ask us a question on permitted development           Permitted Development England
How to build a home extension  without Planning Permission using your PD rights - Oct. 1st 2008



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Typical questions we get asked - is yours one of these?

typical questions on permitted developmentHere is a sample of some of the questions we have received over the last 18 months. Names & addresses of the contacts have been withheld for confidentiality.


Dear Sir/Madam

I write to you requesting advice with a planning application and permitted development, I'm currently in the process of appying for a part two storey, part single storey extension.

The first floor element to project 1.8 metres, the ground floor to project by 3.6 metres, my question is do I require planning for the entire proposal or would I be in my rights to show the ground floor on plans submitted as permitted development and therefore the first floor element to be subject of a planning application only. I am aware that the whole works would be considered when considering the first floor element for approval.

Many thanks for any assistance you can offer.


Ask us a question.....


Good afternoon,

I’m after a bit of advice on PD and might need your assistance further.

I recently submitted for planning permission for a building in my garden (see attached pic of the layout). I withdrew the application after ‘the locals’ objected (think witch hunt and scaremongering). My local planning officer sent a note that advised ‘scaling back the size’ and advised ‘use of materials more in keeping with the local environment’ (ie wood). But interestingly he also suggested considering applying for a lawful development certificate. The only reason I did not use this route in the first place was that the eaves of the building I was planning were at 3.3m. In a follow up e-mail (also attached) following my withdrawal of the application, he again seemed to suggest that PD was the way forward.

So I’d like to progress with the Lawful development route (I’ll simple drop the eaves to <2.5M).

Two things concern me however:

The building would be ‘forward of the front elevation of the dwelling’. Although not necessarily closer to the road, and certainly behind the stables (built by us 10 years ago with full PP). Is there any risk in this? I don’t want to push the building back further into the garden as it’s principal use will be for tractors etc in the fields on the right of the picture (also owned by us)

This area of garden was added in 1988 by previous owners. I recall reading somewhere that the regulations stated that the residential curtilage was defined when the house was built.

Is there a way of ‘sugarcoating’ these applications to ensure they fall on fertile soil? I would appreciate your feedback.



Hi Christopher,

Unfortunately I was late finding your web site, having already spent a lot of time researching the new PD regulations, but I hoped somewhere on the site would lie the answers to my remaining questions:

(1) What is the Appeal proceedures on a refusal of a Certificate of Lawful Development application, if anything? Is it to put in a "proper" planning application and Appeal that, if refused?

(2) I have an application in for a new-build semi that will be attached to a detached house which I am currently doing a consented flats conversion to. How soon after I get planning consent for this new building (assuming I don't get stuffed with an Article 4 removal of PD rights) can I apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development? Can I apply, and get it, before even embarking on the development?

(3) A more detailed question, this: the new-build is set back some 2m from the front of the host detached house, and I want to get a PD to bring a section of it forward a little, by say 1m. From Class A rules it's not PD if:

(d) the enlarged part of the dwellinghouse would extend beyond a wall which—  

(i) fronts a highway, and 

(ii) forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation of the original dwellinghouse;

The question is, can I get away with it because I am going no closer to the highway than the building to which it is attached?

I realise that the term, "original dwellinghouse" refers to my new-build, not to the host building, so I think I am answering my own question (ie "no").

But, if the Planning Officer were minded to approve it as PD, could he choose to allow it?



I am more than a little confused. I have surfed the internet for details of the changes brought in in October 2008 and have received conflicting results. Could you explain to me whether extending a loft by way of a hip-to-gable extension (about 25m3 in volume) are we then only able to extend our kitchen by 25m3 thus taking it to the allowed 50m3 or is the kitchen extension totally seperate from loft conversion and we can build 4m in depth from the original back wall?

Many thanks



I hope you can help me! I have a victorian terraced property which I have converted into four flats in Islington, London. The property comprises of four floors including Basement level, Ground Floor, First FLoor& Second Floor.

My initial planning application(6 years ago) was APPROVED for 3 self contained units - Flat 1, was a split level flat occupying Basement and Ground floor level. However 5 years ago I split the basement and ground level and made them 2 seperate self contained unit. I now wish to apply for Certificate of Lawfulness. How much would your professional fees be if I was to hire you to Apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness and how long would it take?

I eagerly await your response!

