Specific types of building development can have specific planning permission requirements or qualify as permitted developments more frequently.
That's why we've compiled a list of all the most common specific developments we see, and their planning permission status.
- Granny Annexes
- Garden Offices
- Mobile Homes
- Loft Conversions
- Planning Permission Help
If you have further questions after reading, please feel free to ask us a legal question.
Property extensions fall within a homeowner’s permitted development rights, meaning it is not necessary to obtain planning permission.
However, there are many terms and conditions that apply. If your proposed development does not comply with the planning rules for extensions, you will need to pursue a planning application.
Planning Rules For Extensions
The planning rules for extensions are extensive. A solicitor will be able to tell you whether or not your development meets the planning rules for extensions, which amongst others include:-
- No more than half the area of land around the original house to be built upon
- No extension to sit forward of the principal elevation
- Material to be in keeping with the original structure
- If within two metres of a boundary, the eaves must not be higher than three metres
- Rear extensions must not exceed more than three metres in depth, or four metres if it is a detached property
- Two storey extensions to be no closer than seven metres to the boundary
Furthermore, if you wish to build a single storey extension between three and six metres (or four and eight metres for a detached property) you will need to go through the neighbour consultation scheme. This is applicable until May 2019.
If you would like to build a garage, you need to ensure that it meets the rules which govern outbuildings. If your proposed plans fail to meet the criteria, you will need to pursue planning permission for a garage.
Do I Need Planning Permission For My Garage?
A garage is considered to be an outbuilding. As long as its purpose is incidental to the dwelling, it may be built under permitted development rights. This means that planning permission for a garage is not required.
Nevertheless, if you build without planning permission for a garage, you must ensure that the development complies with the conditions set out in the regulations. These stipulate that a garage must:
- Be single storey
- Not sit forward of the principal elevation
- Have eaves no higher than 2.5 metres, with a maximum overall height of three metres, or four metres for a dual pitched roof
- Cover no more than half the land surrounding the original house
- Planning permission for garage application
To ensure your garage is lawful, you need to ask a legal expert to review the plans for your proposed development.
If you would like to build a granny annexe, you need to establish whether or not planning permission is required, or your development may in breach of the regulations.
Do I Need Planning Permission For A Granny Annexe?
A granny annexe is usually considered to be an outbuilding, which are defined as being incidental to the use of the property. This is very important as it will dictate whether or not granny annexe planning permission is required.
If the annexe is deemed to be ‘incidental’ – namely, it is simply another room of the house – it may be built under permitted development rights. This means it will not be necessary to obtain planning permission for granny annexe developments. Nevertheless, the building must meet the rules relating to outbuildings, or granny annexe planning permission will be needed.
If the annexe is considered to be a separate dwelling, you will need to apply for planning permission for granny annexe.
Can I build a granny annexe in my garden?
There is often some difficulty in assessing what constitutes a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwelling house. Something which is “incidental” cannot itself be a dwelling house.
In one important case, a garage detached from a house was converted into a “granny annexe”. The judge said that, even if the accommodation provided a “certain degree of independence”, the annexe did not as a result become a separate planning unit from the main dwelling. The living accommodation would remain part of the same planning unit with the house so long as it remained in single family occupation.
The position may however be different where the granny annexe is used by someone outside the family unit of the main home, who does not use the main home for anything.
There will be subtle and complex distinctions, and you will need advice to ensure that you keep your development within the bounds of what is acceptable as a matter of planning control.
To verify your position, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in planning law.
Our legal team will be able to review your plans before advising you upon your legal duties. If you do need granny annexe planning permission, we can guide you through the process, helping you every step of the way. This will give you the peace of mind that your outbuilding is entirely lawful.
Garden buildings such as summerhouses can be built under permitted development rights. This means that in most cases, summerhouse planning permission will not be required. To ensure you do not need consent for your structure, simply contact a solicitor for advice.
Planning Permission For A Summerhouse
Under planning laws, a summerhouse is considered to be an outbuilding. Outbuildings can be built under permitted development, meaning summerhouse planning permission will not be required.
A summerhouse might also look very 'open', especially if the summerhouse is built in the style of a shelter, rather than the common closed octagonal or rectangular styles of summerhouse.
An open, shelter-style summerhouse.
