Planning permission – when to apply

Aspinalls Ltd, extensions, kitchens, bathrooms and much moreIf you build something which needs planning permission without getting permission first, you may be forced to put things right later, which could prove troublesome and costly. If you are in any doubt, Aspinalls Ltd recommends that you contact the planning department of your council.

When you need to apply

Here are some common examples where you would need to apply for planning permission:

  • adding or extending a flat or maisonette, including those converted from houses
  • dividing off part of your house for use as a separate home (for example, a self-contained flat or bed-sit)
  • using a building or caravan in your garden as a separate residence for someone else
  • building a separate house in your garden
  • dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) or building a parking place for a commercial vehicle
  • building something which goes against the terms of the original planning permission for your house (for example, a planning condition may have been imposed to stop you putting up a fence in the front garden because the house is on an ”open plan” estate)
  • work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users
  • work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road

For further advice on when you will need to apply for planning permission visit the Planning Portal website.  You can also discuss your proposals by contacting the planning department of your council.

When you don’t need to apply

You can make certain types of minor changes to your home without needing to apply for planning permission – for example, fitting an alarm box or putting up walls and fences below a certain height. These are called your ‘permitted development rights’.

In October 2008, these rights were clarified and extended to cover more building projects. Projects that can be carried out without planning permission – as long as they meet certain important conditions (such as those covering the dimensions and position of an extension) – include:

  • extensions and conservatories
  • loft conversions
  • fitting solar panels
  • roof alterations
  • patios and driveways

Areas of special interest

In some areas of the country permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a listed building, a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application for in other areas.

Aspinalls Builders Ltd is an experienced family run business. We are London builders who offer a wide range of London building services covering areas such as loft conversions, extensions, brick work, plastering, painting, decorating, plumbing and electrics.


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