours are not able to object to the works carried out under permitted development. Your neighbours are allowed to comment on Larger Home Extension Schemes & Prior Approval applications as these have more of an impact on their property. If you neighbour does object to the larger home extension scheme, the planning officer from your Local Planning Authority will step in and assess the situation and come to a decision more inline with the traditional planning process, however, with more of a bias towards the construction being granted.

Can you move drains for permitted development?

Yes. 9 times out of 10 you are able to move your drains whether it being a rain water drain or inspection chamber to allow space for the extension. This is usually a fairly straight forward procedure even if you share your drains with your neighbour. This will be achieved either through a build over agreement with your water board or a relocation scheme.

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