Clarification of recently announced amendments to planning rules

There has been much publicity recently regarding a so-called relaxation in planning rules to enable homeowners to extend their properties without planning permission.

This is not actually the case.  The “new” rules are simply a permanent implementation of a previous “temporary” relaxation of rules as follows:


Detached homes*:

Up to an 8m deep single storey rear extension, rather than the standard 4m.


Semi-detached/terraced homes*:

Up to a 6m deep single storey rear extension, rather than the standard 3m.


*Note that there are restrictions on Permitted Development if your home is Listed, in a Conservation Area or AONB and extensions must be within your agreed “residential curtilage” in Green Belt.  There are also other restrictions on Permitted Development e.g. maximum roof heights and minimum proximities to boundaries which must be adhered to.

In both cases however you can’t simply start building as you need to go through a process called “Prior Notification” via your Local Authority in which your neighbour is consulted about the proposed extension.   There is a possibility that if your neighbour or the Local Authority objects that you will not be able to construct the enlarged extension. The Prior Notification process requires scaled drawing(s) to be produced and takes around 6 weeks.

Whether you are intending on constructing a standard or enlarged extension under Permitted Development you are advised to get clarification that it would be allowable by getting a Certificate of Lawful Development.  This certificate is now normally requested when you sell or re-mortgage the property.  It takes usually around 8 weeks to get a Certificate of Lawful Development which could prove very frustrating during the sales or re-mortgage process and could cause considerable delays or thwart the process entirely.

If you are considering a possible extension to your home and are unsure if it falls within Permitted Development please contact us for an informal discussion.