Undertaking works to your home – when do you need planning permission?
This article was produced by Erica Ives, Irwin Mitchell.
When deciding whether to carry out any works to your home you should always check whether planning permission is required first.
Helpfully, many works to the domestic home fall within permitted development rights and therefore do not require an application for planning permission.
What are permitted development rights?
Permitted development rights are contained in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (the “GPDO”) and effectively grant planning permission for works which would ordinarily require express planning permission.
Householder permitted development rights
These are contained in Schedule 2 of the GPDO, with development falling in classes A – H being permitted within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. In most cases what constitutes the curtilage of a house will simply be the boundary of the property. However, this may require further consideration for properties on larger estates, for example a farm or where there is a holiday let on the land. In these cases, the curtilage will only extend to the land around the property which is used for purposes incidental to the house e.g. as a garden. If in doubt on this point, it is always best to seek advice.
Each permitted development right is subject to detailed limitations and conditions which must be checked before works are carried out.
Class A – the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwellinghouse
- This permits extensions to a house. Key conditions/ limitations include:
- Limits on the size of the extension and the height of the roof and eaves.
- Extensions to the principle elevation (usually the side of the house facing the road) are not permitted and those to side elevations are restricted, particularly on corner plots.
- Materials used must match the appearance of the existing house.
- Upper floor windows may require privacy/ obscuring mechanisms
Class B – additions etc to the roof of a dwellinghouse
This permits loft conversions. Key conditions/ limitations include:
- Limits on the height of the roof, size of the enlarged roof space and size of any balcony.
- Limitations relating to dormer windows on principle and side elevations.
- Materials used must match the appearance of the existing house
- Windows may require privacy/ obscuring mechanisms
Class C – other alterations to the roof of a dwellinghouse
This permits the installation of skylight windows provided these do not extend from the roof by more than 15cm (when shut).
Class D – porches
A size limit applies of 3m² or less.
Class E – buildings etc incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse
This includes sheds, workshops, swimming pools, ponds, raised platforms and oil/ gas tanks for domestic heating. It also permits structures for the keeping of animals provided these are for domestic or personal enjoyment rather than business related.
Class F – hard surfaces incidental to the enjoyment of a dwellinghouse
This permits the laying of a driveway or patio although it wouldn’t cover the creation of new access point to the property.
Class G—chimneys, flues etc on a dwellinghouse
Class H—microwave antenna on a dwellinghouse
These include putting up gates, fences, walls and other types of enclosure subject to height restrictions, the painting of buildings and installation of electric vehicle charging points.
The installation of solar panels or fee standing solar equipment, ground or air source heat pumps and wind turbines.
Limitations and exceptions
Certain rights do not apply or are restricted for properties which lie within or near a Conservation Area, World Heritage Site, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Listed Building or National Park. Local authorities may also make Article 4 directions which remove permitted development rights in certain areas. Therefore, it’s important to check these points as well as the conditions and limitations listed above.
It should also be noted that for any listed building, listed building consent will still be separately required.
For more detailed technical guidance, the following document can be consulted Planning permission: permitted development rights for householders | GOV.WALES.