Irfan Akram Architecture & Design

Why do we have Planning Permission?

Planning control is the process of managing the development of land and buildings. The purpose of this process is to save what is best of our heritage and improve the infrastructure upon which we depend for a civilised existence.

Local planning authority (LPA) usually the district or borough council is responsible for deciding whether a proposed development should be allowed to go ahead. This is called planning permission. Most new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and significant changes to the use of a building or piece of land need this permission. However, certain minor building works known as permitted development do not require planning permission. This is because the effect of such developments on neighbours or the surrounding environment is likely to be small.


Permitted Development

Not all building work requires Planning Permission. Home-owners often seek to create additional living space, adding significant value to their homes in the process. However there are limits to which one can build under permitted development.

All works to a property which are considered development require planning permission. However, some development is permitted without the requirement to submit a formal planning application as it is granted automatically under Article 3 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995.

This means that you are able to make certain minor changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are your "permitted development rights" and are described in full in this guide. Permitted development rights are universal across all local authorities as they derive from a general planning permission granted by the government.

Permitted development rights are set out in Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2008, otherwise known as "Permitted Development" (PD).

Please note: Permitted Development rights only apply to houses and do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. you will need full planning permission for all works to a Flat or Maisonette. read more..


Permitted Development Rights

The rules of what is 'Permitted Development' changed with effect from the 1st October 2008.
Under the new regulations an extension or addition to your home is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:


No more than half the area of land around the "original house"* would be covered by additions or other buildings.

No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.

No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.

Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres for an attached house and four metres for a detached house.

Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.

Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres including ground floor.

Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.

Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.

Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.

Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.

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

Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.

No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.


On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.


* The term "original house" means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.
On designated* land no cladding of the exterior.
On designated land no side extensions.*

* Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Restrictions

In some areas of the country, known generally as 'designated areas', permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas.


Withdrawn Permitted Development Rights

You should also note that the local planning authority may have removed some of your permitted development rights by issuing an Article 4 direction. This will mean that you have to submit a planning application for work which normally does not need one.

Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas. You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check with the local planning authority if you are not sure.

Full Planning

It is very possible that your proposals for an extension will not meet all the restrictions to be considered permitted development. You may want to extend to a greater depth than the allowance permits, perhaps you are thinking of creating a front facing dormer or extension. You could also be considering the addition a raised decking platform, a balcony or a veranda to complement your extension. In whichever way your plans may differ from the restrictions, even the use of alternative materials; you will require planning permission prior to commencing any works on your extension.


Extensions Exceeding Permitted Development

An Extension will require Full Planning Permission where:

It is to cover more than 50% of land around the original house (as it was first built or as it stood on 01 July 1948)

It is to be forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.

It is to be higher than the highest part of the existing roof.

A single-storey rear extension is to exceed three metres beyond the rear wall for an attached house and four metres beyond the rear wall for a detached house.

A single-storey rear extension is to exceed a height of four metres.

A rear extension of more than one storey is to exceed a depth of three metres beyond the rear wall.

The eaves height of an extension are to exceed a height of two metres of the boundary of three metres.

The eaves and ridge height of extension are to exceed the height of the existing house.

A single storey side extension is to exceed a height of four metres and width of more than half that of the original house.

A Two-storey extension is to be closer than seven metres to rear boundary.

The Roof pitch of an extension higher than one storey do not match existing house.

Materials used will not be similar in appearance to the existing house.

It is to include any verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be clear glazed; any opening to be lower than 1.7m above the floor.


Flat or Maisonette

The planning regulations for flats and maisonettes differ in many important ways to that which covers houses. If you plan to build an extension for a flat or maisonette you will most likely require full planning permission even it your proposals are within the permitted development restrictions. this is because the rights do not apply to maisonettes and flats. More on Flats and Maisonettes

Building an extension in a Conservation Area

If you have lived in a conservation area for some time you are likely to be aware of the regulations and how these can affect home improvements. However if you have recently moved into the area it is most likely to be all new to you. That being said, one of the reasons that you purchased your new home may well have been the character of the area and the preservation the conservation status has provided. It is important to note, Conservation areas are not intended to lock an area in the past as a form of living museum, new development is often permitted but it will have to be undertaken sympathetically to conform to the existing environment. In a conservation area you will require planning permission for most extensions. It is absolutely necessary to obtain the required conservation area consent prior to beginning any works. Going ahead without this may result in a fine or imprisonment, or both.

Retrospective Planning

If building works have begun where planning permission is required, and consent has not been obtained, a retrospective planning permission is required to regularise the development. A Retrospective Planning Application is essentially an application that is submitted retroactively in order to obtain planning permission and regularise the development.

An owner or developer should never rely on a retrospective planning permission application to get unauthorised development approved. Anyone doing this is taking a considerable risk and may face formal enforcement action.

A Retrospective Planning Application is very similar to a standard planning application in that it requires detailed planning drawings to outline the scale of the development. However an application for retrospective planning consent is specifically for projects where building works have commenced or are already complete.



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