Planning Permission For Extensions

Extending your home is a great way to gain some added much needed space and can help to increase the overall value of the home. We are here to share our top tips on gaining planning permission for your home extension.

Rather then moving to a new house, obtaining planning permission for an extension can be a great effective alterative way to get the living arrangement you are after. In addition to the benefit of avoiding the upheaval of moving home you may find your money could go further. In addition to the benefit of avoiding the additional extras such as stamp duty, removal costs, solicitors and estate agent fees you would be smart to put that towards making your current home perfect for you.

If extending your home is not a viable solution, then buying a property that has the potential to extend may be another alternative that you could take. Often turning a new home into something completely different with the help of extensions and new layouts.

Whether a formal planning application for an extension is needed or not will vary from case to case depending on a variety of different factors. Let us take a brief look at what does and what does not need planning permission as well as the main considerations that is needed to ensure your project is a success.

Planning Basics

Every home that is requesting to extend whether this be 1 storey or 2, loft conversion or basement will require some planning permission. However, due to the permitted development rules some extensions are pre-approved if they meet a certain criterion. For example, permitted developments rights allow you to extend to the rear of your home with a single storey extension by 3m if attached to a neighbour or 4m if detached. These dimensions can be doubled if you use the Neighbour Consultation Scheme which you can gather more information about here.

Permitted Development rights are extremely complex to begin with and to make it worse, they are not always applicable in all circumstances. Some properties or even whole areas can have permitted development rights removed with an Article 4 Direction imposed by the Council. You will find that often flats and listed builders are also outside the scope of Permitted Development.

To tidy up the permitted development minefield a bit you can apply for a certification of lawfulness to prove your extension does come under permitted development. This is like a planning application in that the process is very similar, but you will receive a notice stating if the extension falls within permitted development or not. This could be thought to be a waste of time but when it comes to selling your home, often solicitors will look for these documents to help expedite the selling process and a lack of paperwork can cause delays especially if the extension is not as clear as you believe.

Planning Policies

For any designs that do not fit within Permitted Development then you are required to apply for a full planning application. In addition to the national planning policy, your council will have several local polices outlining specific arrangements for where you leave and will use this to decide whether your proposal should be approved of not.

These policies are called Local Plans and can easily be accessible on your council’s website. Other documents such as the Neighbourhood plan may go into further detail about your specific area. A good planning Consultant or Architect will likely be able to explain this to you and be able to tell you whether these plans conflict with any of the policies.