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Neighbour Consultation Scheme

Neighbour Consultation Scheme

Dreaming of a home extension but worried about keeping the neighbours onside? In the UK, the Neighbour Consultation Scheme exists to ensure transparency and communication regarding certain extension plans. This guide will shed light on the scheme, its purpose. Additionally, you will learn how to navigate it smoothly, fostering positive relationships with those around you while achieving your home improvement goals.

Changes to Permitted Development Rights

On May 30th 2019, the government permanently increased the size limits for single-storey rear extensions. Which is allowed under permitted development (planning permission application not required).

Before this date, single-storey rear extensions could not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than four metres. If a detached house, or more than three metres for any other house.

Now, this has doubled and single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than eight metres if a detached house. Or more than six metres for any other house.

However, larger single-storey rear extensions are subject to the Neighbour Consultation Scheme, which means you can’t just start building if your single-storey rear extension is between 4-8 metres for a detached house. Or 3-6 metres for any other house.

Allowed under permitted development*

*You probably don’t have permitted development rights in a conservation area, on a listed building or in an area of outstanding natural beauty. Check with your local planning authority if you’re not sure whether or not you have any planning restrictions in place.

Understanding the Neighbour Consultation Scheme

The NCS applies to larger extensions that fall under permitted development (PD) rights. PD allows certain building works to be carried out without a full planning application. However, for larger extensions, the NCS ensures your neighbours are informed and have the opportunity to raise any concerns before the work begins.

Key Points About the NCS:

  • Projects Covered: Applies to single-storey rear extensions exceeding a specific size limit (typically 4m or 8m depending on the property type) and alterations to a detached house exceeding a certain cubic meterage.
  • Informing Neighbours: The local council will notify your immediate neighbours about the proposed extension via a formal letter. This letter will outline the project details, including size, design, and materials.
  • Neighbour Feedback: Your neighbours have a designated timeframe to submit their comments or objections to the local council.

Neighbour Consultation Scheme: Informing Your Neighbours

The Neighbour Consultation Scheme applies to larger extensions that fall under permitted development rights. Obviously, this means you don’t necessarily need full planning permission, but you must formally notify your neighbours about the project’s details. This includes size, design, and materials. The goal? To avoid surprises and objections later by fostering open communication from the start.

On May 30th 2019, the government permanently increased the size limits for single-storey rear extensions allowed under permitted development.

What is the Neighbour Consultation Scheme?

If you’re planning to build a larger single-storey rear extension (between 4-8 metres for a detached house or 3-6 metres for a semi-detached/terraced house). Certainly, your Local Planning Authority will need to be informed of the proposed work via a ‘Prior Approval’ application. 

The Local Authority will then start neighbour consultation adjoining neighbours to advise them of your planned development. If your neighbours raise any concerns or objections. In this case, the local authority will decide if their objections are valid and whether your plans can go ahead.

This application cannot be done retrospectively and must be completed before building work begins.

How to submit a ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’ application

The ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’ application can be printed and posted to your local planning authority.  But it is recommended that you apply online via the Planning Portal application service.

Click ‘Start a planning application’
First Step – Find your address
Second Step – Application Type: Scroll to ‘Prior approval – New development’ and select ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’
Third Step – Confirm details

Along with the application form and fee, you’ll need to submit a written description of the proposed extension. In addition to this a plan of the site showing the proposed development. Then 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: Larger Home Extension’ application on your behalf so you don’t have to worry about it)

Benefits of the Neighbour Consultation Scheme

  • Faster Process: The NCS avoids the potentially lengthy and complex full planning application process, saving you time and money.
  • Improved Communication: The scheme fosters open communication with your neighbours, potentially avoiding disputes later in the process.
  • Streamlined Approach: For extensions that comply with PD allowances and receive no objections, the project can proceed without further planning permission.
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 much under cost it Neighbour Consultation Scheme?

The application fee for a ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’ application is £96.

