Guest Blog: How to make alterations to your home without the need for Planning Permission

Guest Blog by Allan Corfield Architects Ltd

If you’ve ever considered making changes or alterations to your home, but been put off by the thought of going through the Planning Permission process – you might want to think again!

Did you know you can actually make alterations to your home without the need for Planning Permission?

What is Permitted Development?

‘Householder Permitted Development’ encompasses all of the minor home improvements, alterations, or extensions, that can be carried out without the need to submit a Planning Permission application.

It’s important that all home improvement projects are carefully considered, but Permitted Development Rights allow a lot more efficiency in the process for uncontroversial developments.

Like all other home improvement projects, the property owner is responsible for complying with the relevant planning regulations. If you don’t comply with the law, you may have to remove some or all of the work undertaken!

What Work is Included in Permitted Development?

You should consult your local government’s website – or the Planning Portal – for information on which developments are eligible for Permitted Development, but typically the following are included:

• Single Storey Ground Floor Extensions
• Construction or Alteration of a Porch
• Alteration to a Roof
• Access Ramps
• Changes to the Appearance of your House (which does not qualify as an Extension)
• Outbuildings (Sheds, Sun Houses, Greenhouses, Garages)
• Hard Surfaces (Paving, Patios, Driveways)
• Decking & Raised Platforms
• Alterations to Flats

Most types of development can be done through Permitted Development, so long as they meet the correct criteria and do not exceed any height restrictions or footprint sizes, for example.

You should be aware that some newer housing developments have had Permitted Development Rights removed, so be sure to check your Title Deeds!

You should be able to find flowcharts from your local authority online, which guide you through specific questions to help you figure out if your proposed development requires Planning Permission or not.

For example, for building a Single Storey Ground Floor Extension, you can proceed under Permitted Development Rights in Scotland if you comply with the following:

• The principal elevation does not front a road and the extension is not forward of the principal elevation
• The side elevation of the house does not front a road and the extension is not forward of that side elevation
• The extension is not within 1m of the boundary
• If it is a terraced house, the extension will not project more than 3m from the rear wall of the house
• The extension does not project more than 4m from the rear wall of the house
• The eaves height of the extension does not exceed 3m
• Any part of the extension is not more than 4m high
• The extension does not result in the original footprint of the house being more than doubled
• Whichever garden the extension is in (front or rear), less than 50% of unsurfaced garden is developed – this includes previous extensions and outbuildings

Each type of project has its own criteria similar to this, and you need to check that you are not developing a Listed Building, or that your project does not reside within a Conservation Area.

ACA’s Top Tips for Permitted Development

1. Check your Housing Deeds and consult Local Authority Flowcharts
2. Set a Budget
3. If in doubt about criteria, apply for Lawful Development Certificate/Building Warrant
4. Set project timescales with team of professionals in advance


Disclaimer – This is a guest blog written by a third party. This blog does not represent the views or opinions of Right Surveyors Ltd or any of its affiliated companies.