Does having planning permission exclude you from extending under permitted development?

Q: Our house is subject to a covenant in favour of our neighbours, meaning we can't extend the property without our neighbour's prior written permission. We have had the house on the market for some time. All buyers are interested in extending. We have spoken to architects about possible extension schemes. They first said we should apply for full planning permission for the extension so we can sell with the benefit of this and all is clear and watertight. The second architect advised against this approach saying that it would mean that our buyer would only be able to extend under this planning permission and would have lost the right to extend under the permitted development rules. Is it correct that if we have a planning permission in place for an extension, this excludes us or our future buyer from extending under permitted development rules instead?


Having a planning permission in hand does not exclude an owner from using their national permitted development rights.

A permission is simply consent to do something to the property but there is no lawful requirement to actually carry out the permission. You or a future owner can then decide whether to build an extension under permitted development or to implement the planning permission. Even if a planning permission is implemented and built out, it doesn’t necessarily exclude a homeowner from continuing to use permitted development rights to extend their property elsewhere.

The key to permitted development rights is that all the conditions running with the right must be fully satisfied. These conditions set out how high and long extensions can be, and how much of the land around the property as originally built they can take up.

The important factor is that when considering what could be built under permitted development, previous extensions perhaps built under historic planning permissions, need to be taken into account. You cannot keep simply adding extensions to your house under permitted development, as the baseline position is the originally built house against which the various conditions are applied.

Answered by Simon Wallis, Savills


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