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Altering / extending your home
This section provides guidance as to when you will need to apply for planning permission for different types of work you may wish to undertake to your house.
This information is not intended to be a complete or authoritative interpretation of the planning regulations and as such you should always seek advice prior to undertaking works to your house. You can also read further guidance on how planning rules apply to your home on the Planning Portal website (external link). The 'interactive house' tools provide a useful summary of the planning rules and building regulations for a range of works such as extensions, fences and outbuildings.
- Do I Need Planning Permission?
- Be Prepared
- Permitted Development Rights
- Be Sure!
- Other Approvals
Many alterations to your house including extensions, external alterations to a roof, porches, construction of detached buildings, satellite dishes, new fences and walls, construction of driveways, and changes of use may require planning permission. For advice on each of these types of work click on the relevant link to the left of this page.
You do not normally need to apply for planning permission for general maintenance work including decoration and repair. Furthermore, internal alterations that do not materially affect the external appearance of your house and do not involve a change of use will not normally require planning permission.
However, the laws that govern when you need to apply for planning permission can be very complex and as such you are always advised to contact us prior to undertaking works to your house to check whether planning permission is needed. If you are at all unsure about whether you need to apply for planning permission please contact us.
It is not always possible to tell you over the phone if planning permission is not required. You are therefore advised to fill-in one of our Householder Enquiry forms from which we can tell you free of charge whether you need to apply for planning permission for the works you are proposing. Householder enquiry forms can be downloaded from this site or obtained from us by calling 0115 8764447.
If you are proposing to do work to your home we can write to you and tell you if you need planning permission and/or approval under the building regulations. The Householder Enquiry Form gives us all the information we need to be able to write to you and confirm whether or not permission is required.
Even if you know you do not need planning permission or building regulations approval we would encourage you to complete the form. Many home owners find it useful to have the Council's written confirmation about the planning status of works they have had carried out, particularly when buying or selling a property.
When you enquire as to whether you need to apply for planning permission for an extension to your house you should be prepared to answer any or all of the following questions:
- What 'type' of house do you live in? - Detached, semi-detached or terraced house; flat or maisonette (note: you will almost always require planning permission to undertake works to a flat or maisonette).
- Where is your proposed extension to be located in relation to your house and garden?
- What is the exact size of your proposed extension?
- Would the proposed extension take up more than half of the garden area around your house?
- Has your house been extended in the past?
- If so, what is the size of any previous extensions?
- Would your proposed extension (when built) be within 5 metres of any existing detached buildings in your garden (e.g. garage, outbuilding, shed)?
- If so, what is the size of the detached building?
- Do you live in a Conservation Area and/or is your house a Listed Building? (note: if you do not know the answer to this, we can find this out for you).
If planning permission is required you will need to submit a householder application form, including forms, certificate of ownership, site location plan and scaled drawings of your proposal.
We currently deal with over 400 householder applications a year. Our latest figures show that we are currently determining over 85% of householder applications within eight weeks. Of the 2,500 applications we receive on average each year, approx. 90% are granted approval.
You sometimes have the right to undertake works to your house without the need to first obtain planning permission. These rights are contained within The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 and are called 'permitted development rights'.
However, you should be careful when interpreting your permitted development rights because these rights are restricted in some areas and for certain houses. Typically, permitted development rights are restricted in Conservation Areas, areas subject to an Article 4 Direction and through conditions of a former planning permission. Furthermore, permitted development rights do not apply to flats or maisonettes. This means that you will have to apply for planning permission to undertake certain types of works to your house, which may not be needed in other areas.
You may already be aware of any such restrictions on your house but if you are at all uncertain contact us and we will be able to tell you if your property is subject to any of the above restrictions.
Before you undertake works to your house be sure that you do not need to apply for planning permission first. If you build something that needs planning permission without first obtaining permission, it may result in problems for you later. Expensive alterations may need to be carried out in order to put things right and in certain cases you may even be forced to remove an unauthorised building.
Regardless of whether or not planning permission is needed for your work, there may be other kinds of consent that you need to obtain from the Council before you are allowed to start work. These are covered in the section 'Other kinds of approval' and include Listed Building Consent, Conservation Area Consent, Outdoor Advertisement Consent, Trees and Building Regulations Approval.
The granting of planning permission does not remove the need to obtain any other consents that may be necessary, nor does it imply that such consents will necessarily be forthcoming. It does not override any restrictions contained in the deeds to your property or the rights of neighbours. You are therefore advised to check what other restrictions there are and what other approvals may be needed before starting work.