Kind Regards


Good Evening...........We have a recent confirmation letter from a Council that our proposed development is a 'Permitted Development' under the Town and Country Planning Act 1995 and although it is sent without qualification or as an opinion, we just wanted affirmation that a permitted development meant that we can proceed without the need for a Planning application or a Certificate of Lawfulness.Perhaps you could kindly just affirm our interpretation.........With thanks ...R.R. 

Dear Sir

I have a Martial Arts Centre and for some years noe I have had two flats in the biulding which I let students sleep in while o training weeks I now wish to rent hem to the Public would this come under the 4 year Lawfull development

I also had planning permission to biuld 6 flats in 2004 in one biulding but biult 7 would I get lawful development on the 7th flat


Dear Christopher,

On your page relating to Lawful Development Cetificates, you state the following:

"Once these time limits have passed, no enforcement action may be taken in respect of the breach. If you are applying for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development in respect of a proposed use of buildings, land, or operations intended to be carried out, you must do so before commencing work."

Can you guide me to a current government document that confirms that 'you must do so before commencing work' in respect of proposed works?

The reason I ask is that we are in a situation where our neighbour is submitting an LDC for proposed works well after work has commenced, and it would support my objection to the blatant disregard for the GPDO rules if I could confirm this fact to the LPA.

many thanks,


Dear Sirs 


Do you offer any free advice on planning issues.

 i.e.  determining the eaves level on a flat roof, determining whether there is more than one rear wall from which to measure proposed extension from.


Assessing the impact of proposal on neighbouring dwellings




I found your website ( ) very useful especially the Appeal Decisions

We are struggling at the moment on a PD matter and wondered if you might be able to help

In essence we have no "rear elevation wall" - over the years, the entire rear has been demolished, a bit at a time, and extended mostly 5 ft 6 inches (1.67m), but in the central part up to a maximum of 1.8m, distance from the original wall position. In theroy therefore, we might still have up to 2.2m to use up to the 4m maximum build distance from a rear wall. BUT we have no rear wall existing. One of the original side elevations has been extended out and the other was completely replaced.

Have you anty thoughts whether, as a result of there being no original rear wall, we therefore fall outside any allowance for PD ?

Many thanks

Very happy to call but just tried and you were engaged.

Many thanks

Regards J.H.


What a well resourced site you have. I'd like to post a link to it from our site if you'd care to reciprocate.

We're in different sectors of the market. Customers for our 3D Guides will still need your kind of personnal services (for LDC's, plans etc) even after finding out what they can do from us.

Yours sincerely


My aunt lives in West London and 11 years ago she had a ground floor rear extension which she uses as her kitchen and she did not seek planning permission prior to getting the work done. Th Hounslow council say that after 4 years it is immune from enforcement action however how do we prove that the structure has been in place since 1998? As she will need to get a cert.

Ask us a question.....


Dear Mr Hunt

I have come across your contact details whilst searching for permitted development information.

I wonder whether you might be able to assist me with a query relating to a proposed single storey extension to a semi-detached property in a residential area in SW London.

We are aware of the 1st October 2008 change of legislation limiting extensions to 3m as opposed to 5metres previously and that this applies to a projection from the rear wall of the original dwelling house.

My question is- Does an outside WC (projecting 2.5m into the rear garden) with no direct access from the house and which occupies a fifth of the width of the building count as the original rear face of the building?

Can an extension therefore be built 3m from the wall of the WC and thereby 5.5metres form the main wall of the house?

Would be very grateful for your reply


Hope you can help me with this one. Im looking to extend an outbuilding
which would put the building within two metres of the properties boundary.

From the permitted development info on the government website its states
a maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or
container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the

Im not sure how to interpret this, does it imply that the entire building
must be below 2.5metres or does it imply that the part of the building
which is within 2 metres of the boundary must be below 2.5metres but the
rest can go to the other height of say 4metres for a dual pitched roof??

Failing that, do you have any recommendations on who to contact to try and
find the answer to this.

Yours confused


Dear Sir,

I write with the hope that you may be able to help me by advising me on Permitted Development Rights.

My next door neighbour recently submitted plans to our local authority, which consisted of a full new roof and rear dormer for a proposed loft conversion. This application was refused by the local authority. This can be viewed online at:

It was blatantly obvious that the local authority were not going to allow such a proposal, therefore my next door neighbour has recently erected a dormer which is allowed under PD. The dormer faces my property, however to avoid planning objections, the dormer has no windows (so planning permission is not required). The exterior of the dormer is tiled from bottom to top. From my point of view, this appears as a 3rd storey from my property. It blocks out light from my 4th bedroom and overshadows my property.

