New Permitted Development Rights for Homeowners – the changes

  • August 12, 2013
  • By Hunters Law

When extending or altering your home there is always the need to consider what “consents” you might need. The most common are: Building Regulations Approval, Planning Permission, Listed Building(and/or Conservation Area) Consent, the consent of your Landlord (if any) and that of your neighbours or estate companies under any restrictive covenants affecting your property.

The government’s recent changes to permitted development rights, which came into force on 30th May 2013, have only extended the rights of homeowners in England to undertake changes to their properties without the need to apply for Planning Permission; but of course some or all of the other consents will still be required.

So, will you still need planning permission for a rear extension to your home?  The answer is ‘no’ but only if:-

a)    your property is, say, detached and the proposed rear extension is single storey and goes back no further than 8 metres from the original wall (the extension can go back as far as 6 metres from the original wall in other cases).  If you hope to build a two storey extension this can project up to 3 metres from the original rear wall, so long as it is at least 7m from the rear boundary.

b)    the extension meets the height and width criteria. For example, a single storey extension must not be more than 4 metres high and if built within 2 metres of a boundary its height must be limited to 3 metres.  If you intend to build a two story extension, this must be no higher than the original house.  Side extensions must be single storey with a maximum height of 4 metres and width no more than half that of the original house;

c)    your property is not within a protected area, such as a conservation area;

d)   you notify your neighbours and they do not object;

e)   you serve notice on the Council and they have not, within 42 days, notified you that you need to apply for full Planning Permission.

The works must also be completed on or before 30th May 2016 and other limitations could still apply, including restrictions on the extent of the property the extension can cover and the positioning of the extension within the boundaries of your property.

Full details of all the changes can be found at:

As you can see, the headline-grabbing extension of the permitted developments rights is actually quite restrictive and there will remain a need for plenty of other consents that could slow you down.

If you would like any further information about the changes that have been introduced, or if you would like any other property law advice, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Property Team .


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