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Planning

Do I need planning permission (external alterations to a house and its garden)


 

1. Trees and Hedgerows2. Garages
3. Driveways Patios and Decking4. Fences, Wall and Gates
5. Porches6. Windows and Doors
7. External Walls8. Drainpipes
9. Lighting10. Satellite Dishes and Aerials
11. Conservatories and Extensions12. Fascia
13. Solar Panel14. Rooflight
15. Roof (including loft conversion)16. Manhole
17. Paving Your Front Garden 

1. Trees and Hedgerows

Planning Permission

Many trees are protected by tree preservation orders which means that, in general, you need the council's consent to prune or fell them. In addition, there are controls over many other trees in conservation areas.

If you are unsure about the status of trees which you intend to prune or fell (or you simply require further information) you should contact the council.

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2. Garages

Planning Permission

Garages, and other ancillary outbuildings to be used for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse can be built in your garden, without the need to apply for planning permission subject to the following limits and conditions;

It is not sited on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.

The building is single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.

Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of the garden boundary.

No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

No more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’* would be covered by additions or other buildings.

Within a conservation area it is not sited to the side of the house.

Within the curtilage of a listed building it will require planning permission.

*The term ‘original house’ means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1st July 1948 (if it was built before that date).

Please see the advice contained under the heading ‘Conservatories and Extensions’ if the garage is to be attached to your house.

Building Regulations

If you want to put up small detached buildings such as a garden shed or summerhouse in your garden, building regulations will not normally apply if the floor area of the building is less than 15 square metres and contains no sleeping accommodation. If the floor area of the building is between 15 square metres and 30 square metres, you will not normally be required to apply for building regulations providing the building contains no sleeping accommodation and is either at least one metre from any boundary or is constructed of substantially non-combustible materials.

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3. Driveways and Patios, and decking

Planning Permission

New rules apply to paving over your front garden under regulations that came into effect from 1 October 2008 and advice on this can be found under the heading ‘Paving your Front Garden’.

Elsewhere around your house there are no restrictions on the area of land which you can cover with hard surfaces at, or near, ground level.

However, significant works of embanking or terracing to support a hard surface might need a planning application.

Putting in decking, or other raised platforms, in your garden may not need planning permission, providing;

The decking is no more than 30 centimetres above the ground.

Together with other extensions, outbuildings etc, the decking or other platforms cover no more than 50 per cent of the garden area.

Building Regulations

Generally a new driveway or patio area does not require building regulations approval. However, you will need to make sure that any alterations do not make access to the dwelling any less satisfactory than it was before. So, for example, changing levels to introduce steps where none existed before would be a contravention of the regulations.

Building Regulations should be assumed to apply to every deck structure requiring planning permission.

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4. Fences, Wall and Gates

Planning Permission

You will need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect or add a fence, wall or gate and:

  • It would be over one metre high and next to a highway used by vehicles (or the footpath of such a highway); or over two metres high elsewhere.
  • Your right to put up or alter fences, walls and gates is removed by an article four direction or a planning condition.
  • Your house is a listed building or in the curtilage of a listed building.
  • The fence, wall or gate, or any other boundary involved, forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage.

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Building Regulations

If a porch at ground level has a floor space of less than 30m2 it will normally be exempt from approval providing it complies with Part N and Part P of the building regulations.

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5. Porches

Planning Permission

You will need to apply for planning permission if the porch:

  • Would have a ground area (measured externally) of more than three square metres.
  • Would be higher than three metres above ground level (height needs to be measured in the same way as for a house extension).
  • Would be less than two metres away from the boundary of a dwellinghouse with a highway (which includes all public roads, footpaths, bridleways and byways).

Building Regulations

If a porch at ground level has a floor space of less than 30m2 it will normally be exempt from approval providing the front entrance door between the existing house and the new porch remains in place and if the house has ramped or level access for disabled people, the porch must not adversely affect access.

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6. Windows and Doors

Planning Permission

Planning permission is not normally required for repairing, fitting or replacing doors and windows (including double glazing). Any new upper floor window located in a wall or roof slope forming a side elevation of the house must be obscure glazed and non-opening unless the parts of the window which can be opened are more than 1.7 metres above the floor of the room in which the window is installed.

However, if the building is listed or is in a conservation area (or other designated area) you should consult the Council.

Also, if you are a leaseholder, you may first need to get permission from your landlord or management company.

Building Regulations

Since 1st April 2002 building regulations have applied to all replacement glazing.  The regulations apply to thermal performance and other areas such as safety, air supply, means of escape and ventilation.

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7. External Walls

Planning Permission

You do not need to apply for planning permission for repairs, maintenance or minor improvements, such as painting your house.

If you live in a listed building, you will need listed building consent for any significant works whether internal or external.

