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Larger house extensions regime detailed

by on May 10, 2013

Just in case you missed it, the Government yesterday unveiled the details of the new regime for larger house extensions.

The new regulations granting new permitted development rights in England – including those for rear-of-house extensions – will come into force on 30 May.

The measures include increasing the size of single-storey rear extensions which can be built under permitted development for a period of three years between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016.

These larger extensions will be subject to a  neighbour consultation scheme.

You can find out more about the permitted development rights for house extensions and access details of the neighbour consultation scheme on the Planning Portal.

Here’s a link to our news story about the regime.

29 Comments
  1. Josef K permalink

    Most interesting, thank you.

    1 How much will the permission to build cost?

    2 Let us take a case of a neighbour on one side of a planned extension who is content with the proposal, but the person on the other side is – On the other side. == Against it – very much against it.
    2.1 Who will arbitrate?
    2.2 How much will that cost?
    2.3 If refused will Planning permission then be refused on an otherwize OK project?
    2.4 How many times can a plan be suggested – with perhaps minor modifications – over the designated period

    • ADS permalink

      Even more concerns is that there ius no framework/ forms / staff/funds at local authourities to deal with these additional applications . If neighbours object under what format./principles will they be considered by council. publuished design policy do not vcover permitted development.

      To what extent can the neighbours have their amenity and privacy affected ,not at all , a little , a lot . Howe will this be measured ?

      If the neighbours do not agree with the planners decision , on what basis can they appeal , or can they not appeal ?

      According to the guidance ,they must be complete by May 2016 what happens to the unfinished projects in 2016 caused by badweather , contractors leaving sirte etc , will there be an appeals process.?

  2. Michael Hayes permalink

    I am completely in favour of this new relaxation, but the way it has been implemented is a bureaucratic mess. It was supposed to “cut red tape” and get planners off people’s backs”. Instead it has added a third bureaucratic system in addition to Householder Planning Applications and Lawful development Certificates.

    I always advise my clients to have me apply on their behalf for a Lawful Development Certificate as proof that their proposed extension is Permitted Development. Will we still be able to do this?

    Also it is frequently the case that a client wants to excercise several different permitted development rights on the same project. Say for example a rear extension and a side extension. Will we end up having to make two separate applications under two different systems?

  3. John Newton Associates permalink

    Yet more complications and planning by the neighbours and not the Council: the status of ‘prior approval’ is unclear and can this decision be challeged. If in a rural setting who are the neighbours and is there a dimension outside which they cannot be regarded as ‘neighbours’ e.g large house in extensive grounds but with neighbours technically next door but a long distance away.

    • I’m sorry folks but I can’t answer policy questions here, but we are doing our best to find someone who might.

  4. On the one hand we are given more scope for permitted development, which should make it quicker to get a Certificate of lawful Use on larger single storey projects, but on the other hand they have introduced the Biodiversity checklist (four pages of questions) which in some cases can only be answered by an Ecologist. Has anyone seen this document? It certainly will not speed up the process as I have been advised that it is needed for even the smallest of extensions requiring Planning Consent. What is not clear is whether it is needed to support a Permitted Development application. What a mess this seems to be. I cannot see the Client wishing to pay his Planning Advisor for the preparation of the checklist or the report if it proves to be needed. It means morw work for us with little prospect of proper recompense.

  5. Are there plans for the writen description of the proposed development and the plan indicating the site and the proposed development to be submitted via the Portal ?

  6. Re: Biodiversity checklist. I have now discovered that this is a requirement instigated locally by Waverley Borough Council and is not nationally needed.

    • Michael Hayes permalink

      Some of the LPAs that I regularly make applications to also have similar Biodiversity Checklists.

      But LPAs can only stipulate them as a requirement for Planning Applications, not Lawful Development Certificates for Permitted Development projects and so presumably not for this new larger PD extension regime either.

  7. Reblogged this on SNOW architects and commented:
    Some good news for Homeowners as planning laws have been relaxed for extensions starting from 30th May 2013

  8. Bryan Cadman permalink

    Yes, we would be infavour of the process being via the Portal, that would surely be more efective use of time than some 330 LPAs all doing their own thing!

    • Michael Hayes permalink

      Speaking as an agent, it would also be more convenient for those of us dealing with multiple LPAs to have one standardised system delivered by the Planning Portal.

  9. I would definitely be in favour of a Planning Portal online submission process for these applications. This ‘relaxation’ is going to be around for three years, so it would surely clean things up a bit. I work with several LPAs who would undoubtably have their own ideas or requirements, all of which I’d need to advise my cients of, if known. I know it’s a new thing to all concerned, but I think it needs to be formalised as a matter of urgency.

  10. Mulecop permalink

    Just a complete, totally, complicated mess when neighbours, who are not such friendly neighbours, can scupper your homely plans out of sheer spite.

