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  • Lisa Gentile

What it’s Possible to Build Without Planning Permission?

As you look further into your Project you will probably find that there are quite a few changes you can make to your home that don’t actually require planning permission. The only real restriction in this regard is if your home sits in a conservation area or is listed by Historic England. So anyway, what are those changes that remove the stress of waiting to hear if you have been awarded planning permission? Well, here are a few ideas right here:

Putting in sky lights. As a minor Loft conversion project, adding Velux windows does not alter the shape or character of your home. And, because of this, it is allowed under permitted development ie. it does not require contacting the council to notify them of your plans.


Adding a single storey extension. Yes really, it is possible to add a whole extension to your home provided it remains within the stated conditions. These are that it is not in front of your house and that it looks similar in terms of the cladding used. If it is within two metres of any boundary lines the eaves should not be higher than three metres. If you have a detached house, then any rear extension cannot be more than four metres into the garden or three metres for a semi-detached or terraced house. In some cases, it is even possible to build a two-storey extension provided it isn’t within seven metres of the rear boundary and two meters from any other boundary.


Converting your loft. It is possible to work with up to 40 cubic metres (50 for detached houses) without the need for planning permission. A dormer loft conversion does not require planning permission, provided it does not exceed the height of the roof itself.


Putting in a swimming pool. It may be a luxury for some, but a swimming pool is still allowed under permitted development provided it does not take up half the garden (quite literally).


Adding a new driveway. This is fine provided the driveway (with vehicle access) does not lead onto a classified road. If it does then there are certain guidelines that it is necessary to comply with. This centres around visibility when entering the classified road and sufficient turning space for a standard vehicle.


Putting in solar panels. Provided they do not protrude more than 200mm from the surface of the roof or wall of your home then solar panels are fine to install. Another stipulation is that they cannot be higher than the tallest part of the roof.


Adding a basement. This is an interesting one since although a basement can be allowed as permitted development (Class A), the kind of typical construction engineering work needed is not!



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