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Can I Build A Single Storey Extension Without Planning Permission?

Kind of… Any type of extension requires planning permission but you don’t always need to apply for it – in some cases, it is given automatically. This ‘automatically granted planning permission’ was introduced in 1995 under the The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order and is generally just referred to as ‘Permitted Development’.

As long as your house is quite original and unmodified, permitted development allows you to do minor changes to your home without seeking planning approval from the council. Permitted development is a very specific set of rules which covers simple rear extensions, side extensions, a loft conversion or minor alterations like changing windows or adding satellite dishes etc. 

You can find the legislation online at http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2015/596/contents/made but basically, you can build a single storey extension under permitted development if:

  • The extension does not come forward from the front of the house
  • Rear extension – no more than eight metres depth from the original rear of the house if it’s a detached property or no more than six metres for any other house
  • Side extension – doesn’t have a width of more than half that of the original house
  • The extension does not exceed a height of four metres
  • The materials are similar to the appearance of the existing building
  • No more than half the area of land around the original house will be covered by extensions or other builds. This includes sheds and other outbuildings

You probably don’t have permitted development rights in a conservation area, on a listed building or in an area of outstanding natural beauty.

If your single storey extension does come under permitted development, then you don’t need to make an application for planning permission – you can just start building. However, we recommend that you apply for a lawful development certificate to prove that the work is covered by permitted development.

If you start building something and there’s no record that the work you’re carrying out is permitted, then typically your neighbors will inform the local authority. This happens very, very frequently – you’d be surprised.

Why apply for a lawful development certificate

There are a few reasons why it’s a good idea to have it on record that your extension is covered by permitted development:

  1. Neighbours
    If you start building something and there’s no record that the work you’re carrying out is permitted, then typically your neighbors will inform the local authority. This happens very, very frequently – you’d be surprised. A lot of neighbors think it’s their civic duty to do this and then you’ll have an issue with the enforcement team in the local authority. Regardless of whether or not your extension’s covered by permitted development, the enforcement team will request that you either put in a planning application or obtain a certificate of lawfulness.

     

  2. Selling Your Home
    When you come to sell your home, your solicitor will give you a form which asks ‘Have you made any changes to the house?’ If yes, then you have to tick a box for either ‘planning approval’ or a ‘lawful development certificate’. If you do not have either of these documents, you’re again in a situation where no one knows if the extension is lawful.

     

  3. Certainty
    Are you sure your extension is covered by permitted development? Permitted development is a very black and white set of rules and the extension either complies or it doesn’t. If you apply for a lawful development certificate after your extension’s been built and your builder has built the extension 50mm too high, then it’s no longer covered by permitted development. That puts you in a very difficult position because you may not get planning permission to cover your extension and then the work isn’t lawful.
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.

How to apply for a lawful development certificate

To apply for a lawful development certificate, you need to submit an application to your local planning authority or via the Planning Portal online application service

Click ‘Start a planning application’
Step 1 – Find your address
Step 2 – Select Lawful development: Proposed use
Step 3 – Confirm details

Along with the application form, you’ll need to submit drawings of the existing and proposed plans, as well as a site location plan and pay the £103 fee.

For more information, go to Lawful Development Certificates

(You don’t need to make the application yourself – Yoop can apply for permitted development on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about it)

 

How long does it take to receive a lawful development certificate

Once the application has been submitted, your local authority will assign an official to assess your application, make an inspection visit and check the property’s planning history. Assuming all is correct and within the rights of permitted development, you’ll be granted a lawful development certificate (LDC) within eight weeks.

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If your project is not covered by permitted development, then you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

 

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is the process by the council, which determines whether extensions on a terraced, semi detached or detached property are lawful. If you carry out work which isn’t covered by permitted development or planning permission, then the local authority would end up asking you to take the building or the extension down.

 

How do I apply for planning permission?

To apply for planning permission, you need to make an application to your local planning authority or via the Planning Portal online application service

Along with the application form, you’ll need to submit: 

  • A site plan or location plan
  • A full set of existing plans, elevations, potentially sections
  • A full set of proposed plans, elevations and potentially sections
  • The application fee for planning permission is £206

If your home is in a conservation area or a more complicated area, there might be a written document required as well, called a design and access statement. You can also put in a planning statement, but usually a householder application is fairly straightforward so that you just need good information on the drawings

For more information, go to Planning Permission – How to apply

(You don’t need to make the application yourself – Yoop can apply for planning permission on your behalf and chase the planning authority up until we get the OK so you don’t have to worry about it)

 

How long does it take to receive planning permission?

The local authority has a statutory eight weeks to deal with the application. 

 

If you have any questions about the planning application process or would like to speak to an architect who can help you source and liaise with a local planner, go ahead and book a free call below with Yoop.

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