Where the scale and nature of a development is considered to be minor and non-contentious then it may benefit from permitted development rights.


What are permitted development rights?  

Permitted development rights (PDRs) are rights to make certain changes to a building without the need to apply for planning permission. They derive from a general planning permission granted by Parliament, rather than from permission granted by the local planning authority (LPA). Before some PDRs can be used, the developer must first obtain “prior approval” in relation to specified aspects of the development from the LPA.

Some PDRs cover building operations, such as home extensions, whereas others cover change of use of buildings. Change of use PDRs, such as office to residential conversion, are covered in another Commons Library briefing, Planning: change of use (CBP 01301, 9 May 2019) and so, to minimise repetition, are not discussed at length here.

Do I Have Permitted Development Rights?

Most likely yes, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Unfortunately, the slate is not wiped clean when you buy a home — any space added by past owners since 1948 counts towards your Permitted Development allocation.

If your house is located in a Designated Area, such as a National Park, Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or Conservation Area then your Permitted Development rights may be restricted or removed under what is known as an Article 4 direction. This is where rights have been removed in the interest of maintaining the character of the local area. This could also be the case if your property is listed.

Alternatively, if you’re planning to self build a replacement dwelling and your proposed new home is bigger than the existing house on site, then your Permitted Development rights are likely to be restricted or even removed on condition of granting planning permission.

Remember than all Permitted Development requirements apply to the dwelling as it was originally built, or as it stood on 1st July 1948.

What type of work falls under permitted development?

You can use these checklists to get a rough idea of whether or not your plans will fall within your permitted development rights.

If you’re not sure whether or not you need planning permission, or you’d like help applying for a lawful development certificate, book in a free consultation call with our friendly team today.

You’re usually within permitted development rights if your single storey extension or conservatory...

  • Sits to the side (as long as this will not face a highway) or rear of the house (not the front)

  • Must not extend beyond the rear wall of the existing house by 3m if an attached house or 4m if detached

  • Uses similar building materials to the existing house

  • Takes up less than 50% of the size of the land around the original house

  • If a side extension is less than 50% of the width of the original house

  • Is less than 4m in height (or less than 3m if within 2m of a property boundary)

  • Has eaves and a ridge that are no taller than the existing house

These are just a few guidelines. There may be more criteria which you need to meet but we can cover that for you with our free phone consultations.

You’re usually within permitted development rights if your loft conversion...

  • Adds less than 40m3 (cubed) to a terraced house, or 50m3 to a detached or semi-detached house

  • Uses similar building materials to the existing house

  • Sits lower or equal to the highest existing part of the roof

  • A dormer wall that is set back at least 20cm from the existing wall face

  • Has windows that are non-opening if less than 1.7m from the floor level

  • Has side windows that are obscured/frosted

You’re usually within permitted development rights if your porch...

  • Takes up a total ground area less than 3m2

  • Has a highest point less than 3m

  • Doesn’t sit within 2m of a property boundary that leads to a road

What building work doesn’t fall under permitted development?

The following projects never fall within permitted development rights:

  • Balconies

  • Verandas

  • Raised platforms

  • Two storey side extensions within 7m of a rear boundary

  • Extensions with eaves higher than 3m (within 2m of a boundary)

  • Extensions exceeding 50% of the original land around the original house

  • Eaves and a ridge of a loft higher than the height of the original house

  • Extensions over 4m tall or exceeding 50% of the width of the original house

  • Extensions at the front of the house

  • Side extensions on designated land

  • Unobscured side windows above ground floor

  • Loft windows that can open when positioned less than 1.7m from the floor


BlogAlan Green