CHIMNEYS, FLUES, SOIL AND VENT PIPES – PLANNING PERMISSION
If you want to add a flue, chimney or an external soil or vent pipe to your house, you may need planning permission – requiring a planning application to your local authority.
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, as with any external change to your house, you can undertake certain works without the need to apply for planning permission – subject to ‘permitted development’ rules being met in terms of extension size, type and location.
The relevant rules are set out in the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015, as amended.
CHIMNEYS, FLUES AND PIPES – PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RULES
Planning permission will not normally be required for the installation, alteration or replacement of chimneys, flues or soil and vent pipes, providing:
- The height of the chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe doesn’t exceed the highest part of the roof by more than 1 metre.
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT – PROTECTED AREAS – REAR EXTENSIONS
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
In these areas, chimneys, pipes and flues are not permitted development if:
- they are to be installed on a wall or roof slope that fronts a highway and is on either the principal or side elevation of the house
Contact your local authority or seek professional advice if you live in these areas.
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.
CONTACTING YOUR LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY BEFORE COMMENCING WORKS
For the purposes of planning, contact with the local planning authority is generally only necessary before carrying out permitted development where:
- ‘prior approval’ from the local planning authority is required under PD rules
- a ‘neighbour consultation scheme’ is in place
- the local planning authority has a Community Infrastructure Levy in place which requires developers to contact the local planning authority before carrying out permitted development. Failure to do this may result in the local planning authority imposing a surcharge on a developer
- the permitted development rights require the developer to notify the local planning authority of a change of use
Schedule 2 of the GPDO sets out when any advance notification is required. If you are in any doubt, contact your local planning department or seek professional advice.
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS FOR FLATS, SHOPS AND BUSINESSES
Permitted development rights under Part 1 of the GPDO only apply to houses – they do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.
Check out our guides to non-householder PD rights (through the menu at the top of this page).
PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS AND CIL
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 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.
TownPlanning.info has an extensive catalogue of articles and guides which help explain the town planning system in England.
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