By The Architecture and Design Services
Changes To Permitted Development
Housing and Planning Minister Caroline Flint has today announced revisions to the Permitted
Development Rules which will affect anyone wishing to build modest rear extensions to a domestic property or
convert their loft afetr 1st October 2008. However, these changes are not as straightforward as the Minister
suggests and householders should continue to seek qualified professional advice before undertaking such an
The Governments press release makes much of the fact that the new rules strike a balance between freeing
homeowners to make improvements and limiting the size of an extension so the neighbours are protected - larger
more intrusive extensions will still require permission. In addition, no-one undertaking these types of home
improvements will be required to pay any additional council tax on their homes.
The assumption has always been that, unless specifically removed, every dwelling has permitted development
rights that allow the owner to extend that dwelling by a fixed volume, which normally equates to either a single
storey rear extension or a modest loft conversion.
These new rules, which don't come into force until 1st October, have done away with the
overall limit, instead they set out dimensional limits for a rear extension and volume limits for a loft
conversion, both of these "allowances" can be exploited, even if the rear extension is a pre-existing
BE WARNED! Despite the media coverage and public statements that
have suggested that a two storey rear extension will no longer require Planning Permission as long as it is no
deeper than 3m, Planning Permission WILL still be required IF the proposed extension is within 2m of
a boundary and over 3m high, in effect limiting many extensions to a single storey.
In addition, the new rules require a number of conditions to be met, failure to do so may result in your
extension being the subject of an enforcement notice and, ultimately, you may be
required to demolish the extension if it is found to be unlawful!
If you are considering a rear extension or loft conversion, PLEASE seek professional advice from a
Registered or Chartered Architectural practice such as architecture &
Please also remember that Planning Permission is only one of the many
approvals that are required to be able to build a legitimate extension.
We can assist you in not only planning your project and understanding
what it will look like but also in applying for, and being granted, Party Wall Awards, Covenants Approvals and
Building Regulations Approval.