What Is Permitted Development Rights?
You can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called “permitted development rights”. They derive from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Parliament. A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
- A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
- A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
- No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
- No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
- Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
- No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
- Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
- Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas
- Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
- The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.
*Bear in mind that any previous roof space additions must be included within the volume allowances listed above. Although you may not have created additional space a previous owner may have done so.
In some areas of the country, known generally as ‘designated areas’, permitted development rights are more restricted. For example, if you live in:
- a Conservation Area
- a National Park
- an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- a World Heritage Site or
- the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads,
you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.
It is advised that you should contact your local planning authority and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted.