10 Building Projects that don't require Planning Permission

Planning Permission is required when you make certain changes to your existing property/plot. This Permission will either be granted subject to some conditions or be refused if it isn’t within the guidelines. 


Parliament has given all the responsibility for Planning to the local Planning authorities. This is usually the Planning department located within your local council offices. It is essential that you take the responsibility for seeking Planning Permission if you are looking to make changes, this must be done before the works start. The local authority has powers to demand structures are broken down if it has been built without Planning Permission.

Here are some building works that don’t require Planning Permission:

1. Garage conversions – in most cases garage conversions will fall under a Permitted Development. If you are not changing the actual structure of the building then you will not require Planning Permission.

You may need to serve Party wall act notice if you are planning to excavate within 3 metres of an adjoining owner. This can be issued by a Party wall Surveyor.

2. Loft conversion – it is always best to have additional space and it can be achieved without Planning Permission. There are limitations generally up to 40m2, you can also get dormer windows but they are not allowed to sit higher than the highest part of the roof. Lofts usually involve cutting into the Party wall for the beams, you will require a Party wall notice for this.

3. Remodelling – changing the interior of your home is an excellent way to add more space to your home especially if it means that you are not extending the footprint of the home. 


4. Building a swimming pool – you are able to build a swimming pool without Planning Permission, it must be within your garden. The total area covered by the pool should not exceed 50% of the area of the garden curtilage.

5. Cladding – you are able to change your cladding without Planning Permission but your home must not be part of a National Park, World Heritage site or Conservation Area.

6. Two storey extension – you can add a two-storey extension to your home if it is at the rear of the property. The two storeys must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of the rear boundary.

7. Conservatory – the conservatory will be under the same restrictions as the two-storey extension. You will not require Planning Permission.

8. Porch – you may get a new porch as long as it conforms to Building Regulations, the porch must not be taller than 3m, the ground area must not exceed 3m and it cannot be within 2m of a boundary adjacent to the highway.

9. Garden decking – you will not need Planning Permission as long as the height is below 300mm.

10. Solar panels – Solar panels have become popular and can be installed without Planning Permission. They must not overhang more than 200mm beyond the Plane of the wall or roof.

Getting work done to your house and not sure if it will affect your neighbour? Need advice on serving Party Wall Notices? Seven One Associates has Party wall surveying specialists that can help you with all your Party Wall issues.

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