An informative, useful article for those new to the subject of planning permission. This post will cover what it is, when it’s needed and how to request it – plus what to do if it’s denied.

As more and more people are looking to extend or upgrade their home as opposed to moving, one of the practicalities that you will have to navigate is that of planning permission. If you don’t know what planning permission is and what you need it for, this guide will explain everything you need to know.

Planning permission is something that you will need to obtain from the local council that gives you the authority to extend your home. That said, you don’t always need planning permission. It depends on the size and nature of your project.

If in doubt it is always advised that if you are planning any alteration or extension to consult your local authority who will be able to advise what is acceptable. As a general rule, the following applies:

  • Single storey extensions are permitted, provided that they are no larger than 8 meters on a detached house.
  • Double storey extension if it is no taller than the highest point of your existing roof and it does not extend beyond the rear wall by more than 3 metres, provided that the end of the extension is at least 7 metres from the boundary and it should be constructed using similar materials to the original building.

Most properties will have what is known as a permitted development right which will cover demolition, minor extension and change of use. These include:

  • Conversions of the loft or garage
  • Renovations or conversions of a basement or cellar

It is important to understand however that flats and maisonettes are not included in these regulations and planning permission will be needed.

Planning Permission Application

If your development does need planning permission, you will need to follow a specific application process. There are two main ways that you can apply, the first is through your local authority or the second is through a dedicated planning portal. Your local authority will be able to advise on the correct application method for your area.

Once the planning documentation has been submitted, it will be reviewed, and a decision is usually reached in about 8 weeks.

If your planning application is approved, you will receive written confirmation and this permission will last three years. If the build doesn’t start within that timeframe you will need to re-apply and pay any fees.

Once you start the build, make sure that your project complies with any conditions that may be attached to the planning permission. Your extension or alteration will be signed off at the end, so it is important that it meets any criteria.