FRONT EXTENSIONS – DO YOU NEED A PLANNING APPLICATION?
If you want to add a front extension to your house, you are likely to 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 extension to your house, you can undertake certain works without the need to apply for planning permission – subject to ‘permitted development’ (PD) 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 (GDPO).
Unfortunately, for extensions to the front of a house, permitted development rules are strict as such extensions tend to be prominent in street views or from public locations.
FRONT EXTENSIONS – PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT RULES
Planning permission will almost always be required for a front extension to a dwellinghouse.
Any extension which extends beyond a wall that fronts a highway and forms the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse will require a planning application.
Specific permitted development rules apply to the creation of porches.
If you want to avoid the need for a planning application, you may wish to consider extending your house to the side or rear, where permitted development rights are more generous.
If the front of your house isn’t the ‘principle elevation’ or fronts a highway, then note the additional rules below.
OTHER RULES THAT APPLY INCLUDE:
No more than half the area of land around the “original house” (as built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date) can be covered by extensions or other buildings
Extensions cannot be higher than the highest part of the existing roof; or higher at the eaves than the existing eaves of your house
Where extensions are to be located within two metres of the house curtilage boundary, the height at the eaves cannot exceed three metres
Extensions cannot be built forward of the ‘principal elevation’ or, where it fronts a highway, the ‘side elevation’
Any materials used in exterior work must be of a similar appearance to those on the exterior of the existing house.
SEPARATE RULES APPLY TO:
- Decking, balconies and raised platforms
- TV aerials or satellite dishes
- chimneys, flues or soil and vent pipes
- Any alteration to the roof of the existing house
- Changes of use
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 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.
CONTACT YOUR LOCAL PLANNING AUTHORITY BEFORE STARTING 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 DEVELOMPENT RIGHTS FOR FLATS, SHOPS AND OTHER PREMISES
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 (e.g. 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.
TownPlanning.info has an extensive catalogue of articles and guides which help explain the town planning system in England.
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