10 (Surprising) Things You Can Do Without Planning Permission

10 (Surprising) Things You Can Do Without Planning Permission

We’ve been looking at the most popular posts from 2017. We’re going to repost a few as they proved very popular.

You might be surprised to find out that there are quite a few changes you can make to your house (only applied to homes) without requiring planning permission. The General Permitted Development (England) Order 2015 sets out works which can be carried out without requiring planning permission. These are 10 which we’ve picked out which apply to houses.

Please remember there are may rules around Permitted Development and you should always seek professional advice (from us of course!) before carrying out any work.

1. Moving Windows & Doors

You do not normally need planning permission to replace or add new windows in the original walls of your house. However, you may need planning permission if conditions were attached to the original permission. Double glazing can be installed under PD, providing the building is not listed. Remeber, bay windows are classed as extensions. Planning permission to insert a new window or door opening is not required as long as any upper floor windows on the side elevation are glazed with obscured glass. They must also be fixed into a non-opening frame (unless the opener is more than 1.7m above the floor of the room in which the window is installed).

2. Using Attached Garages etc.

If you wish to alter the internal space within an existing part of the building, such as incorporating an integral garage, you can do so under PD providing you are not increasing the overall footprint of the dwelling.

3. Single Storey Extensions

You can build various single storey extensions without planning permission, providing the extension meets the following:

  • The extension does not sit forward of the principal elevation.
  • Materials should be similar to the existing building.
  • Where it is within 2m of any boundary, the eaves cannot be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise.
  • Rear extensions — no more than 4m in depth (detached house) or 3m in depth (semi-detached or terrace).
  • Side extensions — the width of the extension must not be greater than half the width of the original dwelling. Side extensions are not permitted on Article 1(5) Land (e.g. AONB, Conservation Areas).

See the planningportal.gov.uk for a full list of caveats.

4. Two Storey Extensions

Yes, it is possible to put up a two storey extension. A two storey extension can only be built under PD if it is at the rear of the dwelling (this includes the addition of a second storey onto an existing single storey part of the house). In addition, your two storey extension must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of the rear boundary.

5. Loft Conversions

Loft conversions are great opportunities to create additional space and may not require planning permission. Permitted Development allows for the construction of dormer windows, which would provide additional headroom within a converted attic. However, they must not sit higher than the highest part of your existing roof, or extend forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation.

There are also limitations on the cubic content allowed under PD but generally up to 40m³ is fine.

6. Converting Two Houses Into One

It may also be worth considering the benefits of converting two houses, such as a pair of semis or two flats, into one property. This can usually be done under PD, and would save you moving out of an area you love. However, if you were considering the option of dividing a property into two dwellings, unfortunately, the same rules do not apply and you would need to apply for planning permission.

7. Porches

Whilst many of the ideas described above have not allowed for the development of any extensions forward of the principal elevation, you can build a porch on the front of your property without obtaining planning permission, as long as you follow certain rules:

  • No part of the porch can be taller than 3m
  • It cannot be within 2m of any boundary adjacent to a highway
  • The ground area (measured externally) does not exceed 3m²

8. Basements!

Don’t have enough room? Have you ever considered building a basement? This would provide you with extra internal space, without reducing the size of your garden. In a recent appeal decision, it was considered that basements could be PD under Class A of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO). However, PD does not allow for engineering works.

9. Change Of Use

It can be possible to convert an industrial, commercial or agricultural building for residential use, without the need for planning permission. As is often the case, you will require approval for Listed Buildings and in Conservation Areas. You will also need to follow the Prior Notification procedure if you are converting an agricultural building such as a barn.

10. Splashing Out On A Swimming Pool?

How about building a swimming pool for the whole family to enjoy? Under Permitted Development rights you can build a pool within your garden, provided that the total area covered by the pool does not exceed 50% of the area of the garden curtilage.

Whilst this article provides a summary of what you may be able to do under Permitted Development, you should always check with the Local Planning Authority to ensure you do not require planning permission, as in some cases PD rights may have been removed. If you’re thinking of selling the property in the future, then it might be best to obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development, confirming the project falls within PD. They are obtainable from your local authority. For more information on PD visit planningportal.gov.uk