EXTENDING UPWARDS BY ADDING STOREY – WITHOUT PLANNING PERMISSION
If you want to increase the available accommodation at your property or premises (or create new dwellings) by extending upwards, you may be surprised to hear that you may not need full planning permission to do so.
Full planning applications cost money, take time, and require an assessment to be made by a local planning authority officer. Your neighbours will be consulted and can object to your proposals.
However, it is possible under planning rules in England to undertake certain works without the need to apply for planning permission – subject to ‘permitted development’ rules being met in terms of the size, type and location of the works.
The relevant rules are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended.
The rules affecting the addition of storeys to existing buildings in England changed in 2020.
In place of a full planning application, a ‘fast-track’ submission is made to the LPA for what is known as ‘Prior Approval’. So, whilst the principle of extending upwards is pre-established, your streamlined application will allow your local council to assess proposals only in relation to:
- the external appearance of the building/additional floors
- provision of natural light in habitable rooms
- any impact on the amenity of the existing residents and neighbours, including overlooking, privacy and the loss of light
- construction management – how noise, dust and other disruption will be managed
The local authority will notify and invite comments from owners and occupiers of the building being extended and adjoining premises before issuing their decision.
Householders proposing additional storeys must:
- Use materials which match the existing dwelling
- Not insert windows into any side elevation wall or roof slope
HOUSES – CONSTRUCTION OF UP TO TWO STOREYS
Building additional storeys on your house is ‘permitted development’ subject to ‘Prior Approval’ being issued and the following criteria:
The current house:
- Must be a single dwellinghouse and not a building containing any flats
- Constructed between July 1948 and March 2018
- Has not already had any additional storeys added to it
- Is not in a protected area (see below) or a site of special scientific interest
- Was not changed to be used as a house (from a previous non-residential use) under permitted development rights
Other limits and requirements:
- Just a single additional storey can be added to a bungalow
- Two storeys can be added to two (or more) storey houses
- The completed house cannot exceed 18m height (total)
- Each storey cannot exceed 3.5m
- If the house is in a terrace or is semi-detached, the total height of the completed dwelling cannot be more than 3.5m higher than the next highest building that house is attached to, adjoins or is in the same row as
- The additional storeys must be constructed on the principal part* of the house
- The additional storeys must not exceed three metres in height or the height of any existing storey in the principal part* of the house (measured internally from floor to ceiling)
- Engineering operations must only include works within the existing curtilage of the house to strengthen existing walls and foundations
- The original dwellinghouse must remain in use as a domestic residential property
- No visible support structures must remain on or attached to the exterior of the house
- The roof pitch of the principal part* of the house must be the same as it was prior to the development.
*Principal part of the house
Principal part of the house means the main part of the building excluding any front, side or rear extension of a lower height, whether this forms part of the original building or a subsequent addition.
FLATS – CONSTRUCTION OF UP TO TWO STOREYS OF ‘NEW DWELLINGHOUSES’
Brought in during June 2020, these new regulations allow for the construction of up to two additional storeys of new dwellinghouses immediately above the existing topmost residential storey on a building which is a purpose-built, detached block of flats, together with any or all supporting works.
The rights apply to buildings of at least 3 storeys and without any other uses below, and which are no higher than 30m. The rights do not apply to buildings constructed before July 1948 or after March 2018.
The detail is specified in the extensive regulations and professional advice should be sought before starting works.
If you live in any of the areas listed below, additional limitations on ‘permitted development’ will apply:
- Conservation Areas
- Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- National Parks
- the Broads
- World Heritage Sites
Contact your local authority or seek professional advice before starting works if you live in these areas as a full planning application is likely to be required.
REMOVAL OF PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS
Permitted development rights can also be removed by your local planning authority, either through the addition of a Condition on a previous planning permission, or through imposition of an Article 4 Direction.
If a development is over 100 sq m in size, it may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Check with your local planning authority whether they use CIL in your area and whether it applies to permitted development.
And Finally …
PD rights are subject to change. The guide above is for general information only and does not constitute advice. Local and site-specific circumstances can differ and affect whether a planning application is needed.
Other consents (such as Listed Building Consent, Building Regulations or notifications under the Party Wall Act) may also be needed.
To determine whether planning permission or other consents are required, seek professional advice or clarification from your local authority before starting works.
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