Permitted development rights and restrictions
Government legislation grants automatic planning permission for certain types of development (for example, certain types of extensions and alterations). Such development is called 'permitted development', and does not require planning permission from the council.
Part of the legislation relates to works to houses, and this is the part meant when most people talk about 'permitted development' rights.
Although most houses benefit from these permitted development rights, there are a number of exceptions, including the following:
- Flats and maisonettes (whether purpose-built or converted) do not benefit from these types of permitted development rights.
- Some houses have had their permitted development rights removed by an Article 4 direction.
- Some houses have had their permitted development rights removed by a condition on a previous planning permission. For example, this can be the case for houses that have been built in the last 30-40 years, or for houses that have been converted (such as from flats to a house, or from a commercial property into a house) in the last 30-40 years.
If a house benefits from permitted development rights but is situated within a conservation area, then its rights will be reduced (for example, no side extension or no roof extensions).
If a house benefits from permitted development rights but is a listed building, then its rights will be reduced (for example, no outbuildings) and most works will still require listed building consent.
If you wish to undertake works that are permitted development, then such works do not require planning permission from the council (because they are granted planning permission by the GPDO). However, please note the following:
- The fact that works are permitted under planning legislation does not change whether or not they require approval under other areas of legislation, such as the Building Regulations, and the Party Wall Act, and so on.
- If you think your development would fall within permitted development rights, we recommend that before carrying out works, you apply to the council for a 'certificate of lawfulness'. This is an optional application that asks the council to confirm in a legal document that the proposed works would be lawful (that they would comply with the legislation). A certificate can give peace of mind before you start works, and may be required during any future sale of your property. It is strongly recommended that you apply for a certificate of lawfulness before starting works, because the legislation can be difficult to interpret, and it is not uncommon for people to make mistakes in interpretation.