Permitted Development Rights: What you need to know


We get asked by the clients what they can do to avoid applying for planning permission. Do you need to apply for planning permission when all you want is just to build a shed While having planning permission can ensure you are on the safe side; it also can take up a long time to process. Especially, if you are wanting a change in your building within a limited time frame.In that case, we would recommend, you stay within the limit of permitted development. This way you get the extra space in your home without the extra time and effort behind the council.

What is Permitted Development?

You have the right to do certain types of extensions and renovation in your property which are pre-approved. Permitted developments are those set of rules that allow householders to enlarge their homes without seeking planning permission. With this permitted development rights, you can add more space to your property to a certain extent without having to go through the hassle of the planning application. We can call it automatic planning permission which has been granted by the parliament, not by the local council.

What Falls under Permitted development?

Mostly small changes for houses fall under permitted development rights. Some examples are-

  • Small extensions (single and double storey)
  • Loft conversion
  • Garage conversion
  • Basement conversion
  • Changes of use
  • Internal Alteration
  • Porch
  • Installation of solar panel and satellite dishes
  • Roof lights or dormer window not facing the highway
  • Installation of new door or window

All changes above are considered as permitted developments. As long as they follow certain conditions, these changes do not need planning permission from the council. One thing to keep in mind is that the permitted development rights that apply to houses usually do not apply for flats, maisonettes, or commercial buildings.

You can visit the government’s planning portal ( to know more.

Where are permitted development rights restricted?

Permitted development rights can be applied to most common houses as long as it complies with the law. For flats, maisonettes, or other buildings the laws are different from houses. These rules also vary depending on the area you are living in. In certain areas of the countries, the permitted development rights are restricted. Those areas are generally known as ‘designated areas’. You will need to apply for planning permission to make any changes in the building if you live in any of these areas. The areas are listed below-

  • a Conservation Area
  • a National Park
  • an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • a World Heritage Site or
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.

Listed buildings also need planning permission for developments that do not require general houses.

How does the Lawful Development Certificatehelp?

So, you want an extension on your property, but not sure if it is under permitted development rights? In this case, there is a solution, Lawful Development Certificates. This certificate will work as proof that the works that were done in your property are within the law. It is not compulsory, but we do recommend it. With this Lawful Development Certificates, you can be sure that the change in your property is lawful. Also, you will be able to show this paper to the potential buyer if you intend to sell this property in the future.

With sufficient information, you can apply for Lawful Development Certificates to your local council online. The application process is similar to the planning application.You will need the following things applying for a Lawful Development Certificate-

  • An application form
  • Information varying the application form.
  • Architectural plans and elevations
  • A site location plan
  • A fee

If the Lawful Development Certificate is refused partly or wholly, you can always appeal to the council.

Withdrawal of Permitted Development Rights

The local planning authority has the right of removing any permitted development right issuing an ‘Article 4′ direction. This means any development that is otherwise permitted in any other area may need a planning application in your locality.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the permitted development rights change every now and then. We recommend you to check with your local council before proceeding with construction works, even within permitted developments.