An extension is a great way to add extra space to your home, but submitting your design to your local authority for permission costs money and takes time. However, there are ways to extend your property without planning permission, and it’s completely legal. They’re called permitted development rights.
Permitted development rights
Permitted development rights allow you to extend your house (the rules don’t apply to flats and maisonettes) without needing to apply for planning permission. This means that you won’t have to spend money on applying and deal with the worry that your application might not get accepted.
There are restrictions
If your extension is completed by 30th May 2019, you can build a single-storey side extension with a width no greater than half the width of the original house. It can’t be higher than 4 metres, and if it’s within 2 metres of a boundary, it can’t be more than 3 metres high at the eaves.
If you want to extend at the back, a single-storey extension can’t be higher than 4 metres. Under the temporary planning permission rules, you can extend 8 metres beyond the original rear wall in a detached house, or 6 metres in an attached house.
Another factor you need to consider is the building work your house has had done previously. Extensions, sheds and outbuildings can’t cover more than half of the total area of land around the original house, or as it stood on 1st July 1948 if your house is older. If previous owners have extended before, then you might have reached the limit already.
Check restrictions for your region
England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all have their own guidelines, so make sure you’re checking the right ones for where you live. Also, if you live somewhere like a conservation area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, different rules could apply.
Check what developments are permittedMake sure that you check what you actually can build. Whilst you know the regulations, the extension you can build in practice might differ to your expectations. You could contact your local authority with your proposals, even though you don’t need to apply for planning permission.
If you’d like to put your mind at rest, you can apply for a lawful development certificate for your extension. It does cost money, but a fraction of the price of planning permission. This way, you’ll be assured that your extension is legal and you’ll have documents to show if you sell in the future.
This advice should give you an idea about the permitted development rights, but you can never do too much research. Visit the planning portal website to find out more information.