Extending permitted development rights for homeowners – explaining the changes

The government wants to make it easier for homeowners to make larger extensions to their homes without requiring planning permission.

Are you horrified that your neighbour can build without permission from your council?  Or perhaps you are delighted that you will save up to £2,500 and avoid an 8 week delay before you can build your dream extension?  We blogged on this issue in October

In particular the government wants to change existing permitted development rights by increasing the size limits for the depth of single-story domestic extensions from 4 metres to 8 metres (for detached houses) and from 3 metres to 6 metres (for all other houses).  This only applies to extensions at the rear of the house and does not apply to flats. This means you will not need to apply for planning permission, but other legal obligations (Party Wall Act, Building Control, Right to light) will still apply

Single story extensions can only be a maximum of 4m in height, and any extensions which have an eaves height of greater than 3m must not be within 2m of the boundary. Planning permission would still be required in protected areas (conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest). Listed buildings would also require a separate listed building consent.  You need to contact your local authority to find out whether your home is located in a protected area.

Development will not be able to cover more than 50% of the curtilage* of the house. (Curtilage – land within the boundaries of the property, including front and side gardens and closely associated structures and buildings.) The 50% rule is ambiguous concerning homes. It applies to only the original space around businesses – a previous extension would reduce the amount of available space. But the consultation is not clear if this also applies to homes. The changes would be in effect for 3 years. The start date will be dependent on the result of their consultation and the time it takes to get the legislation in place

The government also wants to explore whether there is scope to use permitted development to make it easier to carry out garage conversions. These proposals relate to England only.  The deadline for responses is 24 December. You can find the full consultation here

Government has asked the following questions:

  • Do you agree that in non-protected areas the maximum depth for single-story rear extensions should be increased to 8m for detached houses, and 6m for any other type of house?
  • Are there any changes which should be made to householder permitted development rights to make it easier to convert garages for the use of family members?
  • Do you agree these permitted development rights should be in place for a period of three years?
  • Do you agree that there should be a requirement to complete the development by the end of the three-year period, and notify the local planning authority on completion?
  • Do you agree that protected areas (conservation areas, National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest) should be excluded from the changes to permitted development rights for homeowners?

For more information check out

The DCLG’s website


The Planning Portal 

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