Extending your Home Without Planning Permission Checklist


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Sometimes you can extend your home without planning permission. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t have to have the work checked independently as you still have to adhere to building regulations. 


Single and double-storey rear or side extensions, things like loft extensions, porches, basements and outbuildings CAN be created through permitted development rights, but each house and area is different so make your checks!


If you still have them, go through the legals and the property information form when you bought your property


Check if there are any drains underneath where you are planning to extend. Your local water company will help with this. If there are, you will still need their permission to extend over the drains as they are responsible for their upkeep


If you have a flat it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to extend with permitted development rights as it affects other people and their property


Look to see if there are any restrictions on extending your property. It could be Grade 2 Listed, in a conservation area – or has already been extended under permitted development rights and can’t be extended anymore 


Visit the Planning Portal, identify the project you are looking to do and check what they say about planning permission/permitted development rights 


Once you understand the work involved and the ‘rules and regulations’ at a national level for permitted development rights,visit your local authority website for advice 


Each local authority has their own rules and regulations about home improvements. For example in 2013 nationally the rules were temporarily changed on extensions in England. But some local authorities like Richmond secured exemptions 

Once you are sure you understand the rules and regulations, write/email to your local planners confirming the works you are doing and request in writing their confirmation they are happy for you to proceed without planning  
Although you may be able to build without any planning permission, don’t forget you will still need to abide by building regulations and will need works such as new drains and extensions or conservatories  
Don’t forget to advise your insurance company of any works and make sure you have home improvement insurance  

Make sure you keep all the paperwork – especially regulation sign off as you will need these if you sell the property


All our information is brought to you by Kate Faulkner OBE, author of Which? Property books and one of the UK's top property experts.
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