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5 steps to applying for permitted development in the UK after May 2019

If you are looking to extend your property in 2019 you will not doubt have to look up planning permission regulations to understand what the process is, how long it takes and what the fees might be for your application. No doubt it sounds like a daunting task but it doesn't really have to be. There are some great news for home owners.

Under new permitted development rules, homeowners in terraced and semi-detached homes will be able to put single story extensions of up to 6 metres at the rear of their properties without needing to obtain planning permission. Those in detached homes will be able to extend by up to 8 metres.

Kit Malthouse, housing minister, said: “These measures will help families extend their properties without battling through time-consuming red tape.”

Here are the 5 steps to take, for a permitted development application in the UK.

permitted development in the UK

What is in scope for permitted development ?

A General Development Planning Order (GDPO) is a process that applies separately to England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, and which gives implied planning consent to carry out certain classes of development. Local authorities offer a fee based consultancy where you can speak to a planning specialist who will confirm in writing whether or not permission is required.

Once you get your GDPO, any work you undertake must strictly conform to the criteria that have been set.

There are occasions where PD rights do not apply, for example if your property is a listed building or in a conservation area. It is also quite common for these rights to be restricted on new build properties.

You must also always remember that the provisions apply to the original building – which is that as it stood in 1948 or when constructed, whichever is the later.

Step 1 - make sure that your extension is permitted development

If you have a small rear or side extension, it is likely that you do not need full planning permission. You will find the mini guide for single storey extensions here.

What will not likely need planning permission:

● Side extensions with a maximum height of 4m and width no more than half that of the original house.

permitted development in the UK

● Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of 4m.

permitted development in the UK

● Width of side extension must not have a width greater than half the width of the original house.

permitted development in the UK

● If the extension is within 2m of a boundary, maximum eaves height should be no higher than 3m to be permitted development.

permitted development in the UK

● Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than 8m if a detached house; or more than 6m for any other house, where not on designated land* or a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

permitted development in the UK

● Materials used in exterior work to be similar in appearance to those of the exterior of the existing house. This condition does not apply when the extension is a conservatory.

● Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.

permitted development in the UK

Step 2: Materials

When you talk to an architect or design company about planning permission, they will ask if the materials you are planning to use are similar to your original house. Check with your council for guides around this, especially if you live in a listed property or planning something very modern.

Even if your property is not listed, some deeds may have covenants that you are not supposed to alter the style/look of the property. Double-check the deeds!

Step 3: Talk to your neighbours

Be nice and let them know that you are considering an extension. Who knows, they might have similar plans too and maybe you can help each other brainstorm! In my case, my good neighbour and friend Laura was kind enough to download plans of our house and play around with them and come to us with ideas about our kitchen extension. She saved me time!!

Your local planning authority will tell your neighbours in any case, so better they find from you and not through the post!

Step 4: Nature

Did you read the news about the Property Developer who was fined £18,000 for destroying a bat roost ? There's lots of legislation protecting plants, animals and habitats here in the UK, so you need to be sure that your extension won't clash with them or cause any damage to local nature and wildlife.

Amongst other social and economic benefits, laws protecting endangered and vulnerable wild animals are essential for promoting biodiversity and maintaining the quality of our environment.  

One of the biggest ways your extension could affect a natural habitat is, for example, if you're planning on cutting down an old tree to make room for your extension.

Step 5 - Submit your application

You can use the Planning Portal site to submit a new application or view an existing one.

Your application must be made up of:

  • The necessary plans of the site

  • The required supporting documentation

  • The completed form

  • The correct fee.

Resources - Find your Location and Site Plan

Block plans from only £8 - Location plans from only £11

INSTANT service - SIMPLE to use

LOCATION & Site (Block) Plans



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