I contacted the local authority prior to these works commencing to see if they had the powers to prevent it. The council agree that the dormer is not in keeping with surrounding property and even state that they advised the agent acting for my neighbour to re-consider his plans due to the effect it would have on surrounding properties (mine included). It is apparent that had planning permission been necessary for this loft conversion - it would not have been granted.

The council state that their 'hands are tied' and they feel any interference from them could leave them liable to legal action from my neighbour, for compensation. I now feel that the Council are acting in a cowardly manner, as they have the power to stop the works, however they refuse to.

I would hoping you might be able to advise on my legal rights? The works are not yet finished (however will be finished in about 1 week) and I wish to make a legal objection, if this is even possible? If you have any advice which you feel may help me, I would be very grateful

Many thanks


We have had a two storey extension built on a site on our boundary together with a raised platform (this is a sloping site with varying levels) the upshot is that people are able to look directly through all of our downstairs living area and obviously the garden from just below shoulder height and just above waist height depending on where they stand. 


This has been undertaken using pdr and our local authority is having some problems addressing the matter they are saying that as far as they can interpret the GPDO they have to use the original ground level to ascertain the height of the raised platform and using this criteria it does no rise above the pdr allowed. It actually rises at its highest point to circa 3 foot or above.


Looking at various articles the LPA’s all appear to be having some problem addressing this matter. As far as we can see if this criteria is upheld then any structure i.e. shed or otherwise will be judged against it.


Have you any explanations in this particular area?


Would be most grateful if you have.

D. & P.W.

Hi Chris,

Read your site with interest. Quick question; Would you know when the PDR's for a new-build actually begin? I've heard from one source that it's when the property is occupied, but from another source when it's substantially you have any views on this, or a point of reference in the GPDO where it is stated?

Many thanks in advance



Hi There

I've been reading your brilliant website.

I'm in stockport & got PP (albeit after appeal) to convert an unused slaughterhouse into two Mews Cottages

At Appeal the inspectorate over ruled the Councils request to remove PD. In fact, he actually commented saying Porches would be desireable on the two houses.

Now, on one, I want to go out another 1.5metres to make the project better, as my architect had included an old WC outbuilding belonging to a neighbour. in the Appeal. again the Inspectorate specifically commented, that to demolish the single outrigger and replace with a two storey larger one, effected no neighbours & approved it.

So, as we're already working on it, had a rushed meeting (10 mins) with the new Planning Officer. He agreed in principle, but after discussions said PD rights does not exist till the houses are built & occupied !! Therefore the porch would need PP. Having read your site - this seems a common problem. I think i should go back to him in writing - to query this. with the Appeal Decision specifically saying a porch could be built - he seems to imply that could be done at the same time.

Also 2 minor things. Wish to change window to French doors & put small rooflite/velux over stairs to gain more daylight. these 2 should be within pd

with regard to the extra 1.5m. this affects no-one at all. i thought of doing it as non material amendedment. again the pp officer suggests all these are to be on a new FULL PP form & pay x2 @ £335

any advice??


THanks M.T.

First of congratulations on your site which has defogged a great deal
in the Permitted Development regulations for me. I'd like to point out
another example where they lack clarity or are ambiguous: In the
latest amendment of the regulations relating to Class A development,
in the 'Conditions' section, It states "Development is permitted by
Class A subject to the following conditions:- :............It would
seem to imply that all the restrictions in paragraph A.1 and A.2 do
not apply if the conditions in paras A.3 are complied with, which seems
to me nonesensical. Surely it should read something like...."Any
development permitted by Class A, i.e. not prohibited by any of the
conditions in paras A.1 and A.2, shall be subject to the following
additional conditions.... Or am I wrong? Happy New Year, Salut,


I am looking for support to understand if a planned house extension
can be carried out under permitted development.

We previously lost an appeal in (2002) for a two storey extension due
to detrimental effect on level of daylight/ sun light, We believe that
we may now be able to carry out this extension within the revised
permitted development rules. We also wish to apply for planning
permission for an addition ground floor extension. We want to be sure
we do all of this in the right order to ensure we can go ahead.

We are reluctant to discuss with council given previous experiences.

We do not necessarily need drawings produced as my father is a
structural engineer (he used to own a partnership in Marlow actually),
but more support to make best use of the planning process for us.

