Extending Your Home

Prior to building your project, you must first secure approval from your local authority. This can come in two forms: planning permission or by utilising your permitted development rights.

Permitted Development

Permitted development rights allow homeowners to extend their home without the need for planning permission. The scheme was set up by the government, and they can only be used if your extension follows a strict set of guidelines.

A few examples of these guidlines include:

  • A rear extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the existing house by 3m if an attached house or 4m if detached.

  • Takes up less than 50% of the size of the land around the original house (“original” being the latest of when the property was built or if it was built before 1948, then as it stood on 1st July 1948).

  • Is less than 4m in height (or less than 3m if within 2m of a property boundary).

A full set of these guidlines can be found on the Planning Portal Website (Link Below).

Planning Permission

If your intention is to build outside of your permitted development rights - either because they don’t cover your home, or you want to go beyond what they permit - then you’ll need to apply for planning permission.

All applications for planning permission are handled by your local authority, and will take, at minimum, 8 weeks to be reviewed and determined. 

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Lawful Development Certificate

If you do plan on using your permitted development rights to extend, it’s recommended that you apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This certificate provides proof that your extension has the approval from your local authority prior to construction and therefore is proof your extension is built legally. This not only protects you in the event of the rules around permitted development changing, but is also a sensible piece of documentation when selling your home.

The application for a lawful development certificate is similar to a planning application - though much less likely to be rejected.


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