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Building Additional Storeys Under Permitted Development

The government has announced a series of new measures to the planning system in a move to kick start the construction industry and speed up rebuilding following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new measures will remove the need for planning permission for:

  • Commercial premises to be repurposed for other uses or for residential use
  • New homes to be created from vacant/redundant buildings
  • Property owners to build one or two additional storeys above their homes

What does this mean for homeowners?

If your home was constructed between 1 July 1948 and 28 October 2018 and hasn’t already been extended upwards, then you may be able to add one or two additional storeys without needing planning permission.

You can add up to two additional storeys if the existing house consists of two or more storeys. If the existing house consists of one single storey or is a bungalow then you can add one additional storey.

These changes will come into effect on the 31st August 2020.

If your home was constructed between 1 July 1948 and 28 October 2018 and hasn’t already been extended upwards, then you may be able to add one or two additional storeys without needing planning permission.

What are the limitations?

  • You can extend upwards on a detached property up to a maximum height of 7 metres if the existing house consists of two or more storeys or up to 3.5 metres for a single storey property or bungalow
  • For a semi-detached or a terraced property, you can extend upwards up to a maximum height of 3.5 metres above the adjoining property
  • The height of the added storeys can’t exceed that of the existing floor to ceiling height or 3 metres – whichever is lower
  • The construction materials must be of a similar appearance to the rest of the house
  • The roof must be the same pitch (angle/steepness) as the existing roof

Who can’t benefit?

You can’t add additional storeys to your home under permitted development if:

  • Your home was built before 1 July 1948 or after 28 October 2018
  • Your property has already been extended upwards
  • You probably don’t have permitted development rights if you live in a conservation area, an area of outstanding natural beauty, the Broads, a National Park, a World Heritage Site or a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Check with your Local Planning Authority if you’re not sure whether or not you have any planning restrictions in place.
FREE GUIDE: Category: Planning Permission
FREE: Complete Guide to Planning Permission for Homeowners

Inside this easy to read free guide, we will teach you the key things you need to know about planning permission.

Do you need to notify the Local Planning Authority before you add an additional storey now that it’s allowed under permitted development?

Yes! Even though you no longer need planning permission to build additional storeys above your home, the extension will still be subject to approval. You will need to inform your Local Planning Authority of the proposed work via a ‘Prior Approval’ application and the extension will be subject to neighbour consultation

The Local Authority will consider the impact of your proposed extension and consult your adjoining neighbours to advise them of your planned development. If your neighbours raise any concerns or objections, the local authority will decide if their objections are valid and whether your plans can go ahead.

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How to submit a ‘Prior Approval’ application

You can only submit a ‘Prior Approval’ application for additional storeys to your Local Planning Authority after the 31st August 2020.

After this date, you should be able to apply online via the Planning Portal application service or print the application form and post it to your Local Planning Authority.

Along with the application form, you’ll need to submit a written description of the proposal, a plan of the site showing the proposed development and any existing enlargement of the original house and the addresses of any side/front/rear properties who share a boundary.

(You don’t need to make the application yourself – Yoop can submit a ‘Prior Approval’ application on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about it)


If you have any questions about planning an extension, complying with permitted development rules and ‘Prior Approval’ applications, or just questions about creating your dream home in general, go ahead and book a free call below with Yoop.


Thinking of your dream home improvement or how to start your project? 
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