NEW PLANNING RULES
In September 2012 the government announced plans to 'consult' on PDF rights being made more genrous for rear extensions.
EXTENSIONS and CONSERVATORIES
You can build certain types of home extension without having to make a planning application - subject to meeting the rules below. This is known as 'Permitted Development'.
The main difference to the old system is that new extensions are no longer judged in terms of their volume. Instead there are clear rules on their external depth, width and height. But there are still some grey areas, such as defining 'principle elevation' (normally, but not always, the front wall). The rules for conservatories are the same as for extensions.
If your design doesn't meet the following rules, you can of course apply for planning permission.
No extension allowed in front of your ‘principal elevation’ - normally the front main wall.
No extension allowed where your side wall faces a highway (or where the side is the ‘principle elevation’). Otherwise:-
Must be single storey
Max height 4m
Max width up to half width of original house.
Single storey ext 4m for detached houses (temporarily doubled to 8m from Sept 2012)
3m for attached houses (semis, terraces etc)
(temporarily doubled to 6m from Sept 2012)
2 storey or higher 3m including ground floor (temporarily doubled to 6m from Sept 2012)
Single storey ext 4m
No extension to be higher than the highest part of the main roof.
Eaves and ridge height = no higher than existing house
Extensions within 2 m of boundary = 3m max eaves height
No extension where more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’ * would be covered by additions or other buildings.
2 storey or higher extensions must be no closer than 7m to the rear boundary.
Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
No balconies or verandas
Windows to upper floors: side-facing to be obscure-glazed, and 1.7m above floor level
CONSERVATION AREAS (and other ‘designated land’*)
No PD for rear extensions of more than one storey.
No side extensions.
No cladding of the exterior.
Not permitted - but you only need make a single application for Listed Building Consent
* "original house" = as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948
* Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
The TEN YEAR and FOUR YEAR PLANNING RULES
Without the intervention of the Local Planning Authority (LPA) immunity from enforcement action can be acquired after a period of time has elapsed. This is referred to as the Four Year Rule and Ten Year Rule and is applicable as follows:
Ten Years - change of use of land or breach of planning conditions
Four years - development (i.e. building works) that is substantially complete; or the use of a building, or part of a building, as a dwelling house
In most cases if
four years have passed since construction, unless the change of use is by
itself having an adverse impact, one would hope the authority would not consider
it expedient to take action - but that is up to them.
Note that the ‘second bite’ rule allows an LA to take further enforcement action outside the usual four and ten-year limits – provided the LA has already tried to take enforcement action within those initial time limits.