If you’re looking to upgrade a property by adding on an extension, there’s now more flexibility than ever over what you can do.
Temporary rules introduced by the government in 2013 that allowed owners more leeway in the type of extensions they could build without planning permission became permanent last year.
CHANGES TO RESTRICTIVE PLANNING RULES
In England, the new rules mean single-storey rear extensions of up to six metres on a terraced or semi-detached property and eight metres on a detached property can be built without needing planning application.
This is good news for property investors who would rather renovate an existing property than buy a new, larger property.
For commercial property owners, new rules allow shops to be converted into offices without having to apply for planning permission. This makes it easier for business owners to adapt to prevailing high street changes.
EXTENSIONS YOU CAN DO WITHOUT PLANNING PERMISSION
These are the types of extension you can do without having to submit a planning application:
- The extension is no more than half the area of land around the original house.
- The extension is not forward of the principal elevation or side elevation onto a highway.
- The extension is not higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Single storey extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than eight metres for a detached house, or more than six metres for any other house.
- The maximum height of a single-storey rear extension should not be higher than four metres.
- Extensions of more than one storey should not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than three metres.
- Side extensions are single storey with a maximum height of four metres and width of no more than half that of the original house.
- Two-storey extensions are no closer than seven metres to the rear of the boundary.
- The materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house.
- The extension doesn’t include verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
- Any upper-floor, side-facing windows must be obscure-glazed; any opening should be 1.7m above the floor.
CREATE SPACE FOR PARKING
Parking space is one of the most sought-after features for tenants. The addition of a garage or the creation of a parking area will enable landlords to potentially increase the rent they charge.
You can build a garage without planning permission as long as it’s no higher than four metres. However, outbuildings should not take up more than half of the land around the original property.
It’s also acceptable to pave over a front garden as long as the material you use is porous. You don’t require planning permission whatever the size of the new hardstanding. The exception to this is if you use an impermeable material. In this scenario, a space over five square metres would need planning permission.
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