Increasing the value to your home by adding an extension, converting the loft or garage may be easier than you think and may not require planning permission.

Certain changes may be “permitted development” under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 such as:

  • Single storey rear or side extensions of an area less than 50% of the original house, up to 4m tall and extending beyond the original house by up to 4m for a detached house or 3m for other houses and not exceeding the height of the highest part of the roof or eaves of the existing house.

Until 30 May 2016, larger rear and side extensions may be permitted under the prior approval neighbour consultation scheme. The scheme applies to single storey extensions of an area less than 50% of the original house, no taller than 4m and extending beyond the original house by up to 8m (detached houses) or up to 6m (other houses). Works cannot commence until the council has either informed the applicant that prior approval is not required or prior approval is given or 42 days have passed without a decision having been made by the council. 

  • Loft conversions by increasing roof space of a terraced house of 40m3 and 50m3 in other houses.
  • Altering an existing building, such as a garage, within the curtilage of a house for a purpose which is incidental to the enjoyment of the house existing house. 

In certain cases permitted development rights may have been removed, for example, by the conditions attached to the planning permission for your house or if it is in a conservation area. 

It is always advisable to check with your local council that the works proposed are permitted development. Where earlier works have been carried out under the permitted development rules, the 50% increase in size permitted under those rules will be the combined area of all previous works carried out and the proposed new works.

Permitted Development rights do not apply to listed buildings, flats or maisonettes.

Any proposed work falling outside those defined as permitted development will require planning permission. The council will have 8 weeks to consider the application.

All building works, including permitted development, will also need to comply with building regulations and separate approval from the council’s Building Control Department will need to be obtained in respect of all works to be carried out.