With all the terms and conditions that come along with Permitted Development Rights, it can be easy to get confused about what you do and do not need planning permission for.

As structural engineers in Devon and Cornwall, we often see people ask questions about Permitted Development Rights. So, we’ve collated this list of frequently asked questions to help you better understand what you can do and what conditions may affect the continuation of your project.

What are Permitted Development Rights?

You will only need planning permission for your building project if it meets the requirements set out by the government to classify it as ‘development’. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Structural alterations
  • Most demolition
  • Material changes of use of land and buildings

However, Permitted Development Rights refers to the national grant of permission set out by the government that allows certain kinds of building works. This means you can begin your project without seeking planning permission from your local council.

There are conditions and limitations when it comes to Permitted Development. For more information, visit gov.uk or speak with your local council.

Does Everyone have Permitted Development Rights?

To put it simply, no, not everyone has Permitted Development Rights.

Most houses will have Permitted Development Rights, but other homes such as flats and maisonettes will not.

There are instances where houses also do not have Permitted Development Rights, and instead, need to seek planning permission for any changes to the property. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Houses in Areas of Outstanding National Beauty
  • Houses within a National Park
  • Houses within Conservation Areas.

listed building faqs Martin Perry Associates

Can Permitted Development Rights be Revoked?

Yes. Your Permitted Development rights can be revoked by your local planning authority for a number of reasons. This can be done either by means of a condition on planning permission or due to an article 4 direction.

If you are ever unsure if your project qualifies as Permitted Development, speak to your local authority before works begin.

A builder wearing a toolbelt

What is Allowed in Permitted Development?

There are a number of building projects that can be undertaken without the need for a planning application. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Interior alterations
  • Some Extensions
  • Changes to the primary use of land or buildings where the new use falls into the same class as the previous.

Can Neighbours Complain About Permitted Development?

By definition, permitted development does not require you to seek planning permission. This means that (for the most part) neighbours cannot complain or object to a permitted development going ahead.

However, neighbours are within their right to complain about a permitted development if it is a breach of any laws. This could include, but is not limited to:

If you are concerned your neighbour may object to your permitted development, you can always obtain a certificate of lawful development.

What is a Certificate of Lawful Development?

Also known as a certificate of lawfulness, a Lawful Development Certificate is a legal document that states the lawfulness of any past, present, or future development.

This certificate can be obtained through your local authority and ensures no action can be taken against the development in question.

The conditions and types of Lawful Development Certificates are clearly set out in sections 191-192 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

An extension under construction

What Size Extension Can I Build Under Permitted Development?

If you are looking to expand your living space, then an extension may be a good choice. Under permitted development rights, you can add a single or double-storey extension to your home.

However, there are certain requirements that you must adhere to if you are planning to build an extension under Permitted Development Rights. These include, but are not limited to:

  • The size of the proposed extension
  • The materials used in the proposed extension
  • The distance of the proposed extension to your neighbour’s boundary.

You can find a full list of conditions to extensions under Permitted Development Rights, as well as other projects you can undertake under PD in our blog below.

Can i extend my house without planning permission

Can Permitted Development be Refused?

So long as your proposed project falls within the parameters of your Permitted Development Rights, then it cannot be rejected, and work cannot be stopped.

If you would like more peace of mind before building your permitted development, you can also obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness from your local authority.

What if the Council Disagrees with my Permitted Development?

If you have begun a project that you believe to be Permitted Development, and your local authority disagrees, then you may need to seek a second opinion.

Speak to an experienced Building Designer or Planning Agent and see if they agree with your permitted development. If they do, then you can obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness to present to your local Planning Department.

However, if the second opinions rule on the side of the Planning Department, then you may be committing a Planning Breach. While not illegal, a Planning Breach means that your local authority is within their right to serve an enforcement notice that requires you to stop building or undo the work you have already done.

So long as you adhere to conditions of Permitted Development, your project should be able to go ahead without any complications. If you are ever unsure whether your project qualifies as Permitted Development, be sure to speak to your local authority to be sure.

At Martin Perry Associates, we offer a wide range of structural engineering and surveying services, including Planning & Building Regulations Packages and Structural Reports for Planning Purposes and Building Regulations. So, if you find yourself in need of submitting a planning application, we can be there to help you every step of the way.

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