Moving and Packing TipsWhat Is Better – to Extend Your House or Move in 2023?
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Almost the first question any homeowner seeking to expand their property should ask is “Do you need planning permission for an extension?”. The rules for planning permission for extension in the UK mean that when the planned work falls within the scope of ‘permitted development’, planning permission for extension will usually not be required.
In this article, Fantastic Services will explain the meaning and purpose of planning permission and the criteria for building legally without it. The subject of building regulations is also explored.
This article is for you if:
Planning permission is official consent to do a certain piece of building work. Local councils have specialist departments to consider, accept or refuse planning applications. Broadly speaking the purpose of planning permission is to ensure that new buildings or changes to existing ones are in keeping with the character of the local area, won’t place a strain on existing infrastructure, and will not be a nuisance or an eyesore for neighbours.
Many building projects including most new constructions, major changes to existing buildings and changes to the use of a building require prior approval from the planning department. Failure to apply for planning permission when it’s needed could result in an ‘enforcement notice’ being served, forcing you to undo the work. It’s illegal to ignore an enforcement notice. You can appeal against one but this is more complex than making sure your work complies with the rules in the first place.
Size isn’t everything though it’s certainly a factor. Along with questions such as what size extension needs planning permission you also need to be aware of other forces that come into play. For example, previous extensions built after 1948 will already take up some of your permitted development allotment, reducing the size of extension you can build. There are also different rules for listed buildings and for houses built on ‘designated land’ which means things like conservation areas, national parks or areas of outstanding natural beauty. Your house or the area could also be covered by covenants restricting building and development.
Assuming that none of these restrictions applies to you, you can find answers to the question ‘what size extension can I build without planning permission?’ and learn more about other criteria for building an extension without planning consent in the list below:
Rules for permitted development
When deciding whether the extension you’re considering can be built without planning permission remember that it has to comply with all the rules relating to its type. It’s always advisable to consult a legal representative and your local planning department because planning rules can change nationally or be subject to local constraints.
Consulting with your local planning department also gives you a chance to discuss building regulations requirements. And don’t worry, local planners aren’t generally nearly as scary as the myths would have you believe! But if the thought of dealing with bureaucracy makes your heart sink you can always call in an architect or construction professional who’ll attend to the paperwork as well as the building work.
Permitted development rules allow you to do quite a lot without planning permission, building regulations are a different matter. Building regulations and controls are about ensuring that a property is safe and meets satisfactory standards for human habitation and energy efficiency.
There are different building regulations for different aspects of an extension. Doors and windows must meet standards relating to safety, thermal efficiency, ventilation and means of escape. Many electrical installations have to meet approved standards to eliminate fire or electrocution risks and generally have to be completed by a registered competent person or checked by a registered certifier. And so on throughout the project, even when you don’t need planning permission your extension has to comply with a range of building regulations requirements.
Here are a few questions builders and architects are often asked about building regulations and the answers to them:
Yes, size isn’t the issue, safely is.
Yes if it’s enclosed and attached to the house but no if it’s free-standing and less than 30m2.
No, providing it’s less than 30m2 floor area and meets a few other requirements.
Here are a few examples of works that are exempt from building regulations:
Rely on the services of professional designers and architects to plan your extension.
Fantastic Services can connect you with partners who’ll provide architectural services and help you with house extensions, loft conversions, outbuildings and other home improvements, architectural services and design projects. These professionals will ensure your construction work complies with all the legal requirements including planning permission and building regulations compliance. Learn more about the house extension service provided by our partners and if you decide to book with us, be sure all the needed paperwork surrounding the building will be acquired in time.
Disclaimer: Every piece of information here is meant for informational and educational purposes only. So please, do not use this as a definitive legal basis. Fantastic Services encourages you to seek authority professional counsel before you decide to act upon what you have read. For more information, check our disclaimer.
Have you extended your home – how has it improved your life? Or maybe you have a dream plan for a future project. Tell us about it in the comments section below.
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