Are you thinking about adding an extension for your home? They’re an excellent option of you want to create more space, or get more living space without having to move to another home. If you are thinking about it, you’ll need to be aware of planning permissions. Will you need planning permission for your extension? Here’s everything you need to know.
When You’ll Need Planning Permission
Will you need planning permission for an extension? In short, it depends on where the extension will be built.
In most cases, if you’re building within your permitted development rights, then you can build there without having to get planning permission. If you’re working on the front of the house, or next to a road or boundary, then you may need it.
You’ll need planning permission for all home extensions if they meet the following criteria:
- More than half of the land around the ‘original house’ will be covered with the new extension.
- Materials used are not similar to the original house (this doesn’t include conservatories).
- The extension is forward of the front or side of the original house and faces a highway.
- The extension will be higher than the highest point of the roof. This also applies if the extensions’ eaves and ridge height are higher than the existing house.
- The eaves height is more than three metres, if within 2 metres of the boundary.
- The extension will include verandas, balconies, or raised platforms.
You’ll need planning permission for a side extension if:
- It’s more than a single storey or over 4 metres.
- It’s wider than half of the width of the original house.
When it comes to rear extensions, you’ll need planning permission if:
- It extends beyond the rear of the original house by over 6 metres for a semi detached house, or 8 metres for a detached house.
- It is more than 4 metres in height.
A rear extension two storey will need planning permission if:
- It extends out beyond the rear of the original house by over 3 metres, or is within 7 metres of a boundary opposite rear wall.
- Side facing windows are not obscure glazed, and can open, unless the opening part is 1.7 metres from the floor of the room.
- The roof pitch does not match the existing house.
When You’ll Need To Meet Building Regulations
Building regulations are the standards that the building work on any extension has to meet. This is mainly for safety, to ensure that everyone is safe on the site, and you’re protected from bad workmanship. As such, you will need to meet building regulations when it comes to your extension. Be aware that there are some exemptions, such as for those looking to add a conservatory to their home.
What does that mean for you? Your extension is a complicated build, and so the guidelines will cover aspects such as:
External and internal walls
- Doors and windows
If you want to know more about the building regulations that will apply to you specifically, then you should talk to your builder about the requirements they need to meet. Any good building company will be able to walk you through these.
The Party Wall Act
If you’re considering an extension, you’ll need to know about the Party Wall Act of 1996. This was passed in order to avoid disputes between neighbours, so everyone can find a solution that works for them.
Typically, under the act you need to give notice to a neighbour if your extension will be on or near the boundary with them, or you’re working on a wall that separates you and them.
This is separate to planning permission and building regulations, so you will still need to adhere to these rules even if you don’t need planning permission.
The Neighbour Consultation Scheme
If your extension meets a certain size threshold, then under the Neighbour Consultation Scheme you are required to give your neighbours notice about it. The extension will need to be more than four metres in height up to eight metres from the back of your house in order for you to come under this rule.
This is another scheme that was put into place in 2019, to reduce neighbour disputes about extensions. Rather than speaking to the neighbours directly, you’ll need to go to the local planning office. They will be the ones who consult your neighbours. If the neighbours object with a fair reason, then the local planning office can stop the development on your home.
Other Restrictions To Be Aware Of
There are several other restrictions that you’ll need to be aware of, if you’re thinking of putting an extension on your home. Here are some that you should know about:
The Original House Rule: You’ll have seen the phrase ‘original house’ listed in the restrictions above. The phrase refers to your house as it stood on 1st July 1984 on the date it was built on, if built after.
Article 4 Direction: Your local council has the right to override any developments that are in progress. You’ll need to check with your local office to see if there are any directives in place, before building.
Restrictive Covenant: Your property may have a covenant on it placed there by a previous owner, as a condition of sale. This could be the restriction of development on the property. Check that there isn’t a restrictive covenant in place before you start work.
Listed Buildings: If your home is a listed building, there may be stricter planning rules, and you’ll need consent to extend it from your local planning office.
Designated land: If your home is on designated land, such as a conservation area or National Parks, then extensions will be under stricter controls.
There are a few things you need to know about, if you’re planning to have an extension put on your home. Use this guide to help you see what you need to know, and talk to your builder before going ahead with any plans.