Is Planning Permission Essential When Adding an Extension?

If you are settled in your home or want to avoid rising interest rates but need more room, then an extension may be an ideal solution. However, before you start building, take a moment to check out the following advice.

Finding Out if You Need Planning Permission

Before any extension can be built, it is essential that you understand the legal implications and know whether you need to obtain planning permission or not. The advice provided below relates directly to houses only, meaning that if you live in a flat or another type of building, then you will need to take further advice.

Is Your Extension a Permitted Development?

Firstly, a lot of homeowners find that their new extension comes under the umbrella of being a ‘permitted development’. In these cases, there is no need to get planning permission or apply for anything before you start work. However, for your extension to come under this permission, then you will need to stick to the limits and criteria as set out by the planning laws in your area.

Some of the most common rules for permitted developments include:

  • Ensuring that your extension uses no more than half the area of land around your house – including any previous extensions that have been added.
  • Ensuring that your extension will not be nearer a public highway at the front or side of the property than it currently is.
  • That it is not higher than the tallest part of your roof.
  • If you are installing a single-storey extension, then it cannot branch out further than 3m from the original house if it is semi-detached or four meters if it is a detached house.
  • A single-storey extension can be no taller than 4m high.
  • If you are installing a two-storey extension, then it cannot branch out further than 3m from the original house.
  • Your ridge height and eaves must not be higher than your current property’s.
  • If you are installing a two-storey extension, then it cannot be closer to the rear boundary than 7m.
  • Any materials you plan to use must be in line with the current property.

Remember that there will also be local requirements to adhere to, so make sure you engage with your local planning team to find out more.

Organising Planning Permission

If your plans fall out of the scope for permitted development, then you will need to apply for planning permission. Before you submit an application, it is wise to speak to your local planning team to get advice on your plans and to discuss if they need any modifications before being submitted. You can find the contact details of your local planning office by contacting your local authority.

Planning Permission Granted – Where Next?

Once your planning permission has been granted, you are sure to want to get started. However, you will need to check the title deeds of your property first to make sure that you do not need any further consents from the builder of the property or developer. Failure to do this could result in you being in breach of covenant and being ordered to take down the extension even if you have planning permission. You may also find that you do not need planning permission, but you do need building regulations in place before you can begin work.

Ultimately, ticking every box and checking thoroughly whether you need planning permission or any other consent before you start your project will mean that you can enjoy your extension without any unexpected and unpleasant surprises.