The General Permitted Development Order and Permitted Development Rights

If you are proposing a build and do not know whether you need planning permission, Kingsley Smith Solicitors are able to help you. We have the necessary skills and experience dealing with the general permitted development order and permitted development rights to guide you through the process without  you having to deal with your local Council - who are often unsure when permission is required.

Find out how we can help you with planning issues. Contact us today on 01634 811118, make an online enquiry or drop us an email at

Councils will often seek an application for planning permission when in actual fact you may not need to do so based on the General Permitted Development Order. The council may threaten enforcement action, but they do not have sufficient power to do so. This is where our expertise in the general permitted development order and permitted development rights can save you time, money and stress. Find out more about permitted development rights for outbuildings.

How Can You Check Your Permitted Development Rights?  

To ensure that you do not fall foul of the law, even when your proposals do not require planning permission, we recommend that you obtain a Certificate of Lawful Development. Permitted development rights are a regularly misunderstood area, even by professionals and Councils: the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 (“GPDO”) of 18 March 2015 still gives rise to interpretation issues, and the changes made to the GPDO in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic have caused further issues (see below). Our specialist planning law advice can save you unnecessary stress, delay, cost and inconvenience.

Your building in safe hands

If you wish to carry out a development and have researched permitted development rights, you might find it tricky to follow without prior planning knowledge or understanding of the intricacies of how the General Permitted Development Order works. Kingsley Smith Solicitors have a thorough knowledge of permitted development rights, and can advise you of your rights and how you can comply. Find out more about permitted development rights for specific types of developments.

Planning Regulations And Restrictions

Before undertaking a building project, it is important to understand the planning regulations and planning restrictions that are in place. This will ensure you do not encounter any setbacks, making your project as smooth and as stress-free as possible.

Planning Regulations

All developments are subject to planning regulations and restrictions. Even projects which do not need an application for planning permission, and can instead be authorised under permitted development rights, are governed by strict terms and conditions.

If you are hoping to amend a property or construct a new edifice under permitted development,  you need to check that your plans comply with building and planning regulations. A solicitor who specialises in planning law will be able to review your plans before suggesting whether or not you are in breach of planning regulations. Find out more about permitted development rights in conservation areas.

If you are looking to build a new home, make major changes to a property, or change the use of a property, it is very likely that you will need planning permission. Again, a solicitor can advise you of your legal responsibilities, explaining whether you need to obtain consent for your proposed project.

Planning restrictions

There is a vast range of planning restrictions that you may not have even considered, from the height of the eaves to the materials you are using. There are also other factors to bear in mind, such as environmental permits and protected species. Having a planning lawyer assist you will ensure that you do not contravene any of these planning restrictions.

New permitted development rights following Covid-19

To try and incentivise development and kick start the economy, the Government has recently brought in new permitted development rights to avoid the need for an application for planning permission for certain types of development. We can advise you on whether you might qualify for these new rights, which constitute a major relaxation of planning restrictions. Collectively, they amount to what the Government calls “radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the second world war”. 

One new right enables the enlargement of a dwellinghouse or an existing commercial or mixed-use building by the construction of new storeys on top of the highest existing storey. This is a ground-breaking development and one that you may be able to take advantage of. However, the right does not come without restrictions and conditions, including a need to obtain prior approval from the local planning authority in relation to certain key matters. We can advise you on what these are, and whether you can satisfy them.

Another new right allows for the demolition of a single detached building in existence on 12 March 2020 that was used for office, research and development or industrial processes, or a free-standing purpose-built block of flats, and its replacement by an individual detached block of flats or a single detached dwellinghouse within the footprint of the old building. The right provides permission for works for the construction of a new building that can be up to two storeys higher than the old building, with a maximum overall height of 18 metres. Again, this is a far-reaching but limited amendment and we can advise on the conditions and limitations imposed by the new rules.

Finally, there is also a new right to build two additional storeys of new flats above the top floor of a purpose-built, detached block of flats (again, subject to significant limitations and the need to obtain prior approval on certain matters, such as design and external appearance). 

Can We Help You With Permitted Development?

If you would like our advice on a permitted development case, or if you would like to know your permitted development rights or submit a case for permitted development rights extensions, please call us on 01634 811 118, complete our online enquiry form, or email our planning law expert Nicholas Kingsley-Smith.

More General Planning Permission Advice and Planning Guidance here

Back to Planning Law & Environmental Law

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.