Adding An Extension? Plan to Fail if You Fail to Plan

Adding An Extension? Plan to Fail if You Fail to Plan

A brief summary of the government guidance below on development outside of PD (Permitted Development) Rights takes into account the temporary increases to the size limits for single-storey rear extensions (which came in during 2013), which under current legislation must be completed by 30 May 2019, in accordance with the associated Neighbourhood Consultation Scheme for England and Wales.

Although there are some instances where homeowners can have a larger extension than in the past, please don’t get too over excited, as these temporary increased extension size limits for conservatories etc. are potentially still subject to planning law, and in practice only going to be permitted if not a single neighbour objects, and your local council agree with the applicant that their written submission and the professionally drawn plans of their proposals comply with English and Welsh planning law and the current Building Regulations. One major drawback of the Neighbours Consultation Scheme is that homeowners have to wait 8 weeks for a determination. Plus, if any neighbour objects, the local council is probably only going to allow development if it falls within the limits of Permitted Development. Should the homeowner still want to have a larger development considered, they will need to submit a full planning application, which will then take another 8 weeks before a decision is arrived at.

Consequently, one way to go is to apply for full planning permission in the first place should you want to have an extension greater than PD Rights allow, as this immediately saves you 8 weeks, and if done in consultation with your local council, you’ll stand a far better chance of gaining an approval if you design a structure they are happy with in principle. The new temporary increases don’t apply to Conservation Areas, “designated land”, Listed Buildings, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If your property is part of a relatively new development (i.e. within the last 10-15 years or so), your local council may have withdrawn your PD Rights, which would mean you’d almost certainly need to submit a planning application, even if it was say only wanting to add small conservatory onto the original rear elevation. So before you commit to anything, it is always worth checking your  property has sufficient PD Rights still intact to carry out the type and size of extension you want. Find out more about conservatory and orangery extension options

According to an extension or addition to your dwelling in England is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following strict limits and conditions (for a full list of all the rules, visit the planning portal website):

  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
  • In addition, outside Article 2(3) designated land* and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2019.
  • These temporary increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the prior notification of the proposal to the Local Planning Authority and the implementation of a neighbour consultation scheme. If objections are received, the proposal might not be allowed.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.