Nevertheless, the structure must still meet the terms and conditions that govern outbuildings. This means that under some conditions, when the structure does not meet the definition of an outbuilding, summerhouse planning permission might be required. Primarily, the summerhouse must be incidental to the enjoyment of the property. Furthermore, the construction itself must:
- Not be on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation
- Be single storey with eaves no higher than 2.5 metres and a maximum overall height of four metres for a dual pitched roof/three metres for other types of roof
- Have a maximum height of 2.5 metres if within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the property
- Not have a veranda, balcony or raised platform
- Cover no more than half the area of land around the original house
- Permitted development rights do not apply to properties on designated land, including conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.
Outbuildings And Summerhouse Planning Permission
It is prudent to check whether or not you need summerhouse planning permission before work begins. A solicitor will verify whether you enjoy permitted development rights, and will confirm if your proposed development adheres to the terms and conditions for summerhouses.
Many people seek advice from us about whether they can build an office in their garden. The answer will depend on a range of factors including location, size and the proposed use of the office.
Do I need building regulations for a garden office?
Provided the use is incidental to the enjoyment of the primary use of the home as a dwelling house, then it may potentially be acceptable. However, detailed advice should be sought.
Adding an outbuilding as a garden office
The issues of size and location, as well as suitable materials, will require careful consideration of what householder permitted development rights there are for a new building in the garden. Specific rights apply, and we can help you understand the complex permitted development rules set out in the General Permitted Development Order 2015.
Like with granny annexes and garden offices, there may be scope for allowing you to station a mobile home within the curtilage of your dwelling house and garden.
As with other cases, it is important to understand who will be using the additional accommodation and whether they can be said to be a member of the household who is using it as additional living space rather than as separate accommodation. One factor will be whether the user of the caravan or mobile home is also using the house for showering, cooking etc.
Sometimes, if you are in the process of redeveloping your house, it may be possible to obtain permission to stay in a mobile home on site while the relevant redevelopment is taking place.
For all of these queries, we can help provide you with clear guidance on what is acceptable without planning permission, and what will require planning permission to be sought from the local planning authority.
Loft conversions are allowed under permitted development. This means that with the exception of properties in designated areas, it is not necessary to obtain planning permission for loft conversions.
How Can I Get Planning Permission For A Loft Conversion?
If you wish to undertake a loft conversion under permitted development, you must adhere to the following terms and conditions or the conversion will not be deemed legal:
- Volume allowance of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses and 50 cubic metres for detached/semi-detached houses (including roof space additions created by previous owners)
- No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation
- No extension higher than the highest part of the roof
- Materials to be in keeping with existing house
- No verandas, balconies or platforms
- Windows to be 1.7m above the floor, with side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed
- No overhang of the outer face of the original house
- With the exception of hip to gable extensions, roof extensions to be set back 20cm from the original eaves
If your loft conversion is going to disturb a protected species – such as bats – you may need a licence.
If you would like to build a permanent equestrian construction – such as stables or an arena – it is very likely that you will need planning permission. To find out more about planning permission for stables, you need to speak to a solicitor who specialises in planning law.
Do I Need Planning Permission For Stables?
If you wish to build a stable on land that falls outside the curtilage of your garden, planning consent must be obtained before work begins.
However, if the proposed development falls within the curtilage of your garden you may not require planning permission for stables, as you may be able to build under permitted development rights. Nevertheless, there are still certain limits and conditions that must be met or the structure will be illegal.
If the structure is not permanent it can be argued that you do not need planning permission for stables. Nevertheless, it is best to seek advice on this matter because it can only be applied in very specific circumstances. For example, the stable must not require footings and must be deemed mobile.
Planning law is forever changing, with rules and regulations being introduced, amended and repealed. This can make it particularly confusing for those hoping to undertake a new development, while the application process itself can be long and complicated.
To ensure you achieve your objectives in the easiest way possible, you may want to seek planning permission help. A solicitor who deals with planning law can help with all planning permission matters.
To talk to a solicitor about your planning permission, get in touch with us today. Contact us on 01634 811 118 or complete our online enquiry form.
The materials appearing on this website do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. No warranty, whether express or implied is given in relation to such materials. We shall not be liable for any technical, editorial, typographical or other errors or omissions within the information provided on this website, nor shall we be responsible for the content of any web images or information linked to this website. Viewing this website, or contacting us does not constitute a solicitor client relationship between you and this firm.