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Planning Permission

If you wish to make alterations to property that you own, one of the first steps will be to check whether or not you need to get planning permission from local authorities.

If you are planning to make improvements to your property or build on land you own, it is important to know whether you need planning permission or not. 

Build something without the proper permission from the local authorities and you could be forced to knock it down, wasting you thousands of pounds and months of effort in the process.

Developments which require planning permission

The following are examples where you will need planning permission:

  • adding or extending a flat or maisonette, including those converted from houses
  • dividing off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example a self-contained flat or bedsit)
  • using a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else
  • building a separate house in your garden
  • dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) or building a parking place for a commercial vehicle
  • building something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house (for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an ''open plan'' estate)
  • working on something which may obstruct the view of road users
  • work which would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

Developments which do not require planning permission

There are also some types of work that don’t require planning permission from your local council. These fall under your “permitted development rights”.

Household building works that you don’t need planning permission for (as long as they meet certain criteria) include:

  • extensions and conservatories
  • loft conversions
  • fitting solar panels
  • roof alterations
  • patios and driveways.
However, even permitted developments are subject to certain restrictions on height, width and length, so you should check with your local authority before beginning construction.

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