Do I need planning for...?

You will require planning permission for any extension to the front of your house. You will also require planning permission if your extension has more than one storey and is on the side of your house.

Your extension may require planning permission if you propose a two-storey extension to the rear your house. An extension to your house requires planning permission if:

  • It is located on the front of your house, or the side of the house if that fronts a highway;
  • The extension is higher than the highest part of the roof;
  • It is a single-storey rear extension and extends 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.
  • The maximum height of a single-storey rear extension exceeds four metres.
  • The extension has more than one storey and extends beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres.
  • The maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary exceeds three metres.
  • The maximum eaves and ridge height of the extension exceeds those heights of the existing house.
  • A side extension is single storey with maximum height exceeding four metres, and width exceeding more than half that of the original house.
  • A two-storey extension is within seven metres of the rear boundary.
  • The roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey do not match existing house.
  • The materials are not similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • There are any verandas, balconies or raised platforms

Further limitations apply in designated areas, such as Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, etc.

N.B. Single-storey rear extensions extending to eight metres if a detached house; or six metres for any other house are permitted subject to the neighbour consultation scheme, which requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.

If your house is a listed building, Listed Building Consent will be required for any extension.

Constructing an Outbuilding, e.g. a garage or a shed

An outbuilding requires planning permission if it:

  • Is in your front garden;
  • Has an eaves (the point where the wall meets the roof) height over 2.5 metres;
  • Has a maximum height over 4 metres, or over 2.5 metres (if the building is within 2 metres of a boundary);
  • It includes a veranda, balcony or raised platform (above 0.3 metres in height);
  • Your house is a listed building.

Further limitations apply in designated areas, such as Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, etc.

Patios, Driveways and Paving Front Gardens

You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing which allows water to drain through, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.

If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not provide for the water to run to a permeable area.

Elsewhere around your house there are no restrictions on the area of land which you can cover with hard surfaces at, or near, ground level.

Fences, gates and walls

The erection of a fence, gate and wall requires planning permission if:

  • it would have a height in excess of 1 metre high, if it is next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway); or in excess of 2 metres high elsewhere;
  • your house is a listed building; or
  • the fence, wall or gate, or any other boundary involved, forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building.

Decking/Raised Platforms

Constructing decking or raised platforms requires planning permission if it is in excess of 30cm above the ground and if it covers more than 50% of the garden area when including other extensions and outbuildings.

Doors and Windows

Repairs, maintenance and minor improvements, i.e. repainting door and window frames, and the insertion of new windows and doors of a similar appearance to the existing windows do not usually require planning permission.

Planning permission would be required for new windows in upper floor side elevations unless they are fitted with obscure glazing and are non-opening up to a height of 1.7 metres above the internal floor level.

Loft Conversion and Dormer Windows

Converting the space in your loft to living accommodation does not normally require planning permission. However, permission may be required for extensions or alterations, such as dormer windows and rooflights.

Dormer windows require planning permission if:

  • 40 cubic metres additional roof space would be provided (for terraced houses);
  • 50 cubic metres additional roof space would be provided (for detached and semi-detached houses);
  • The extension would be beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway;
  • The extension would be higher than the highest part of the roof;
  • The materials are not similar in appearance to the existing house
  • There are any verandas, balconies or raised platforms

Side-facing windows are to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor and any roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, are to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves, the enlargement cannot project beyond the outer face of the wall of the original house.

What happens if I need planning permission?

If planning permission is required, it is necessary to submit a planning application to your local Council. The local Council will consider the application against its planning policies and assess the impact of the proposal. It will then either grant planning permission or refuse the application.

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted development (PD) is planning permission granted by Government for certain small scale developments, such as extensions and outbuildings, subject to confirming with certain restrictions.

How we can help

At Attwells we can advise you on whether or not your proposal will need planning permission. If it does, then we can prepare and submit the planning application on your behalf. If you don’t already have plans drawn up for your proposal we can put you in touch with someone who can do this for you. Please click here for pricing information