Do you offer this kind of service?

I am based in Wokingham

Kind Regards



My recently arrived neighbour has lodged an application for a Certificate of lawfulness with Wandsworth Council - for a proposed extension in their back garden.

I have nothing against them extending as such - I have an extension (conservatory) myself. My concern is that my neighbour's proposed extension will prevent me from maintaining the side windows of my conservatory.

Do I have any rights as the person "having this done to me"? Can I lodge an objection?

I found your website most informative - but would appreciate a brief conversation. I will need to appoint a party wall surveyor and have decided not to use the one used by my neighbour. I would like a chat about this as well.

I look forward to hearing from you

Kind regards


Dear Sir/Madam, 


I am hoping you can answer a question for me. My plans for a loft conversion on a semi-detached house have been rejected, because the house has already been converted into two flats. This is even though I have reduced the height and width of the dormer to the minimal level.


My question is, if my semi-detached neighbour built a full size dormer on his property, would the Planning Officer be obliged to agree for me to do the same?


I realise my neighbour has Permitted Development rights, and I do not. However, I have been told by the Planning Officer that there are changes in the pipeline, but it could take years.


I look forward to hearing from you.


Yours sincerely,



As part of a series of training workshops we are delivering for the Essex Planning Officers Asociation (EPOA)
we have been asked to run a workshop pm on Weds 10th Feb on

Permitted development, minor applications and appropriate consultation and processes - including links to the Killian Pretty review

Given your expertise and keen interest in this issue, including your extensive permitted development website, would you be available to share insights on current policies as a contributor to this workshop ?

The weblink below indicates the range of workshops we deliver for planners and others on planning, waste planning and related issues. We also expect to run this workshop again for other councils.

Best wishes


To whom it may concern,

We have a garage that we wish to convert to a studio where we can run
holistic workshops.

It is under 20m from the house. We need some advice.

We are based in Nottinghamshire and we are on a very tight budget as
are most these days!

However, we need to get it functioning by 1st May. We are just curious
that if we get a Certificate of Lawfulness can we rent it as
a space to the public?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards


I am currently appealing an enforcement notice for the removal of a caravan from our garden in which we have lived for 6 years. We lived in the caravan from 2004 to 2008 without a whisper from the council. In 2008 they notified us that we needed planning permission, which we gained for one year. I then applied again in 2009 but was refused. I have been told by the LPA that I am not entitled to retrospectively apply for a certificate of lawfulness. Is this true?
The caravan was originally provided to facilitate the renovation of the house that stands within the grounds but due to financial and family upsets progress has been virtually nil.
Can you advise?


Ask us a question.....


Dear Christopher Hunt MCIAT,

I am writing this email to establish whether you would be interested in aiding my dissertation project into the GPDO amendment that came into affect on the 1st October 2008. I am a fourth year student at the University of Liverpool currently taking a Master of Planning (Undergraduate). The aim of the dissertation is to establish whether 'The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008' has had a beneficial impact on the English planning system and those involved with it.

You were brought to my attention as someone with specific knowledge on the topic when I found you website and would very much like to have your input in the dissertation. Ideally I would like to interview you in person however I would be more than happy to ascertain your views and opinions by any means appropriate to you.

So far those involved in the planning system have, for the purpose of this dissertation, been split into four groups. Them being Landowners, the public, Local Government, and Central Government. From what I have gathered you may be able to express opinions on behalf of Landowners, and maybe even the public?

I am not currently at the stage of carrying out primary research however I am expecting to be ready to start around the Easter period. Please let me know if you would be willing to aid my dissertation project.

Many thanks,



Many thanks for your advice and guidance re temporary buildings over the phone today.

If I can return the favour please contact me.


Hi Christopher,

I perhaps have another one for your list, in 2004 a previous owner of my property demolished one third of it which had stood for more than 150 years (I know he was short of money for the refurbishment but this did seem daft) however all the PD refers to the pre 1948 or original size does than mean that my side extensions could include this extra third in the calculation of an allowable extension.

Your other Questions and answers have given me a lot of information I was struggling to glean anywhere else, naturally I will be seeking a certificate of lawful development first but keep up the good work.

Kind regards




I am in dispute with my local authority. Is the height of a proposed extension measured from the highest ground level on its perimeter or the lowest?


I’d be very grateful for your opinion.





Hi Christopher,

I found your website after searching permitted development rights following approval of a householder planning application we placed with West Berks Council. 


