Permitted development rights to change – onwards and upwards

Changes made to permitted development rights came into effect on 31st August and, while there are restrictions on some developments, it opens up exciting opportunities for many homeowners to increase the size of their homes by adding an upward extension with the minimum of regulations.

Permitted development rights cover works you can undertake on a property without needing to apply for planning permission. For residential properties, these historically included internal alterations, building a porch, converting a loft, adding roof lights, erecting solar panels or satellite TV antenna. The new changes could make a real difference to how you improve and extend your home.

While there are many changes aimed at commercial property, we’ll concentrate on changes within residential property.

The new, expanded amendments allow homeowners to extend and/or renovate their properties without a full planning application, which should speed up the process of a traditionally time-consuming process. The new permitted development rights will mean that planning permission is deemed to have been given.

Before all homeowners reach for sprit levels, hammers and scaffolding there are still many restrictions. The changes only apply to England and the process comes with several conditions that have to be met in order to qualify, meaning you’ll need to do your research to ensure you’re not excluded.

Homeowners are now able to extend upwards – and by up to two-storeys – on existing post-war properties. This means that, for example, anyone living in – or looking to purchase – a bungalow, can now consider building a single-storey extension without having to jump through a myriad of hoops and without having to set aside a huge chunk of time waiting for the process to be approved. It’s not just bungalows though – this applies to any property built between 1948 and 2018.

The key limitation to consider is that the rights to add an upward extension will only apply to existing residential dwellings or purpose-built, detached blocks of flats. Mixed-use buildings will not benefit from these new rights. 

Interestingly for developers, new homes can now be created above terraces, offices and shops – all without planning permission. These rights allow developers to consider upward extensions where there is a growing demand for new housing.

For residential property owners, this change will mean that those looking to purchase a new home have many more opportunities to consider making changes to their new property, and developers open up a wealth of prospects for taking office blocks or shop premises and turning them into profitable residential property.

Those considering extensions will still have to notify their local council of their intentions before they begin so that the usual risk factors can be assessed (traffic issues, flood risks, aesthetics, provision of light etc).

Those wishing to take advantage of this change in legislation should note that a legal challenge has been mounted, citing a failure to consider consultation responses and to carry out an appropriate Environmental Impact Assessment and a breach of the Public Sector Equality Duty. No response has been made by the Government.

If you’re excited about the prospect of being able to extend upwards in your current property, our advice is to seek appropriate advice from a qualified planning consultant. For those of you looking for a new property, this change in legislation may open up new avenues for renovation that were not possible before. Our experienced team can help you through the process and introduce you to the appropriate professionals – please do get in touch:

Alderley Edge
01625 540340, 

0161 928 8881,