What Does Permitted Development Mean?
In simple terms, the Permitted Development (PD) guidelines are a set of policies.
They grant pre-approved permission, and greater freedom, to homeowners when enlarging their property.
Acquiring full planning permission in England and Wales can be a time-consuming process and expensive.
But, providing you comply with certain rules, PD rights allow you to extend your property without the need for planning permissions.
As a general rule, acting on the new permitted development rights in England will only apply to certain types of property extensions, such as:
- A single storey side or rear extension.
- A loft conversion.
- Front porches and certain types of outbuildings.
Even so, there are certain restrictions on permitted development that you should be aware of. For example, it will not cover a two storey extension, extending a flat, or making a large loft conversion.
Note: Extending under permitted development rights will not apply to most properties located in conservation areas.
Permitted Development Rights for Extensions
The government has extended the rules and given permission to homeowners in England. As such, they can build larger extensions without asking for planning permission.
The temporary rules permitted the construction of bigger single-storey rear extensions without the need for a full planning application. As of May 2019, they have now become permanent.
So, what size extension can you build under permitted development? In fact, property additions can now be:
- Up to six (6) metres long for a terraced or semi detached home.
- Up to eight (8) metres long for larger structures (e.g. a detached house).
Important: Local planning authorities will still consult with close neighbours and allow them to raise objections to home extensions.
More than 100,000 homeowners have taken advantage of the temporary rules – first introduced in 2013. Those particular measures doubled the previous building limits for home extensions not requiring planning permission from a local authority.
It gets even better:
Now, there is no need to wait for approval. As a homeowner, all you need to do is notify the council of the building work beforehand. Following that, council officials will inform your neighbours of your intention to extend.
Of course, there may be people in the neighbourhood who raise some concerns about the planned project. In this case, the council would decide whether the extension is likely to harm the character or the enjoyment of the area. If so, the council can choose to block the plans.
Note: Updated announcements from the Housing Secretary means that new homes delivered through Permitted Development Rights will have to meet the Nationally Described Space Standard.
Permitted Development Rules Outside England
The housing minister acknowledged that the change will allow families in England to grow without having to move homes. But the same rules to not apply for Scotland, Wales, and for Northern Ireland.
Outside of England, rear extensions over three (3) metres continue to require a full planning application. The other Home Counties still place high scrutiny on the design and impact of buildings.
Impact on Local Neighbourhoods
The Local Government Association represents local councils in UK. They expressed some concerns about the new permitted development rights.
They insisted that the proper planning process exists for a legitimate reason. It is easy to see why the relaxed rules are popular with homeowners. But, they feel that the councils would have limited opportunity to consider what, if any, impact the extensions would have in their local areas.
The association is calling for an independent review to consider the full impact of making PD rights permanent in England. They want the review to further assess how it will affect businesses and neighbouring residents.
Selling Electricity Back to the Grid
New laws are set to approve a guaranteed payment for selling excess electricity back to energy suppliers. The government also plans to encourage those with rooftop solar panels to install storage batteries.
Advantages for High Street Businesses
Some positive comments came from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. They said the removal of other planning rules will allow business owners to respond better to the changes occurring in the high streets.
It will allow shops to convert into office space without having to make a full planning application. It will also make it easier for offices, shops, and betting shops to make temporary changes to other community uses (e.g. libraries or public halls).