The application was approved, but the council has imposed a condition, of “no additions or extensions to the dwelling shall be built, and no ancillary buildings or structures shall be erected within the cartilage of the dwelling house unless permission has been granted in writing by the LPA on an application made for the purpose”. i.e they have removed all permitted development rights. The stated reason being “to prevent the overdevelopment of the site and the increase in visual intrusion within the surrounding landscape.”


Our property is a private equestrian property set in 10 acres of on the edge of a village, outside the development boundary. The property is not in a national park or AONB.


Over the years a number of outbuildings have been erected. A brick built stable block was erected with planning permission some 20 years ago, last year we obtained permission to convert this for use as an office. In addition there are timber sectional building comprising a barn, stable block (3 loose boxes), and a workshop. Other than the workshop all the building were erected prior to our purchase of the property in 2002. The outbuilding are all consistent with the use of the property for the pleasure and benefit of its owners, they are set back away from the road and barely visible and would fall I believe within current permitted development rights.

Our planning application (docs above) was to develop the house, which comprises a chalet bungalow with large rear extension. The original idea being to build a proper 1st floor above the existing ground floor of the bungalow, replacing a very poorly thought out loft conversion. However the poor quality of the original structure has led us to decide to replace the original bungalow with a new timber frame replacement, on virtually the same foot print whilst retaining the rear 1980’s extension. There is a 1m side extension added after pre-app consultation when the case officer asked for clear break between the new old retained structure.


After reading Circular 11/95: The Use of Conditions in Planning Permissions I consider the complete removal of permitted development rights seems unreasonable, because it is not necessary the granting of this planning permission (para 3) and the restriction of permitted developments should only apply in exceptional circumstances (para 86).


We intend making a fast track householder appeal against this condition. It would help our case to obtain a submission in support from a suitably qualified person.

Is this something you can help with? If so:


a) What would the costs be for preparing the submission? 

b) Have you had experience of any similar cases at appeal, if so what was the outcome? 


I look forward to hearing from you.






Dear Mr Hunt

I have found your website really helpful.

You make a point in your section on "what can stop permitted development" which relates to sloping ground levels. I can only find the definition of this in SI1992 No. 223 (S.17) The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Scotland) Order 1992.

Would it be possible for you to point me in the direction of this definition in The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008 as I am unable to find it here.

We have a property on a sloping ground level - if you measure the eaves height from the highest adjoining ground level we are within the 3 metre extension height , but if you measure from the lowest adjoining ground level we do not comply by 33 cm.

We wish to make an application for permitted development and in order to maintain the eaves height of a previous extension we would need to demonstrate that the height of the additional extension is lower than 3 metres as we are within 2 metres of a boundary.

I would be grateful for you views on how to measure this 3 metre height rule. In particular what adjoining ground level do I use as my measurement ie is it the highest point of the property or the house or the extension itself

Kind regards


Dear Mr Hunt

Thank you for your prompt response - it is much appreciated.

From the front of the house to the back where the extension is planned is a gradient that drops by 30cm. Thus if we were to take the height of ground level as exists at the front the house we would comply with the 3M rule but by the time it gets to the furthest point of the extension we do not comply by 30cm.

Are you aware of any legal precedent that deals with this aspect?

Kind Regards


Dear Mr.Hunt, 

Re: Applications, appeals and case law relating to 2008 changes to PDO

Are you are aware of any successfull applications/appeals under the 2008 changes the PDO for very large

extensions to the principle elevation of a dwelling, where the principle elevation does not face a public highway?

In your experience, how are local authorities and inspectors defining 'facing a public highway'? Are they trying to circumvent the flaw in the legislation by saying 'it must face a public highway' even if the nearest public highway is miles away behind a hill.

Yours faithfully,



I ve just discovered your site perhaps you can help me

How would the man on the Clapham Omnibus determine the principle elevation of this property in South London?As you can see it is not a regular front and back.

I enclose a scaled plan and site plan and look forward to your reply



I have done some further research which establishes the dwelling outside of PDRs as it is a conversion of a larger property.The advice is to submit plans in the usual way and my local council offers a pre app without charge for this type of application.Problem solved and thank you for your help




I have enjoyed looking at your PD site.

