What you need to know about planning permission
Extending your home or making improvements? You could need planning permission.
Getting planning permission can seem like a daunting process, especially if it’s your first time. But if you’ve done your homework, your chance of success could be higher than you think. In fact, in 2020 Local Authorities in England approved 87% of all planning applications.1
1 Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (PDF, 1612 KB)
Want to get started? Use these handy checklists to see if you need planning permission. Then, if you do, get your planning application going in five steps .
Do you need planning permission?
The key to making any changes to your property is: do your research. Not everything requires planning permission. But it’s always best to check before you go ahead with any work. Finding out later down the line could prove far more costly. Depending on the project, you could even be forced to remove the construction if it doesn’t meet regulations.
Things you may need planning permission for includes:
- Fencing and walls
- Sustainable updates
- Windows and doors
If you’re thinking of extending, check to see if any of the following apply. These are some scenarios that require planning permission:
- Extending the property by more than half the area of land around the house as shown in a 1948 plan of your house.
- You want to extend upwards, higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Extending wider than the principal elevation of the front or side of your property.
- Building a single-storey extension that extends more than 8 metres beyond the rear wall of a detached house, or 6 metres for any other type of house.
- Building a single-storey extension that is over 4 metres high.
- Extending to the side of your property by more than half the width of the original house.
- Using materials that are noticeably different to those used on the original property.
- Including a veranda, balcony or other type of platform.
These scenarios also apply to garages, sheds, conservatories and outbuildings. For example, you could build a garage without planning permission as long as you use similar materials to the original property, and that it’s no more than 4 metres high and doesn’t take up more than half the land in the 1948 plan of your house.
Fence and wall checklist:
You’ll need to get planning permission if your project include a fence or wall that is:
- Over 2 metres high
- Is next to a road and over 1 metre high
- Will form a boundary with a listed building
- Or if your property is a listed building.
Sustainable updates checklist:
Making your home more energy efficient? This can mean big changes for your home. The good news is that most don’t require planning permission. Chances are you won’t need permission for things like:
- Solid wall insulation
- Solar panels
- Ground source heat pumps.
(If you live in a listed building or a conservation area then you’ll need permissions if the work is going to change the original plans of the building).
If you’re interested in learning more about making your home more energy efficient and green schemes available, visit our Eco Home Hub.
Windows, doors and gardens
Unless your property is listed, you shouldn’t need planning permission to change the windows and doors. If it is listed, there may be restrictions on the kind of materials you can use to update them.
Similarly, making landscaping changes to your garden rarely needs permission. But if you’re paving over your front garden, it’s worth checking first. You may require permission if you’re not using porous materials.