While larger, more substantial home improvement projects will require consent from the local planning department, there are many changes that you can make to your home, from installing rooflights and converting your garage to changing your cladding or adding a conservatory, that can all be undertaken with implied consent known as Permitted Development
It should be noted that there are limitations to PD rights, especially if you live in a Conservation Area (or similar designated area), a listed building or if you have already undertaken a number of improvements to your home, so do check before you start work.
This blog will outline home improvement projects that you can do without planning permission.
When Do I Need Planning Permission?
If you are building from scratch, planning a large extension or making improvements to a listed building (or a property in a AONB, or other specially designated area) then you will need planning permission. Our complete guide to planning permission will guide you through the process.
But for smaller home improvements, like those listed below, it is likely that you can complete these under Permitted Development.
- Internal remodelling
- Windows and doors
- Garages and attached buildings
- Single storey extensions
- Loft conversions
- Two storey extensions
- Sheds and outbuildings
- Converting two homes into one
- Gates, walls and fences
Does an Interior Remodel Need Planning Permission?
Remodelling the interior is a great way to add more space to your home and can often be done within PD, especially if your proposed work does not require you to extend the overall footprint of the dwelling.
While you won’t need planning permission, you will need Building Regulations approval on structural elements and electrical works.
Do I Need Planning Permission to Move/Add Windows & Doors?
In normal circumstances, you can replace or add new windows in the original walls of your house without needing planning approval. However, you may need planning permission if conditions were attached to the original permission. Check with your local authority if you are unsure if there are any conditions attached or what they are.
As long as your building isn’t listed, you should be able to install double glazing under PD, but do remember that for new or bigger windows or doors, you will need to follow Building Regulations guidance. Bear in mind that bay windows are classed as extensions.
Planning permission to insert a new window or door opening is not required as long as any upper floor windows on the side elevation are glazed with obscured glass (level 4 or 5 obscurity). They must also be fixed into a non-opening frame (unless the opener is more than 1.7m above the floor of the room in which the window is installed).
Do I Need Planning Permission to Convert a Garage?
Converting an attached building, like an integral garage, into living space also falls under PD as you are not increasing the overall footprint of the building.
Converting a standalone garage will involve applying for a change of use under Building Regulations.
How Big Can a Single-Storey Extension be Without Planning Permission?
As long as you stay within the below parameters, you can build a single-storey extension without needing planning permission:
- The extension does not sit forward of the principal elevation
- Materials should be similar
- Where it is within 2m of any boundary, the eaves cannot be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise
- Rear extensions — no more than 4m in depth (detached house) or 3m in depth (semi-detached or terrace)
- Side extensions — the width of the extension must not be greater than half the width of the original dwelling. Side extensions are not permitted on Article 1(5) Land (e.g. AONB, Conservation Areas)
I Want Rooflights — Do I Need Planning Permission?
Under PD you can make alterations to the roof of a dwelling, like the introduction of rooflights, as long as they do not project more than 15cm from the roof slope.
If the rooflights would extend forward of the roof plane on the elevation fronting a highway then they are not permitted under PD.
If I Convert my Loft, Do I Need Planning Permission?
Additional space can also be achieved through a loft conversion, without the need for planning consent. While there are limitations on the cubic content allowed under PD, generally, up to 40m³ is fine.
When it comes to additional headroom in the loft space, PD allows for the construction of dormer windows. But, they must not sit higher than the highest part of the existing roof, or extend forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation.
Do I Need Planning Permission for a Two Storey Extension?
You can add a two storey extension to your home under PD, providing it is at the rear of the dwelling (this includes adding a second storey onto an existing single storey part of the house).
In addition, your two storey extension must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of the rear boundary. Specific restrictions also apply to the glazed nature of windows in such extensions.
Does Adding a Conservatory Need Planning Permission?
Similar to single storey extensions, conservatories and orangeries fall under the same restrictions and can be added under PD. Check the rules about single storey extensions above.
If I Add a Shed or Outbuilding, Do I Need Planning Permission?
There may be opportunity to build multiple outbuildings under PD, providing the total area covered by such buildings/enclosures does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.
I Want to Convert Two Homes into One – Do I Need Planning Permission?
Converting a pair of semis or two flats, into one property can usually be done under PD and can be a great way of generating extra space without having to move.
Unfortunately, the same rules do not apply if you are dividing a single property into two dwellings. For this you would need to apply for planning permission.
If I Add a Porch, Do I Need Planning Permission?
As long as your new porch conforms with the criteria below, you don’t need planning permission.
- No part of the porch can be taller than 3m
- It cannot be within 2m of any boundary adjacent to a highway
- The ground area (measured externally) does not exceed 3m².
Does Adding Gates, Walls and Fences Need Planning Permission?
Permitted Development facilitates the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration to a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure, providing such work stays within the following limitations:
- The height would not exceed 1m when adjacent to a highway
- The height would not exceed 2m for any other gate, fence etc
- Such development is not permitted under PD around a listed building
Do I Need Planning Permission for New Garden Decking?
As long as the height falls below 300mm, garden decking and other similar structures can be built without planning permission, as long as certain criteria are met.
Hopefully the above has given you enough information to get you started on your home improvement project. If you need any additional information, give us a call today.