There has been tremendous publicity regarding Permitted Development Rights; how the changes over the last 10 years and the Housing Secretary James Brokenshire’s statement made earlier this year.
If you’re planning on building a single storey rear extension under your permitted development rights, you can now take advantage of a doubled size allowance under the Larger Home Extension Scheme (subject to very particular criteria). This includes extensions up to 8 metres (from 4 metres) for a detached house, and 6 metres (from 3 metres) for all other houses.
Previously, this scheme only applied to projects completed before the end of May 2019. This scheme has now been made permanent.
What is permitted development?
Permitted development is a type of pre-approved permission to set criteria to build as your ‘Right’, which allows you to bypass most of the main planning process, by means of a tick box process providing your proposed design falls within the legislation criteria.
You certainly should apply to your council for a lawful development certificate to prove your development is within the conditions provided, and if your plans fall within the scheme, it can save time and potential complications over putting in a full planning application. However there are risks of particular ‘grey areas’ of which should be very clear but can slip into debate; a slimmed-down version of the planning process, managed by set departments within the planning team to cover this part of the process, becomes the limitation.
To take advantage of this extra allowance under permitted development, you’ll need to ensure your plans extend no more than 8 metres (for a detached property) or 6 metres (for all other properties) from the rear elevation of the original house, as it stood on 1 July 1948. Subject to Planning Team review and the Neighbour Consultation Scheme.
You must check that you do not fall into an area where your PD rights have been removed, or the already used within a previous extension, underlying covenants etc
The development must also comply with other conditions that apply to all rear extensions allowed under permitted development: these are listed in great length on the national planning website and within local planning websites (along with the particular local requirements which must be checked).
What is the Neighbour Consultation Scheme?
The Neighbour Consultation Scheme is the approval process for extensions built under the Larger Home Extension Scheme. Once you provide the detailed plans for your project to the council they will notify any adjoining owners or occupiers to your development (i.e. your neighbours), and invite them to raise any objections within a 21 day period.
If no objections are received, and the development complies with all of the relevant criteria under permitted development rights and the Larger Home Extension Scheme, you’ll be notified by the council within a 42 day period and may start building, potentially under certain additional conditions.
You will need Building Regulation Approval for the extension and you will need to submit detailed plans to get this approval.