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  • Writer's pictureThe Cedar Crest Team

Planning Permission

How to confidently navigate your home renovation or expansion project



Undertaking a home renovation or expansion project is an exciting endeavour. However, it’s essential to understand the legal aspects, including whether you need planning permission or building regulations approval.

Planning permission is likely required if you’re embarking on significant changes to your home. Certain developments fall under Permitted Development Rights (PDR), but it’s always prudent to confirm. Proceeding without the necessary permissions can lead to complications and added costs.



When working with architects, they often submit the plans on your behalf. Engaging one with a solid track record in securing planning permission in your locality is beneficial. Alternatively, a competent planning consultant can assist with obtaining planning permission and understanding local planning restrictions and preferences.

Not all home or garden improvements require planning permission. Many projects can be executed under Permitted Development Rights. These government established rules allow various alterations without needing to apply for planning permission.



Permitted development offers a clear idea of what can be constructed without a full planning application’s subjectivity. It’s particularly beneficial for residents in areas known for high planning refusals, providing direction and a starting point for their vision.

Common renovations under permitted development include rear extensions, loft extensions and outbuildings. While these extensions typically require building regulations approval, full planning permission isn’t usually necessary, especially if you’re not altering your existing roof shape.


Here are some examples of when you can use Permitted Development Rights:

  • Single-story extensions up to 6 metres on terraced and semi-detached homes

  • Single-story extensions up to 8 metres on detached homes

  • Extensions up to 4 metres in height, or 3 metres if it’s within 2 metres of a property boundary

  • Double height extensions up to 3 metres in depth, as long as it’s no closer than 7 metres to the property’s rear boundary

The extension mustn’t cover more than half of the garden, and construction should use materials similar to the original building.


However, there are instances where you cannot use Permitted Development Rights. These include:

  • If your home has been extended since 1948

  • If your home is listed or on ‘designated land’ (conservation area)

  • If your property is a flat or maisonette

In these cases, you will need to apply for planning permission.



Most planning applications are submitted online through platforms like the Planning Portal. If your project requires planning permission and building regulations, you might have to make two separate applications.

Before submitting your application, meeting with your local authority may be worthwhile to address potential concerns about your work. This service may have a fee, but it could help streamline the process. Your application should include detailed drawings and comprehensive information on the materials you plan to use and any necessary reinforcements.



A pre-application involves a formal meeting with a planning officer to discuss your project’s feasibility and potential issues that could arise with your planning application. This proactive step allows you to explore innovative ideas without risk, anticipate changes before making your official application and reduce response time on your official application.



Even if full planning permission isn’t needed, significant works, including extensions, usually require building regulations approval. This includes all new buildings, garages that aren’t fully detached and under 30 square metres, all sizes of extensions, roof extensions, balconies and roof terraces, basements and basement extensions, and some conservatories and porches.



Planning permission is a requirement for various types of building projects. Whether you’re constructing a new home, subdividing your existing property, or making changes to listed buildings or those in designated areas, you’ll need planning permission. Likewise, if you’re considering adding large outbuildings or extensions to your property, you must secure planning permission. However, it’s not just these big projects that require permission – there are some less obvious cases where planning permission is necessary.


Here are some examples:

  • Sheds and summer houses: If these structures exceed 4m in height with a pitched roof or 3m with a flat roof, they require planning permission.

  • Fences and trellises: Any fencing, including trellises, that exceeds 2m in height requires planning permission, especially if it’s adjacent to a neighbouring highway.

  • Changes in conservation areas: If your property is in a conservation area, any alterations to windows and doors that don’t align with the area’s character require planning permission.

  • Driveways and patios: These require planning permission if constructed using impermeable materials like concrete, tarmac or clay.

  • Tree houses: While they may seem harmless, tree houses can infringe on a neighbour’s privacy and thus require planning permission.

  • Raised timber decking: You’ll need planning permission if your decking is more than 30cm above ground level.

Remember, it’s always better to check if your project needs planning permission before starting work to avoid legal issues.



On average, your local authority takes around eight weeks to grant planning permission. Once granted, the consent lasts approximately three years from its date. By understanding the ins and outs of planning permissions and building regulations, you can confidently navigate your home renovation or expansion project, ensuring a smooth and successful process.



Whether adding a touch of luxury with a brand-new bathroom or creating the perfect culinary space with a dream kitchen, home renovations offer an incredible opportunity to boost your property’s value and enhance your living conditions.

To find out more:

Cedar Crest Ltd – telephone UK T: +44 (0) 203 883 1017,

HK T: +852 6645 4462 – email

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up with repayments.

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