Building a home extension can be a hugely worthwhile project. Not only can it add much-sought-after living space to a property, it can also add value and make a home stand out in a seriously competitive market.
While a successful home extension requires solid planning it does not always require planning permission. Permitted development rights can be sufficient to cover extensions of a certain size, subject to a number of constraints. If you run your plans by a local architectural designer or builder and take the time to familiarise yourself with local planning regulations, you could well find that planning permission will not be necessary for what you have in mind.
It is important to remember that there is no excuse for simply assuming that an extension will be permitted. Your local council would be well within its rights to force you to tear down your extension if it contravenes local regulations (then hand you a sizeable fine). Our advice is to play it safe and plan carefully, making sure that your Pros have applied for the required permissions before building work begins.
While Planning Permission would usually be required to make a significant alteration to a property, permitted development rights can often allow extension work to occur as long as it abides by certain rules. Exactly what these rules are can vary depending on where you live, so it can be an excellent idea to check local planning laws before making solid plans for your extension. For example, there is currently a temporary increase in what is permitted for single storey extensions, provided they are completed by 30 May 2019.
You should keep in mind that the rules below only apply to houses. Policies are usually different for flats and maisonettes, as well as listed buildings, properties subject to planning conditions and dwellings created through change of use.
If your home is located in a conservation area, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a World Heritage Site or the Broads, you will almost certainly require planning permission to make any significant changes.
Before we continue, it is worth noting down the following definitions: