GARAGE CONVERSION AUDIT
STRUCTURAL LOFT CONVERSION AUDIT
PRE-PURCHASE FEASABILITY CONSULTATION
STEEL WORK CONNECTIONS
INTERIOR MINOR ALTERATIONS
CDM & ASSOCIATED REPORTS
HEALTH & SAFETY REPORTS
3D MODELLING (from)
SOIL INVESTIGATION REPORTS
AIR PRESSURE TESTING
BUILDING CONTROL APPLICATIONS
AIR TIGHTNESS TESTING
SOUND INSULATION TESTING
PART F VENTILATION TESTING
RENEWABLE ENERGY ADVICE & INSTALL
THERMOGRAPHIC SURVEYS & TESTING
CODE FOR SUSTAINABLE HOMES
PART G WATER CALCS
DOMESTIC EPC’S FOR LANDLORDS & HOMEOWNERS
Homeowners have one thing in common, which is the constant question "do I need permission for this?" As no average citizen can know this at every opportunity, we have compiled a list of projects that you do not need permission from the planners.
To our luck and your happiness, there are many changes to the home that you can make without having to submit a planning application in advance. Any minor improvements can be completed by a default consent called Permitted Development (PD).
Of course, there are restrictions on the right to a PD, especially if you live in the Conservation Area or if you have already made numerous changes to your home. Larger and more significant projects (such as building from scratch) or adding large extensions will require planning approval. Always check everything before you start working to avoid inconvenience.
You can read what projects you won’t need permission for down below.
1. Internal remodelling
You will not need planning permission if you decide to remodel your interior, especially if your plan does not involve the expansion of space. However, you will need Building Regulations approval for structural elements and electrical work.
The basement remodelling was recently decided by an appeal decision that they could be regulated by PD, but keep in mind that this does not imply a permit for engineering work.
3. Swimming pool
No one will ask you for planning permission to build a pool in your yard if it does not occupy more than 50% of the area of your garden.
4. Converting two homes into one
Merging two apartments into one can usually be done under PD, but the same rules do not apply if you divide one property into two apartments. You would need to apply for a planning permit for this.
5. A porch
You will not need planning permission if your new porch meets these requirements: no part is higher than 3m, is no more than 2m from any highway border, and the ground area does not exceed 3m².
6. Gates, walls and fences
You do not need a permit to erect, construct, maintain, upgrade or remodel a gate, fence, wall or other enclosure, provided that such work remains within the limits of:
the height would not exceed 1m when close to the highway
the height would not exceed 2m for any other gate or fence.
7. Windows and doors
You may need planning permission to add or replace windows if the conditions were attached to the original permission, in which case it is a good idea to check with local authorities what the conditions are. Under normal circumstances, you will not need it.
8. Garages and attached buildings
Since converting an attached building, such as a garage, does not increase the total area of the building, you will not need planning permission.
Converting a self-contained garage will involve filing a change of purpose request under building regulations.
9. Loft conversion
Also, you won't need planning permission to get extra space by converting a loft. Mostly this applies to space up to 40m³. PD allows you to construct dormer windows in your converted loft. But they must not sit more than the highest part of the existing roof or extend towards the plane of the roof at the main elevation.
10. Adding a shed or outbuilding
Multiple objects may be created under PD, provided that the total area covered by such buildings does not exceed 50% of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.
Exterior buildings cannot stand in front of the main height. The height is limited depending on the type of roof (4m for double-slope roofs, 3m for other roofs and 2.5m when the building is within 2m of the border). Exterior buildings can only be a single storey.
Upgrades in PD cannot be used for residential accommodation but can be used to provide a place to work from home.
11. Single storey extensions
Adding one floor will not require planning permission if you meet the following conditions:
The extension does not go forward of the principal elevation.
The materials should be similar.
If within 2m of any boundary, the eaves may not exceed 3m, and the height may not exceed 4m.
The depth of the rear extensions should not exceed 4m for a detached house or 3m for a semi-finished or terrace.
The width of the extension of the side accessories should not exceed half of the original dwelling. Lateral extensions are not allowed in Article 1 (5) of land (eg. AONB, Conservation areas).
12. Two-storey extensions
Without planning permission you can add a two-storey addition to your home, provided it is located in the back of your apartment. Also, it shall not exceed 3 m or be within 7 m of the rear boundary.
The introduction of roof lights can be accomplished without permission until they are more than 15cm from the slope of the roof. If the roof lights in the plane are positioned at an altitude in front of the highway, then they are not allowed. Also, they are not allowed in an apartment located in a protected area or an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Like one-floor extensions, conservatories and orangeries do not need planning permission.
15. Garden decking
Without planning permission, all garden decking and other similar structures can be built as long as their height is no more than 30mm.
16. Adding vehicular access
Creating new access on an unclassified road can be done under PD, but to create new access on classified roads, you would need planning permission (you would also need to provide sufficient visibility and diversion space).
17. Cladding and exteriors
Changes to the house panelling (stone, pebbles, shrubs, lumber ...) may be included in the PD, but this is not allowed under the PD in any dwelling house located on the land referred to in Article 1 (5) (special areas).
18. Solar panels
Without permission, you can add solar panels, provided they do not protrude more than 200mm above the wall or roof, and that the highest part of the panel is no higher than the highest part of the roof (without chimney).
Restrictions will apply in protected areas.
19. Parking spaces
The creation of a parking space is permitted under PD provided that any hard surface located between the main elevation and the highway or any surface greater than 5m² made of porous materials, and that it is intended to direct water runoff from the surface into the leakage area within the property curtilage, and not on the highway.
20. Changing of use to residential (commercial building such as churches, schools, mills…)
It may be surprising, but it is possible to convert an industrial, commercial or agricultural building for residential use without the need for planning permission, but you will need approval for Listed Buildings and in Conservation Areas.
You will also need to follow the pre-notification process if you are converting an agricultural building, such as a barn.