Best laid plans

Do I really need planning permission for the works I intend to do to my property?

House plans

Having all spent much more time at home, there may well be some building works or renovations on your wishlist. Now may be a very good time to think seriously about proposals to extend or alter your property.

Do I really need planning permission for the works I intend to do to my property?

No, not all changes or improvements to your home need planning permission from your local authority. Some works can be carried out with implied consent known as permitted development and it is worth investigating the extent of these rules which could save you a considerable amount of time and money.

So what is permitted development?

This can be confusing. I had a case recently in Wimbledon where my client, the vendor, had carried out an extension under permitted development but the buyer’s surveyor was insisting that a full application for planning be put in for approval. Importantly, my well-organised client had retained a clear and complete set of plans and thus managed to persuade him this would not be necessary.

While it is essential to check with your local council first, permitted development rights should provide you with automatic planning permission for:

This said, you should be aware of the following facts:

  • Permitted development rights are updated regularly, so always consult your local planning authority for the latest details;
  • Balconies, verandas and platforms (above 30cm) are not covered by permitted development rights;
  • Permitted development rights don’t automatically apply to conservation areas or listed buildings;
  • Permitted development rules vary in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and can differ across local authorities, so always check before proceeding with your project.

To take advantage of permitted development you first need to understand fully what is involved and how to meet the criteria. Ask your local planning authority for the latest details before embarking on your project and be sure to retain full copies of all plans provided by your architect, surveyor or planning consultant to provide when you come to sell or remortgage your home.

Contact our Property team who will be happy to discuss your requirements.

Covid-19: At time of writing, local authority planning services are operating but planning committees are not currently sitting.  Contact your local authority for up-to-date information.

Please note the contents contained in this article are for general guidance only and reflection the position at time of posting. Legal advice should be sought before taking action in relation to specific matters.

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