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So, you’ve decided you want to make some changes to your home and want to get started. But if you haven’t checked whether you need planning permission, don’t go diving in just yet.

If you make significant changes to your home which need planning permission, you could be forced to remove all the work at your own cost. Before you start tweaking a single brick in your property, make sure you’ve checked whether planning permission is needed for your project.

What is Planning Permission?

 If you’ve never carried out any renovation work on your home before, you might be sketchy on the precise details of planning permission. Put simply, planning permission is the process which enables the local authority to approve your intended project.

To apply for planning permission, you provide the local authority with drawings of what you hope to do. They make a decision based on the information you supply, by taking into account the following factors:

  • Your intended design
  • The property history
  • Local restrictions
  • Their planning policies

When is Planning Permission Needed?

Not all intended projects require explicit planning permission from the local authority. The government provides a type of general permission known as permitted development. If your project falls within the scope of what’s allowed under a permitted development, there’s no need to apply for specific planning permission.

If you are building a conservatory or single storey extension, you will usually be within permitted development rights if:

  • The structure will be on the side or the rear, and not facing a highway
  • Doesn’t reach past more than 3m beyond the original wall of the house (this increases to 4m for detached properties)
  • Uses less than half of the available land around the original house
  • Uses building materials which are similar to the main property
  • Has eaves which aren’t taller than the existing property
  • If it’s a side extension, it’s less than 50% of the width of your original property
  • It doesn’t exceed 4m in height (or 3m if it lies within 2m of your property boundary)

A loft conversion will normally fall within permitted development rights if:

  • Uses similar building materials
  • Adds less than 40m3 (terraced) or 50m3 (semi-detached/detached) to the property
  • Does not protrude higher than the existing roof
  • Side windows are frosted or obscured
  • Any windows less than 1.7m from the floor are non-opening
  • Any dormer wall is set back from the original wall by at least 20cm

There may be more criteria to meet, but this gives you an idea of whether you’re likely to meet the terms of a permitted development.

Protect your Project

Getting an architect involved from the start ensures you won’t accidentally breach the rules of permitted developments. An architect will be able to let you know whether you need to apply for full planning permission, and whether any special conditions apply.

Here at Sidorova Design, I can help with all aspects of planning, and I can advise on permitted developments.

For an informal chat or to find out more, get in touch with me today. 

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