Want to extend your home, or a property that you are planning to buy? Here's how to do it without having to submit a planning application.
Permitted development rights enable homeowners to make certain building works on a property without planning permission from the local council and without approval from a neighbour.
The rules were originally brought in as a temporary measure in 2013, but they have recently been made permanent.
If you are in the process of buying a property (to live in or rent out), this means you have a number of rights to extend or change it after you have completed the purchase.
If your property is semi-detached or terraced, you can add a single-story rear extension of up to six metres. For detached properties, the limit is eight metres. Extensions cannot cover more than half of the land surrounding the original house and materials should be of similar appearance. The rules do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other types of buildings and do not apply to balconies, verandas and platforms (above 30cm).
Before you proceed, it's essential that you check with your local planning authority first. Permitted development rights should provide you with automatic planning permission for:
When might the rights be restricted?
If your property is within a conservation area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Beauty, a World Heritage Site or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission.
Planning dream home? What else can you do to get around the planning laws?
If your property lies within an isolated location and your renovation plans can be considered 'truly outstanding or innovative, reflecting the highest standards in architecture', under paragraph 79 of the National Planning Policy Framework, you could get planning permission, where standard permissions would not be granted. A number of spectacular properties have been developed using this clause. But be warned! Planning consent for such projects is hard to achieve and you are best advised to select an architect and planning consultant that has experience of and success with Paragraph 79 projects.
Need more space for the family but love where you live? Extending your house could be the answer. Research shows that more and more homeowners are choosing to extend instead of moving. It will certainly improve and enhance your home, but needs careful consideration before taking the plunge.
First of all you will need to assess the space you have available to use. Single storey extensions to the rear of a property are popular, but expanding out to the side could be a better option for you. Make sure you are happy to sacrifice the appropriate amount of garden! Consider moving upwards too, as a two-storey extension doesn’t actually cost twice as much as a single one – it’s only about 80% more. If you already have a single storey extension you could always add another storey on top of it; a builder will be able to tell you whether this is possible.
Next you will need to arrange finance. A typical extension size of 15 to 25 square metres should cost around £20,000 – £30,000. Most people will finance this by extending their mortgage – which makes sense as the work will add value to your property – but a personal loan can be worth consideration. Get at least three written quotations for the work from reputable builders. Of course personal recommendation is always the best way to find one; otherwise try the Federation of Master Builders at www.fmb.org.uk.
Consider using the services of an architect to help with design – essential if it’s a grand one – although many good builders can do this for simple projects. And remember you may need to obtain planning permission and must comply with appropriate building regulations.