Skip to content
The high cost of moving, and stamp duty in particular, have prompted many owners to extend rather than buy another home. 
At the end of May, the government made permanent  temporary ‘permitted development’ rights introduced in 2013 for single storey extensions to be added to detached properties which are up to  eight metres (26ft)from an existing rear wall or less than  six metres (19.7ft) if semi-detached or terraced  without full planning permission. Maximum height will be  4 metres (13.1ft) but the change will not include the right to extend upwards. As a result,  we’re likely to see more than the 110,000 extensions completed since 2013 – and fewer transactions overall .  

Potential impact on the structure and fabric of adjoining or adjacent  property means owners will still have to serve notice on affected freehold/leasehold neighbours under the Party Wall etc Act 1996 giving  them two months to object. A party  wall surveyor will be able to  undertake a schedule of condition to establish the current position in relation to the properties and  check on possible damage. 

Homeowners must still advise their local council of the extension  but if a complaint is received from neighbours,  the work  could be blocked.

Generally, neighbours have 21 days from notification by the Council of the proposal to comment on an application whereas approval can take up to 42 days following ‘Neighbourhood Consultation.’ If complaint is made, then an appeal or full  planning application could be necessary. Either way, the work will still have to comply with building regulations.

Once completed, the local council must be notified so that a  Lawful Development Certificate is issued which proves compliance with relevant rules and can be kept with the property deeds.

Permitted development may not be possible for listed buildings, flats and maisonettes, in conservation areas or if rights have been withdrawn or cancelled. 

Many local authorities offer a consultancy service which will confirm whether consent is required and what needs to be done. 

The Local Government Association,  which represents council planners, is concerned  the change will mean they not only lose control over the appearance of local communities but thousands of desperately needed affordable homes too unless  an independent review including an impact assessment is urgently carried out. 

More information is available on  where permissible size limits and other constraints under the new rules can be checked.