Permitted development FAQs

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What is permitted development (PD)?

Permitted development rights apply in England under the snappily named Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. This is a statutory document which grants automatic planning permission for certain types of development.

There are lots of different categories but the phrase ‘permitted development’ is often used to refer to Schedule 2 Part 1, which relates to “development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse”, i.e. extensions and changes to existing domestic houses.

Does everyone have PD rights?

No; most houses do but flats and maisonettes do not. There are other circumstances where permitted development rights don’t apply, these can include individual cases where a planning approval notice specifically removes permitted development rights via condition; within a larger ‘Article 4 Direction’ area, or in areas which are within National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and the Broads and World Heritage Sites.

What is considered to be PD?

Balconies, verandas and non-permeable driveways (e.g. tarmac) are not considered to be permitted development, along with various other conditions and size considerations that need to be reviewed for a project to be lawful under permitted development rights.

We highly recommend you check with a professional or your local planning authority.

If I think my project comes under PD, can I just carry on and build it?

In theory, yes, but as mentioned we recommend you (or your planning consultant/Architect/designer) double check all aspects of the proposals align with the permitted development requirements.

It’s also well worth considering applying for a Certificate of Lawful Development from your local planning authority, which is essentially a document that confirms the plans are covered by permitted development. This is useful for both your peace of mind, and is often requested by solicitors during searches if you come to sell your home.

What other uses do PD rights have?

If you’re considering replacing your existing house with a new-build project, it’s possible to calculate the overall floor area/volume ‘theoretical’ increase on the existing house, and use this figure to argue or ‘trade-in’ for a larger increase when it comes to designing your new home, to maximise the potential of your plot and meet your brief.