What is permitted development?
You may be allowed to make some changes or improvements without planning permission, this is known as “permitted development”. These rights mostly apply to houses – if you are a flat or commercial property you will likely require planning permission for any changes.
Permitted development is a national right for homeowners to make improvements and alterations without needing planning permission. This includes rear and side extensions, loft conversions and associated roof works, rear outbuildings/sheds, porches, boundary walls/fences and solar panels.
The Planning Portal interactive house guide can provide you with all the measurements and other information necessary to identify if your project is permitted development. If you need further assistance we can provide advice through our duty planner services.
If your project is permitted development and does not require planning permission then there is no requirement to submit an application or inform the Planning Service of the works.
Please be aware you may need private agreements, such as a party wall agreement, which is outside of the planning process. You will also likely need building regulations approval even if the works are permitted development (as this is separate legislation to planning).
You may also be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastucture Levy (CIL). This will apply if you are creating more than 100 square metres of new floor area for example, even if the works are permitted development.
Lawful development certificates
If you would like us to check if the proposed works are lawful without needing planning permission, then you can submit a “lawful development certificate” application (sometimes referred to as a “certificate of lawfulness”) – this application has a statutory fee. We will assess your proposal and provide you with a decision notice stating if the works are lawful or unlawful under permitted development. This application is optional but can be helpful for your peace of mind and house records.
There is no statutory consultation requirement for a certificate application as it is a technical assessment against the permitted development criteria only (we would not send letters or notify neighbours or interested parties of the works).
If you choose to not submit a lawful development certificate then the works will be carried out at your own risk. If the works breach the permitted development criteria then the site may be liable for enforcement action.
Please be aware your permitted development rights can be affected if your property is in a conservation area, is a statutory listed building, or has an Article 4 Direction. In these instances, we do encourage seeking duty planner advice, and submitting a lawful development certificate application to check the proposed works.