Emma Jones

Emma Jones

Emma has over 20 years’ expertise supporting clients to find creative and commercial town planning solutions.

Householder Permitted Development Rights

Can I extend my home under householder permitted development rights?

Definitely maybe! You might have heard of permitted development rights which enable householders to make certain alterations to their homes without requiring planning permission.  These rights are set out in legislation commonly known as the GPDO.

Specifically, GPDO Schedule 2 Part 1 sets out the classes of and rules for permitted development concerning what enlargements, improvements, alterations and other additions a householder may make to their house and the area around it without the need for an application for planning permission.

So what can you do? 

The first thing to note is that permitted development rights can be quite complicated to interpret for those unfamiliar with them. Government has provided a detailed technical guidance note to help.  Given the complexity of the regulations, we strongly recommend that you check with a professional before proceeding with your development. 

It’s also a good idea to apply for a certificate of lawfulness to confirm your proposal is permitted development. A certificate will provide you with useful documentation from your local authority proving planning permission was/is not required. Whilst not necessary (for most types of extension), we recommend applying prior to commencing any work – this way you can avoid incurring costs if your proposal is not considered lawful.

A second point to be aware of is that local authorities can remove permitted development rights from your property.  This could either be through a condition attached to a previous planning consent or by an Article 4 Direction (the latter being common in Conservation Areas). 

Thirdly, permitted development rights do not apply to properties that are listed or have been converted to residential use via change of use permitted development rights.

Below we provide a broad overview of some of the permitted development rights relating to common householder projects:


Class A allows :

  • Rear single storey extensions up to 4 metres high and 4 metres deep (for detached) or 3 metres deep (for all other properties).
  • Rear two storey extensions up to 3 metres deep and at least 7 metres from the rear boundary.   
  • Single storey side projections up to no more than half the width of the original house.

These extensions must (amongst other conditions and requirements):

  • Be less than 50% coverage of the grounds of the property
  • Be no higher than the height of the original house
  • Not be on a principal elevation facing a highway (usually meaning not to the front of a property – or on a corner plot the side)
  • Use materials of similar appearance to the existing house.

An important note is that additional restrictions apply to properties within the following designated areas: Conservation Areas, World Heritage Sites, National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).

Outside of these areas there is also a prior approval process for larger rear single storey extensions. The can be built up to 8m in depth (6m for a semi or terrace) provided that boundary neighbours are first informed. If no objections are received (or any objections received are not considered to have planning merit) – and the Council is satisfied that there are no significant adverse impacts arising from flooding, highways or contamination – a Lawful Development Certificate is issued.

Roof Extensions

GPDO Class B allows for rear and side roof extensions to made providing:

  • The property is outside of Conservation Areas, World Heritage Sites, National Parks, the Broads and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
  • It is no higher than the ridge-line of the house.
  • It is set back at least 20 cm from the eaves (except for hip to gable extensions).
  • It does not project beyond the outside face of a wall.
  • It is 50 cubic metres volume or less (detached house) 40 cubic metres volume or less (semi-detached or terrace house) – this applies cumulatively to any roof additions made.
  • It is made from materials of similar appearance to the existing house.
  • Side windows are obscure and non-opening.
  • There is no verandah, balcony or raised platform.

Want to find out more?

Get in touch with Acer Town Planning today and request our professional advice.

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