Getting planning permission for a single storey extension

Make sure that your extension project falls under Permitted Development (PD) rights before you start the project. Here's some expert advice on PD rights and planning permission for single storey extensions.

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Make sure that your extension project falls under Permitted Development (PD) rights before you start the project. Here’s some expert advice on PD rights and planning permission for single storey extensions.

It is possible to extend your home under permitted development (PD) rights, which means you won’t have to apply for planning permission. However, it is important to double-check with your local planning department before you undertake any building work. If you proceed to build without obtaining permission, and a valid objection to the works is presented, you risk being made to take down the building, or to alter it at your own cost. What’s more, you will have great difficulty selling a property without being able to show the correct permissions. Visit the Government’s planning website, planningportal.co.uk, for further details and advice.

What can you achieve within permitted development?

Simon Smith advises on what work can be done without planning permission: ‘If you want to understand the true value of your home, or a property you are thinking of buying, it’s essential that you understand the permitted development rights attached to it. PD rights enable you to transform your home without the need for planning permission. There’s no need to apply for them – in fact, you already own them. Of the 16 million houses in England, more than 90 per cent have PD rights attached to them.

‘In late 2008, the Government relaxed the laws surrounding PD. The effect is that homeowners are now able to make more changes and add more space to their home without the need for planning permission. What’s more, last year the Government announced its plans to increase homeowners’ rights even further. A consultation on proposals to increase PD rights for extensions to houses in non-protected areas in England, launched by the Department for Communities and Local Government, is expected to become law early this year.’

What’s allowed for single-storey extensions under PD?

‘The principal change proposed is to double the allowance for single-storey rear extensions for detached houses, from four to eight metres, and for terraced and semi-detached properties, from three to six metres. The proposed PD amnesty will last just three years and is intended to help kick-start the economy and encourage homeowners to carry out their project without the stress, hassle and expense of a full planning application.

‘There is no restriction on the arrangement of the glazing to single-storey extensions, which enables you to add stunning features to your home that may be refused under the full planning regime. The creative freedom afforded by your PD rights puts you in control – neither the planners nor your neighbours have a say in what you can do. The great thing about PD rights is that they are objective. You either have them or you don’t; you can either add the space or you can’t.’

What else does PD offer?

‘The development possibilities homeowners now have under PD are extensive. They include adding lofts, extensions (single- and two-storey), garages, off-street parking, porches, outbuildings, glazing, and microgeneration technologies, such as solar panels and ground-source heat pumps. ‘For more information, go to the Government’s pages on permitted development – planningportal.co.uk.’