Industry experts, here to aid yourself with Planning and Building Regulations advice to help you find to the best solution.

Whilst the purpose of town planning is about regulating, there are some types of development that are automatically permitted. Known as Permitted Development Rights, this allows the householder to make some “minor” changes to their property without the need to apply for planning permission. This blanket approach doesn’t however cover all areas. For example, if you live in an area that is designated (1), your permitted development rights will be more limited. Also, if your property is a Listed Building or is subject to an Article 4 Direction (2), there will be different requirements.

In 2008, the previous Government made changes to the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 by introducing the Town & Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Order 2008. The purpose of the changes was twofold; to help simplify the permitted development process and in order to reduce the number of planning applications submitted to local authorities for determination. At that time, it was felt that the planning system was being unreasonably slowed down by minor planning applications at the expense of major planning applications.

The rules on permitted development are subdivided into a series of “parts”. Part 1 deals specifically with development within the curtilage of a house (the area of land within which the house sits – often identified within the red line area on title deed documents). Some of the changes (but not an exhaustive list) include:-


• When measured externally, porches can be up to 3sq metres.

• Have a maximum height of 3 metres.

• Be a minimum of 2 metres from the highway

Roof Alterations and loft conversions

• For terraced properties, the external increase in volume can be up to 40 sq metres.

• For semi-detached and detached properties, the external increase in volume can be up to 50 square metres.

• Materials to be used should be similar and above all, the proposal cannot result in any form of overlooking. Therefore, balconies, verandas and such like are not permitted and will require planning permission.

Extensions at Ground Level

• Now principally governed by maximum dimensions (as opposed to the previous 1995 General Permitted Development Order which was based on volume increase). For example, the maximum depth of a single storey rear extension on a terraced property is 3 metres when compared to 4 metres in the case of a detached home.

• The maximum eaves height of an extension within 2 metres of a boundary is 3 metres.

Decking and Raised Platforms

• Did you appreciate that in certain circumstances, decking or raised platforms are not permitted development?  If for example the decking or raised platform is higher than 30cm above ground level, it will require planning permission.

• Taken with other extensions or alterations, the decking or platform area cannot cover more than 50% of the total garden area.

Detached Buildings

• For detached buildings such as outdoor rooms and garages, their maximum height is a key consideration. For example, in the case of a dual-pitched roof, the maximum height is 4 metres and 3 metres elsewhere i.e. a monopitched roof.

• Also, eaves height is limited to 2.5 metres or where within 2 metres of a boundary. In a technical guidance document produced by the Government in 2010, the eaves of a building is defined as the point on the roofslope where the outer wall would intersect if it continued upwards through the roof. On a flat roofed outbuilding, the eaves height is (oddly) defined as the top of the flat roof, not the underside of any overhang.

• The original limit of building on no more than 50% of the original garden area still applies but detached buildings in close proximity to the house are no longer included with attached extensions.

Block Paving

• If you are laying a new driveway and you use permeable (non porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt or if rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally, planning permission is not required and is considered to be permitted development.

• Should the surface to be covered be more than 5 square metres, planning permission would be required for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater run-off onto roads.

The Green Agenda

• To support the development of the microgeneration industry and to drive the quality and reliability of installations a Microgeneration Certification Scheme has been developed in partnership with the industry and other organisations representing consumer interests.

• The Microgeneration Certification Scheme includes clear standards to support the installation of wind turbines and air source heat pumps. The main purpose of the scheme is to build consumer confidence in microgeneration technologies and to help move the industry to a sustainable position. •It includes certification for products and installer companies, and a code of practice based on The Office of Fair Trading Consumer Code. Permitted development rights for wind turbines and air source heat pumps will only be accorded for equipment installed by an installer who has been certificated through the scheme using a certificated product. The installer is therefore responsible for ensuring that the installation meets permitted development noise standards at the time of installation.

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