Eligibility of your House for Permitted Development

Transcription of the video

In this video, I help you understand whether your property can benefit from Permitted Development. This is video No 1 in a series of videos explaining Permitted Development. There are 2 main parts to this video:

First, ELIGIBILITY CHECKS:

  1. Location
  2. Property Type
  3. Property Conditions

then we look at VARIATIONS IN ELIGIBILITY according to type of house and, according to age of the property

First of all – What is Permitted Development?

Its an improvement that you can make to your house without applying for planning permission. Extensions, Conversions, swimming pools …

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Eligibility of your House for Permitted Development

As you can see, you can add a surprising number of features using Permitted Development, subject of course to you having enough space around your house.

What other regulations might be needed with your Permitted Development project? Lets compare it to a project requiring Planning Permission

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Lawful Development Certificate is optional

You may need Building Regs. You may need a Party Wall Agreement. If you’re a Council house resident, you probably need to submit a Tenants Improvement application. And optionally you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. These certificates are useful when you sell your house as they prove that your house improvements were done legally.

The term PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT originates from the government Act “the Town and Country Planning (General PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT) (England) Order 2015” or as I like to say … PD. There’s a very useful document at gov.uk/PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT.

The Permitted Development Order

The PD Order has several parts that are relevant to householders.

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Parts of the Permitted Development Order

The main part, Part 1, deals with all development within the grounds of a house, and it’s subdivided into Classes. Class A mainly covers house extensions

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Class A: Extensions

Class B covers loft conversions

06……

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Class B: loft conversions

Class B covers loft conversions

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Class C: rooflights

D – porches

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Class D: Porches

E – outbuildings

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Class E: Outbuildings

F – hard surfaces

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Class F: Hard Surfaces

G – chimneys and soil pipes

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Class G: Chimneys, soil pipes etc

H – microwave antenna

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Class H: Microwave antenna

Other parts of the Permitted Development Order

The other parts of the PD Order that are of interest are:

Part 2 which covers gates, fences, walls and other external items

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Part 2: Gates, fences

Part 14 covering solar panels

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Part 14: Solar panels

Why are these Parts and Classes so important? It’s because, in order to benefit from PD, your project must comply with all conditions under each Class that are relevant to your project.

For example, if your loft conversion will include a new bathroom and provide a base for new solar panels, your project must comply with all of the conditions stated in Part 1: Class B, referring to loft conversions; Part 1: Class G, referring to soil pipes, and Part 14: referring to solar panels.

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Compliance with all conditions of Permitted Development

Failure to comply with any of the conditions means that you would not be able to claim PD rights for your project. Instead, you would have to apply for planning permission.

Eligibility Checks

There are 3 types of eligibility checks that you need to pass for your project to be PD-compliant.

  1. Location
  2. Property Type
  3. Property Conditions

Location of your property. Are you eligible where you are located? PD rights are not available on most Article 2(3) land, commonly referred to as designated areas. These include National Parks:

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National Parks

Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or AOONB

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Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty

World Heritage Sites and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

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Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

World Heritage Sites and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads

A Conservation Area is also a designated area and although PD rights for properties in conservation areas are available, they are usually considerably reduced.

Here’s an example from Lewisham Council, listing Works normally allowed under PD but instead require planning permission as a result of conservation area status:           

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PD rights excluded in conservation area
  • Side extensions
  • 2-storey rear extensions
  • External cladding
  • Roof alterations
  • Outbuilding to the side of the house
  • chimneys, flues or soil and vent pipes to front or side elevations fronting a highway
  • satellite dishes visible from a highway solar panels visible from a public place

Your own council may have a different list of amended PD rights. So, the best practice is to always check whether your property lies within the boundary of any of these designated areas

The second eligibility check is the Type of property. PD rules apply to

(1) Class C3 dwellinghouses, which are essentially houses that are occupied by individuals, families or groups of up to 6 peopleFor a more precise definition of a Class C3 (Dwellinghouse), please check out the info in the tab below.

(2) Houses converted from offices under Class O

PD rules do not apply to:

  • Houses created through the PD rights for change of use
  • Flats
  • Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs)
  • Listed buildings
  • Temporary structures such as mobile homes and caravans

Note that, the situation regarding HMOs is fluid. There are instances where PD rights have been permitted after appeal. So, you live in the right place and you live in the right type of building, but are your PD rights still intact? We need to check if there are any Property Conditions.

Removal of Permitted Development rights?

Councils are allowed to remove PD rights from your property in 2 ways:

  • By issuing what is known as an Article 4 Direction;
  • or by applying a condition on the original or any subsequent planning permissions for your house.

Where PD rights have been removed in either of these ways, a planning application will be needed for development, even for very small extensions and minor alterations. So, it’s very important that, before you start any development under PD rules, you check with the Council that PD rights for your property are still intact

How do you find out about the existence of an Article 4 Direction? These are usually listed on your local Council website. How do you find out if PD rights for your property are still intact? Well, if planning approval has been granted at any time, even before you acquired the property, you can search for the planning approval document on the local council online planning register. There you will find the planning approval decision and any attached conditions.

If you can’t trace the latest or any planning approval, ask your local Council to confirm that PD rights are intact on your property. Be aware that the council reply may include a disclaimer stating that the records may be incomplete and that they accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions within the register.

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Reason to obtain Lawful Development Certificate

Which is another reason why obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate is a very good idea.

Should Councils be able to remove Permitted Development rights?

In some cases, the removal of PD rights is justified. If a new house is built on a very small site, very close to neighbours, the council may be justified in removing PD rights in order to control any future expansion.  However, more often than not, PD removal without proper consideration of the specific circumstances is not justified. 

The good news is that there have been several successful appeals against councils that have indiscriminately removed PD rights. It may be worth submitting an appeal if you have a good case for recovery of your PD rights. For more info on appeals, do get in touch.

Variations in Eligibility

Your property might be judged as eligible for PD rights, but the extent of those rights depends on the type and age of the house. All houses are not created equally.

Looking first at the type of house, for certain improvements, the benefit available to you under PD rules depends on whether the property is detached, semi-detached or terraced.

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Permitted Development benefits depend on type of house

For example, when considering the maximum depth for a rear single-storey extension, the rules are more generous for detached properties.

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Detached houses allowed longer rear extensions

However, when considering the maximum height of the extension, its irrelevant whether the house is detached,  semi or terraced.

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Max height of rear extension

I highlight all these differences in the other videos in this series.

Then, there is the adjustment made due to the age of the property. Allowances under PD rules are measured from the original structure or as it existed on 1st July 1948. If constructed before this date, PD rights apply to the building as it stood on this date, including any extensions to the original structure. If constructed after this date, PD rights are adjusted to take into account any extensions to the original structure.

Here’s an example: A detached house built in 1920 has a 3m deep kitchen added to the rear in 1946 ie before the cut-off date.

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Detached house with 3m extension

Thereafter, if the occupier wants to add a rear extension to the kitchen, they can still add the maximum 8m.

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Detached house with additional 8m extension

If, however, the kitchen was added in 1950, ie after the cut-off date, they can only add a 5m rear extension to the  kitchen, as 3m of the 8m allowance has already been used.

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Detached house with total extensions limited to 8m

Thats it for this video

In the next one, video No 2, we’ll look at the 10 conditions relevant to all types of PD extensions.

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Video No 2: All Extensions