You can claim an exemption to this fee if:

  • The proposal is for extensions and alterations to a disabled person’s dwelling house to improve access, safety, comfort, etc; or
  • An application for planning permission (for which a fee is payable) is being made by the same applicant on the same date for the same site buildings or land as the prior approval application

How long does the Home Extension’ application take?

The ‘determination period’ ends 42 days after the application is received by the local planning authority.

The local authority will send notification to each of your neighbours under Neighbour Consultation scheme . That you share a boundary with, giving them details of

  1. Your proposed development
  2. When your application was received and when the 42 day determination period ends
  3. How long the neighbour has to make an objection (which must be at least 21 days) and the date by which any objections need to be received

If any adjoining neighbours raise an objection. Then the local authority will decide if the impact of your proposed extension on your neighbours is acceptable and whether your plans can go ahead.

When is Full Planning Permission Necessary?

If your extension plans exceed the size limits stipulated for the NCS or your neighbours raise significant objections, you might need to apply for full planning permission. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Size and Scale: Extensions exceeding a specific percentage of the original dwelling’s floor area or a set maximum cubic meterage typically require full planning permission.
  • Location and Impact: Extensions built beyond a specific building line or alterations that significantly affect the character of the surrounding area will likely require full planning permission.
  • Listed Buildings: Any alterations or extensions to listed buildings (buildings of historical or architectural importance) almost always require full planning permission.

The NCS Process: A Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Plan Your Extension: Before notifying your neighbours, ensure your extension plans comply with PD allowances and local planning policies. Resources like your local council’s website or online PD guidance can help you determine this.
  2. Pre-Consultation (Optional): While not mandatory, consider having an informal conversation with your neighbours to discuss your plans and address any initial concerns.
  3. Formal Neighbour Notification: The local council will send a formal letter to your neighbours outlining the proposed extension details.
  4. Neighbour Response: Your neighbours have a designated timeframe (typically 21 days) to submit their comments or objections to the local council.
  5. Council Decision: The council will assess any objections raised by your neighbours. If no objections are received, or the objections are deemed minor and can be addressed through minor design modifications, the project can proceed under PD.
  6. Appeal Process: If your neighbours raise significant objections and the council upholds them, you might have the right to appeal the decision.

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When can development on a ‘Larger Home Extension’ begin?

Development can begin if:

  • The local authority sends notification in writing that:
    a) No objections were received from adjoining neighbours
    b) The local authority determined that any impacts were acceptable
  • You haven’t received notification of the local authority’s decision within the 42 day determination period

What happens if my ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’ application is refused?

If approval is refused, you/the developer can appeal the decision or modify the proposed extension until an acceptable level of impact is achieved.

Source: ‘Prior Approval: Larger Home Extension’ Guidance

For more information, go to Neighbour Consultation Scheme

Ensuring a Smooth NCS Process: Tips for Success

  • Clear and Accurate Communication: When discussing your plans with neighbours, provide clear and accurate information about the proposed extension’s size, design, and potential impact.
  • Openness to Feedback: Be receptive to your neighbours’ concerns and consider potential adjustments to address them if possible.
  • Maintaining Respect: Throughout the process, maintain a respectful and neighborly approach, even if you disagree with any objections raised.

Resources and Support: Getting the Help You Need

  • Your Local Council Planning Portal: A wealth of information on PD allowances, the NCS process, downloadable forms, and potentially online guidance for navigating the scheme.
  • Citizens Advice: Offers free, impartial advice and support on various topics, including planning and neighbour disputes.
  • Planning Consultants: Consider consulting a planning consultant, especially for complex projects or if you anticipate potential objections from neighbours.

If you have any questions about planning an extension, complying with permitted development rules and the Neighbour Consultation Scheme, or just questions about creating your dream home in general, go ahead and book a free call below with Yoop.

Building Trust and Expanding Your Home

The Neighbour Consultation Scheme can be a valuable tool for homeowners in England, allowing for larger extensions under permitted development while fostering communication and building trust with neighbours. By understanding the scheme’s purpose, following the steps outlined, and prioritizing clear communication, you can navigate the NCS process with confidence and embark on your


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