Permitted development

Permitted development allows for some works to be carried out without planning permission.

Works that can be carried out without planning permission, are called 'permitted development rights', and include;

  • Alterations and maintenance to a building
  • certain minor works, including small extensions to houses. 

For more details on permitted development rights, visit the Planning Portal.

Improvements you can make under permitted development

  • Building a porch
  • carrying out internal alterations
  • converting and occupy roof space
  • installing solar panels
  • installing a satellite dish
  • putting in a roof light or dormer windows
  • new doors or windows
  • side and rear extensions
  • loft conversions
  • outbuildings
  • decking under 30cm high off the ground
  • garage conversions
  • construction of a new driveway of porous materials, or non-porous if provision for drainage is provided on the property.
However, where planning permission is not required, it may be necessary to get separate approval under building regulations or listed building consent.


Conversion of Non-Domestic Buildings into Homes

  • Under Permitted Development, existing buildings – such as offices, barns and other agricultural buildings – can be converted into homes.

Agricultural Buildings and Barn Conversions

  • The introduction of a new system allows for the conversion of barns into dwellings. Permission would still be required however.

Former Office Buildings

  • Another change in ‘permitted development’  allows for offices to be converted to residential use in an attempt to release inner-city land for housing

Apply for planning permission online by visiting the Planning Portal.

Restricted development

In some parts of the country permitted development rights are more restricted:

  • Conservation Area
  • a National Park
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • a World Heritage Site or
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

For more details on permitted development rights, visit the Planning Portal

What isn’t permitted development?

  • Balconies, verandas and raised platforms (above 300mm)
  • Construction of a drive from non-porous materials such as tarmac.

What does require planning permission?

  • Altering a listed building
  • altering the street-facing elevation
  • dividing a property in two
  • extending a home that has used its permitted development allocation
  • remodelling or extended on designated land, such as Conservation Areas or Areas of Outstanding National Beauty
  • extending near boundaries
  • building a new house
  • outbuildings

Please contact us for any advice or queries if you're unsure if you need planning permission.

Unauthorised works

If you build something which needs planning permission without obtaining permission first, you may be forced to make changes later. This could prove to be very costly and may even result in legal action to require removal of the unauthorised works.

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