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Changes To Your Home Without Planning Permission


Is there something about your house you would like to change, but aren’t sure if planning permission is required? Not all home improvements need permission, you are able to make certain changes to your home under Permitted Development Rights.

Studio 4 Architecture often have enquiries from people who would like to add or remove something from their property but are worried about their planning being rejected. They are always delighted when we mention Permitted Development and how it could affect them.

Permitted Development

It all depends how big the change that you would like to make is, if you’re considering a large home improvement project its likely you’ll need Planning Permission before commencing work. However, there are a few smaller improvements that are effectively pre-approved under what’s known as Permitted Development Rights.

Permitted Development (PD) gives implied planning consent for certain building works and changes to be carried out without having to make a planning application. There are conditions to this national grant which protects local amenity, especially if you have already made a lot of improvements to your property or if you live in a certain area.

Building Conversions

If you are thinking of converting an industrial building for residential use, it is possible under PD and to do so without Planning Permission. However, it is likely you will need approval from Listed Buildings and also to follow the Prior Notification process when converting a barn.

Removing Trees

You don’t need planning permission to remove a tree on your property, unless it is located in a conservation area. If this is the case, you will need to give six weeks’ notice to the council about the proposed works.

Installing Pipes & Chimneys

Installing pipes and chimneys in a house might come under PD, if the proposal is not 1 metre higher than the highest part of your roof. However, if your house is covered by an Article 4 or is located in a conservation area, it’s likely that you will require planning permission.

Single-Storey Extension

Does a single-story extension fit within PD Rights?

An extension to your property is considered under PD and therefore doesn’t need planning permission, however there are limitations of which a few are mentioned below:

  • Rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 3 metres (attached) or by 4 metres (detached)

  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of 4 metres, maximum eaves height of an extension within 2 metres of the boundary of 3 metres.

  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.

  • Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary

  • Materials must be similar in appearance

  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms

  • Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7 metres above the floor

  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway or higher than the highest part of the roof.

  • On designated land no cladding of the exterior or side extensions

See more details at:

Creating A Porch

Creating a porch under PD is possible if it isn’t taller then 3m, and the footprint does not exceed 3m².

Window Changes

You can add new windows into the walls of your property without planning approval, however you should check if there were any conditions attached the original permission of the house. If there isn’t anything mentioned about the windows in this permission you should be able to update your windows to double glazing for example, under PD.

Loft Conversion

A loft conversion is possible under PD, but there are some limitations on size - up to 40 metres usually fine without any palling consent.

Attaching Buildings

PD allows you to convert any buildings attached to your house, as you are not increasing your properties footprint size. Therefore, converting an attaching building to a living space needs no application.

Gates & Walls

You can add a gate or construct a wall under PD, if the height does not excess 1 metre when opposite a motorway and not over 2 metres in any other area. Also, PD would not cover these changes if your house is a listed building.

Planning permissions isn’t needed if your change is to take down a gate or to alter, maintain or improve an existing wall.

We hope these points have cleared up some of your questions when thinking about the home improvements you would like to put into action! However, we would advise you also check with the Local Planning authority to confirm if your house falls under these general rules. This blog is an introductory guide, not a definitive source of legal information.

If you are still slightly unsure about your home improvement, please do call Studio 4 Architecture. We will be able to confirm all details surrounding your possible property improvement, and confirm if your project does fall under PD. To book your free consultation, please do get in touch on or 01423 226 333

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