Here is an example of an extension under Class B [Hip to gable + rear dormer] that a client asked me to complain to LB Richmond upon Thames Enforcement about on the grounds that under B.2 (b) it is closer than 200 mm to the eaves, although as I'm sure we both know the definition of the eaves in GPDO 2008 is unclear! Enforcement curtly informed me that PD applies, perhaps they are too fooled by the optical illusion created by the constructor.

Many thanks


Hi there,  

Just looking at your piece about Permitted development on the internet. 


We are applying for PD in LB Wandsworth in a conservation area. The rear elevation is staggered similar to what you describe in point No.  15. STAGGERED REAR ELEVATIONS (AS EXISTING).


Here the planners interpreted condition A.2 (b) of the GDPO that the side wall of the offshoot counted as a ‘wall forming a side wall of the original dwelling house’ and we were only allowed to extend a further 3m from the back of the original offshoot.  This is a bit different to what you have found.


Funny eh?... actually we didn’t find it funny, we found it stupid.


Kind regards,


Dear Mr Hunt

I am attaching a picture of my house from the back and I am indicating in the picture the kind of extension I want to be done.

Please let me know whether you would be able to do your best to get planning permission as indiacted and an estimate of your fees.

I live in the London Borough of Croydon.


Dear Mr Hunt

I have read your website on permitted development with interest.

In our parish we have a detached building in the open countryside whose principal elevation does not face onto a highway. A certificate of lawfulness was obtained for a huge extension to the principal elevation under permitted development because it satisfied conditions A1(a) and A1(d)(i) & (ii).

However the upstairs side windows have to be obscured glass and all openings above 1.7m from the floor.

Full planning permission was applied for in order to get relief from the conditions of fenestration.

This was refused because the extension was so much greater than what would be allowed under the Local Plan. The house is also in a very elevated position.

The applicant is now appealing on the grounds that none of the side windows overlook neighbours, so what is the harm?

Are there any appeal cases where this has been tested?

Can an applicant "pick and mix" from permitted development and full planning permission?

I am a parish councillor in Headley, Bordon Hants and I am trying to argue against the appeal.

I would be very pleased if you could find time to reply

Many thanks


Hi there 

I know that this is a bit of a cheek but I wondered if you had ever come across this or had an opinion?

In Oct 2007 we bought an ld farmhouse for renovation on about 1 acre of land. Our solicitor emailed us to confirm that we had permitted development (she even went into a description of it’s meaning). This year we have been told by the local planning office that only approx 1/3 of the property has permitted development right and the rest (as far as they are concerned) is “paddock”.

Based on the search info I can see that there is no direct removal of PD BUT no-one asked the question “does ALL the property have PD” and the local charges office didn’t volunteer the information.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Best regards


Dear Mr Hunt

May I congratulate you on your website, it has been very informative in trying to work out the complexities of the new GPDO. I am a property developer who concentrates on dwelling houses either replacements or extensions.

When dclg was consulting on this new legislation I responded and got as many of my property friends to do so too. My main concern was actually the proposed changes to class E rights. All through the consultation process in 2007/8 they were planning to restrict class E structure to a cumulative maximum of 25/30 square metres. I objected to these ludicrous proposals stating that the object of the new GPDO was to try and reduce the planners workload and with restrictions like many more applications would have to be made. (Fortunately these cumulative limits were dropped at the last minute and they reverted back to the 50% curtilage rule). I also pointed out that the new definitions would cause mayhem and it seemed to me that the whole document had been written for a standard typical street with little thought to the non standard. This has proved true!

I am currently planning a wrap around single storey side extension to a development. The existing house is a rectangle and there is no question over principle elevation etc. It should be quite straight forward but councils up and down the land are interpreting the rules differently and appeal decisions seem to vary. Some councils seem to suggest that a wrap around extension if carried out in one operation should be no longer along the rear of the house than half the width of the house i.e it falls under the side extension restriction. Other councils don't think that the wrap around element is permitted at all. I have been interested to read your posted appeal decisions especially no 62 where I agree with the inspectors decision.

I was wondering whether there was any definitive opinion forming on the single storey wrap around extension, whether you knew of any high court judgements on this that might set the record straight?

If you have any thoughts they would be much appreciated.



Ask us a question.....


Dear Mr. Hunt

I am writing to ask if you would be able to offer some informal advice on a permitted development case for an application we recently had granted by St.Albans District Council.

In preparing our D+A statement for the application, we found your site very useful.  Eventually, after a re-submission and three months of negotiation with the case officer, the certificate of lawful use was granted, but it has an unusual caveat at the end of the notice which states that
“The applicant is advised that this Certificate does not relate to any windows or doors inserted into the single storey rear extension.”

