Each year, thousands of people look to add living space and re-sale value by improving and extending their homes. Many seek planning permission from their local authority not knowing that an often lengthy planning process could be bypassed altogether thanks to permitted development rights - rights that were permanently loosened in June 2019.
Permitted Development (PD) rights allow you to extend up to a given percentage in volume of an existing house and carry out certain improvements without the need for planning permission. PD rules apply separately to England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The criteria for work carried out under PD is strict, so it is advisable to check with your local authority planning office or have a qualified surveyor confirm that planning permission is not required.
So, what types of work can you carry out under Permitted Development?
Permitted Development rights only apply to private houses. Flats are excluded, as are listed buildings. Properties in specially designated areas such as Conservation Areas or green belt are also subject to further restrictions.
You can use PD rights as often as you like but your allowances for extension work can be used only once. If you are buying a property, it is your responsibility to find out what PD rights have been used, modified or withdrawn.
While it should be possible in most cases to determine if your project qualifies as Permitted Development, there will be instances where further clarification is needed. Rather than submit a planning application, you may apply for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). This is a formal application for your local authority to decide if a project requires planning consent or not.
Your local authority planning department may have removed some of your permitted development rights by issuing an Article 4 direction. This means that you will need to submit a planning application. Before any work begins, you should contact your local planning office and discuss your project.
Visit the Planning Portal for more information about Permitted Development and planning permission.
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