    • Neighbours can only object within the bounds of PD and there is always still the opportunity to apply for planning permission.

    • Unfriendly neighbours can also create financial headaches for an applicant over the signing of Party Wall Act agreements invoking disputes. Planning is not the only obstacle.

      • B David permalink

        A complete mess from an LPA point of view – we are under-resourced as it is and will receive no fee for this new type of application. How we are supposed to cope with the additional workload and strict deadlines I have no idea, not to mention the administrative headache it is already causing. The Government make great claims about cutting red tape on the one hand whilst introducing more bureaucrasy on the other (Statements of Significance being one example) and threatening LPAs with special measures if they don’t hit targets. In regards to this new idea, I am concerned for elderly or vulnerable people who don’t feel brave enough to object to their neighbour’s planned monstrosity and therefore the LPA will have no power to stop the development going ahead. I can only implore the neighbours of Eric Pickles to go ahead and build a max length 8m extension either side of his kitchen window and see if this causes him any pause for thought on this ludicrous idea.

      • I agree, this seems to have been very badly conceived and will cause a host of problems and bad neighbour relations, especially on new developments, where gardens are small and even detached houses are crammed together with just a metre side passage between them. It will also encourage LPA’s to add restrictions removing PD from new developments, making it harder for owners to build sensible modest extensions under previous PD limits.

  11. Richard Phelps permalink

    Why do LPA’s claim they are ‘under resourced’? My experience with them is entirely the opposite.

    • Richard Phelps permalink

      So what about comments about Eric Pickles?

  12. Clive Evans permalink

    It appears that this new temporary legislation to increase the permitted development allowable for a property simplifies matters but presumably the same rules will apply for detailed scale plans showing the existing and proposed to scale with a block plan and the appropriate from completed where there is a fee of £86 but now it appears there is no fee!
    Also it appears that this new legislation applies to residential properties in all areas including designated areas but with the same rules applicable as existing not to build to the side or a 2 storey rear extension in such designated areas.

  13. Rachel permalink

    Is there any relaxation on loft conversions?

  14. IMHO this seems not to have been thought through properly and most likely will cause disputes between neighbours especially where existing ill feelings might give rise to objections just because someone is being bloody minded rather than actually having a genuine a reasonable objection. There doesn’t seem to be proper mediation / dispute resolution processes.

  15. Zareena permalink

    In April i applied for planning permission to build a 4.25 x 4 extension on the back of my living room to make a dining area, my idea was to knock the kitchen wall down and create a kitchen diner for me and my five children. I spoke to the neighbours first who were happy with this and were glad that we were not moving. However after about 8 weeks the planning dept contacted us saying they were going to refuse the application as it was too long and we could only go 3 metres back which would not be in line with the kitchen. However we decided to withdraw the application and then waited a few weeks for prior approval scheme to come in.

    on the 3rd June we applied for Prior approval and sent the plans on pdf and neighbours detailsand received an acknowledgement of our enquiry. The builder who was desperate to start work as he had been hanging on and had a few lads on his team who he needed to give work to began to rip out the kitchen, and knock the wall through, he then proceeded to dig up the foundations and fill them with cement, we both thought it would be ok as we had not built anything but was just getting the grounds ready. a couple of days later we received notification that our application had been accepted and not to start any work, we were not planning to do any building work until we had the green light from the council. three days later two council officers came to the house and asked to see the site which we showed them thinking that every was ok, they immediately said we would not be able to apply for priro approval and hastily left telling us to talk to David Cameron if we had any problems with their decision. we have since recieved notification saying because we had started work we can not proceed with our project. We admit that ourselves and the builder have made a procedural error but are now stuck in this situation with no where to turn to for advice and just dont have any idea of what to do, what was an exciting dream for us and our five young children has just turned into a stressul nightmare…..does anyone have advice they can give us???

    • Clive Evans permalink

      You are allowed to build a 3m rear extension under permitted development with no council interference except building regs permission so I would say that the works started related to that and these works commenced in June. As there is now new permitted development rights you are applying for this to extend a further 1 or 1.25m whichever relates to your depth and provided your neighbours agree you should not have a problem but I believe there is an appeal process if the Council become difficult but engage our local Councillor to liaise with the Planners as they are there to help you as one of their constituents.

      I am not a planner but a Chartered Surveyor who has recently had some very unpleasant experiences with (LPA NAME REMOVED BY PORTALDIRECTOR IN ACCORDANCE WITH OUR TERMS OF USE) and their arrogance is unbelievable even in the face of formal Planning Lawyer advice which they ignore as they know they are totally unaccountable for their actions.

      Clive Evans

    • ADS permalink

      Worst case ,apply for something slightly bigger or smaller so not the same as before or using the sam founds .

  16. Possibly talk to your local MP and/or Councillor, who may be able to help. Alternatively, cover the offending footings with topsoil and then re-apply. It is not illegal to bury concrete in your garden……

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