It is my understanding that conditions can not be imposed on a certificate of lawful use and that there is no mechanism for discharging conditions to permitted development? Either it is lawful, or it is not. The certificate we have obtained appears only to be partially lawful.

As a brief background to this:

The case officer expressed concerns with the first application as to how the fenestration would be of similar appearance in relation to class A3 condition (a) of the amended GPDO, as we had not shown them in our drawings.

In response, I confirmed that the proposed extension would have glazing to the rear elevation and we agreed that I would make a resubmission with a revised design and access statement. This was carried out, and the D+A clearly sated that The rear elevation will be glazed with conservatory style double glazed sliding doors with Pilkington K glass (or similar) and gas filled cavities.

Just before the application was granted, I followed this up with the case officer and was led to believe that this was acceptable.

I have attached the certificate for your reference, which also contains a typing error in the 2nd paragraph, that the “Development proposed complies with the GPDO 1994,” but should be 1995!.  The application can also be found on the council web site

I apologise for boring you with this sorry story, but it seems you may be a good person to be able to offer some advice on what action we can take.  The case officer has been avoiding my calls for several months, and I tried speaking to the DCLG planning improvement team, but they refuse to comment on individual cases.

I would also be interested to know if there is a definitive precedent for the definition of a conservatory, as these are not restricted by class A3

If you have time to call or send a brief email, it would be most appreciated.  In return, I attach some new information I found from DCLG regarding permitted development which our case officer took as a material consideration in her assessment of this application.  It clarifies a lot of the ambiguity in the drafting of the current 2008 GPDO amendment, was drafted by the
Permitted Development Rights Team Planning System Improvement Division and is due to be published before Easter.

Best Regards,



First let say thank you for providing so much information on your excellent site.

There is one question that I have not been able to find the answer to.

Do PDR only apply to urban areas and villages? I live in Shaftenhoe End, Barley, Herts it is outside the Barley village boundary, it is not in a conservation area, area of natural beauty or green belt. Do I still have the same PDR as people living in the village. Finally would it make a difference if the property was a small holding.

If you could give me any guidance, I would be very grateful because nobody else seems to know.



Good Day Christopher

I found your contact details on your excellent website.

I am considering applying for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Use

I would appreciate an opportunity to explain my thinking to an  expert such as yourself and to consider the best way forward including whether to engage you as an agent for this process.

Would it be possible for us to initially hold a telephone call?

I look forward to hearing from you




We spoke today about the link on your website (  ) to CLG guidance that has not yet been published. I should also stress again that the version your link goes to is an earlier unpublished draft and is not the finalised text. The guidance will be published as soon as we can get clearance to do so, but that may not be until after the general election now.

You very kindly agreed to remove the link when you return to the UK from Spain. Can I suggest you include the following text to replace the paragraph beginning "However…"

"However…CLG are now producing detailed guidance on the application of the 2008 PD rules. The link to CLG guidance that was previously on this page has been removed as it was a link to an early draft version of their proposed guidance. This draft version of the guidance had not been published by CLG and therefore has no formal status within the planning system.

CLG have indicated, however, that the final version of the PD guidance will be published "as soon as possible". A new link to the guidance will be available here once it is published."

Many thanks for your co-operation with this.




I own a house that has a single dwelling on it and a large garden. The land is currently classed as green belt. However it is on the fringe of town and not green belt on two of the four boundary sides. We have lived in the property for 13 years and to our knowledge the grounds have always been used as domestic gardens. Can I apply for a lawful development certificate to change the status of the land to Domestic curtilage or would a planning application be more applicable? I have read my local authorities policy on extending domestic curtilage into Green belt and they are very opposed to this but we have always used the grounds as just that domestic garden for the house so we are not really extending into the green belt.


I had a look through the appeals but couldnt find any similar scenario.


Great site by the way.






I have read your website with great interest.

We have a large detached house with an attached flat roofed single storey extension to the rear. This was constructed in about 1970. The original house was built 1910.

We would like to put a pitch roof on the single storey extension, pitch will be below 4 metres, but would this fall within PD.



Having been directed to your site by a colleague of mine, the information you provide was extremely interesting and helpful, I myself trawl the appeals for interesting points that may be of assistance in my dealings with LPA’s and to find that someone has done the majority of the hard work was nice to say the least. 

I have made a number of appeals myself and see they are in your list, however have found another recent one regarding the “eaves of a roof” and the 20cm setback that you might find helpful where the inspector determined :- 

Definition of Eaves, APP/L5810/X/09/2118094 04/03/2010



10. I now turn to the question of the relationship of the dormer with the eaves of the building. Unfortunately the General Permitted Development Order does not define the term “eaves”. However, in my experience it usually refers to the overhanging or projecting part of a sloping roof, where a roof is designed with its outer edge projecting beyond the wall below. This opinion is supported by the definitions given in technical publications dealing with such matters.


The fundamental problem in this case is that at present there are no eaves on the rear elevation of the building, which is a three-storey vertical wall below a flat roof. Since the eaves no longer exist, I fail to see how the 20 centimetre set back required by condition B.2(b) can be provided as there is no roof plane on which the distance can be measured unfortunately again the eaves were removed in this case but this definition follows the proposed march guidance. I hope this appeal is also of interest


Hello Christopher 

Many thanks for putting up an informative & useful site!

I had a browse around but could not find anything that particularly answered a question I have… and wondered if you might consider answering … and/or adding to the website.

Question:  If a planning application is granted but a condition is added to remove PDR then in what circumstances might this be considered unreasonable and appealed? My specific circumstances may be unusual but the general position may be interesting to your website users and clients?

Background: I own a listed building and in 1997 gained permission (against officer recommendation) to build a large annexe with no special conditions except a s106 was signed prior to permission being granted that limited usage to ancillary to own usage. PDR were not mentioned in the consent or s106.

In 2007/8 the LPA agreed to vary the s106 to allow letting for periods up to 5 years. This was done under LPA advice without a planning application.

In late 2009 I asked the LPA via pre-consultation about making some changes to the annexe to assist letting e.g. sub-dividing rooms & adding windows. I was unsure if some or all would be permitted dev or if the listed curtilage meant it needed permission even though the annexe is not listed in its own right.

The LPA said it required permission due to the listed curtilage – which I accepted as correct. However the officer then said the LPA had put themselves in a very difficult position by permitting the s106 change and felt they had no choice but tidy it up by making a full separation of annexe from house. I was happy to help them out by agreeing! There was no suggestion that I had done anything incorrectly – it was their mistake and they should have required a planning application at the time of s106 change.

They are about to issue consent with officer recommendation in favour (includes highways, conservation, EA and other consultees who had no objections).

However they have not mentioned PDR so far… but I am half (or more!) expecting one condition to be removal of PDR.

As it’s a conservation area and none of the houses nearby have had PDR removed … I am wondering if I can/should resist that?

Any thoughts would be welcomed!


Best regards


Interesting read but I am disappointed it does not fully cover the issue of materials. I have recently had a Certificate of Lawful Development refused for a rear covered veranda. It was within all the size requirements but it was not constructed out of matching materials and as it was not a conservatory, did not fall within this exclusion.

Any thoughts?

I think it is madness!


Dear Sir/Madam
Before providing any details I would grateful to know if you provide a informal comment as to whether a domestic extension would in your opinion require planning permission
Thank you



Where the land slopes slightly arround a PD outbuilding where should the height to ridge be measured from?

An appeals inspector has dismised an appeal because he measured the height to ridge immediatly under the ridge not from the highest ground level adjacent to the buidling although I did point out to him that he wasn'tmeasuring from the finished ground level as we had not finished the landscaping works to the building.

We're talking about 200 mm here.




I am considering an extension to my home.

I have a current extension to the side/rear of the property that would fall under the guidance for PD.

However I want to build from the side of house and attach to the current extension, do I have to demolish my extisting extension and rebuild all new or can I join on, providing i meet all the criteria of PD



Dear Sirs,

I am receiving conflicting interpretations regarding Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves”.

It is the clarification of from ‘where and to’ this measurement should be made that I seek.

Please refer to the attached sketch.

Is the measurement at:

A – From the face of the main dwelling wall to the face of the dormer, or 

B – From the face of the fascia board to the the face of the dormer, or 

C - From the face of the fascia board to the the face of the dormer measured on the plane of the roof. 



Yours faithfully,





hello there,

i just wanted to say a big thanks for the draft guidance on the pd rights 2008. I took your advice and googled the dclg draft and it came up with your site link:

I was just happy i could still view it and save it.

Once again thanks!


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