If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission before cladding the outside of your house with stone, tiles, artificial stone, plastic, pebble dash, render or timber.

Building Regulations

Regulations will apply to inserting cavity wall insulation and therefore you must ensure appropriate insulates are used.

Depending on the extent of the work re-rendering and replacing timber cladding regulations can apply.

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8. Drainpipes

Planning Permission

You do not usually need to apply for planning permission for repairs or maintenance on drainpipes, drains and sewers.

Occasionally, you may need to apply for planning permission for some of these works if the Council has made an Article 4 Direction withdrawing permitted development rights.

Although the work itself may not require planning permission you should clarify ownership and responsibility before modifying or carrying out maintenance.  Drains, sewers and manholes may be shared with neighbours or owned by the relevant authority.  Failure to confirm these details or to comply with relevant standards/legislation could lead to legal and remedial action at your own cost.

If you live in a listed building, you will need listed building consent for any significant works whether internal or external.

Building Regulations

Approval is not normally required for maintenance on or replacing existing drainpipes, manholes or associated fitting but new items will require approval.

Regulations also apply to new rainwater or foul drains inside and outside the building as well as non-mains foul sewerage arrangements including outlets and drainage fields.

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9. Lighting

Planning Permission

External lighting is not subject to planning permission. Nevertheless, you are planning to install lighting for security or other purposes, you should ensure that the intensity and direction of light does not disturb others.

If your property is a listed building you should always consult the council.

Building Regulations

Electrical work and external lighting is subject to building regulations. An installer who is registered with a competent person scheme should be used, alternatively apply to the Council’s Building Control Department.

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10. Satellite Dishes and Aerials

Planning Permission

Normal domestic TV and radio aerials do not need planning permission.

In certain circumstances, you will need to apply for planning permission to install a satellite dish on your house.

Building Regulations

Maintenance of the fascia such as replacement or painting generally does not require planning permission.

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11. Conservatories and Extensions

Planning Permission

Under new regulations that came into force on 1st October 2008 adding a conservatory or extension to your house would not need an application for planning permission subject to the limits and conditions listed below.

  • No more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principle elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the ‘original house’* by more than four meters for a detached house or by more than three metres for all other, attached, houses.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres from the rear wall of the 'original house'* including ground floor.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • Materials of extensions to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • In conservation areas no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey; no cladding of the exterior; no side extensions.

* The term ‘original house’ means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1st July 1948 (if it was built before that date).

Building Regulations

Most extensions are subject to building regulations. However conservatories are normally exempt from building regulations when:

  1. They are built at ground level and are less than 30 square metres in floor area.
  2. At least half of the new wall and three quarters of the roof is either glazed or translucent material.
  3. The conservatory is separated from the house by external quality door(s).
  4. Glazing and any fixed electrical installations comply with the applicable building regulations requirements.

12. Fascia

Planning Permission

Maintenance of fascia such as replacement or painting generally does not require planning permission. However if you live in a listed building or a conservation area you should check with the council before carrying out any work.

Building Regulations

Maintenance of the fascia such as replacement or painting generally does not require planning permission.

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13. Solar Panel

Roof Mounted

In many cases fixing solar panels to the roof of a single dwelling house is likely to be considered ‘permitted development’ under planning law with no need to apply for planning permission.

There are, however, important exceptions and provisos which must be observed:

  • Panels should not be installed above the ridgeline and should project no more than 200mm from the roof or wall surface.
  • If your property is a listed building installation is likely to require an application for listed building consent, even where planning permission is not needed.
  • If your property is in a conservation area planning consent is required when panels are to be fitted on the principal or side elevation walls and they are visible from the highway. If panels are to be fitted to a building in your garden or grounds they should not be visible from the highway.

Ground Based

The following limits apply to standalone solar panels:

  • Should be no higher than four metres
  • Should be at least 5m from boundaries
  • Size of array is limited to 9 sq m or 3m wide and 3m deep
  • Should not be installed within boundary of a listed building
  • In the case of land in a conservation area or in a World Heritage Site it should not be visible from the highway.
  • Only one stand alone solar installation is permitted.

All solar installations are also subject to the following conditions:

  • Panels on a building should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the appearance of the building.
  • They should be sited, so far as is practicable, to minimise the effect on the amenity of the area.
  • When no longer needed for microgeneration they should be removed as soon as possible.

Building Regulations

If you wish to install a solar panel on your roof building regulations will normally apply.

The ability of the existing roof to carry the load (weight) of the panel will need to be checked and proven. Some strengthening work may be needed.

Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the work such as electrical installation. It is advisable to contact an installer who can provide the necessary advice.

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14. Rooflight

You do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof your house or to insert roof lights or skylights.

New rules apply from 1 October 2008. These allow for roof alterations without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.

Building Regulations

If you want to carry out repairs on or re-cover less than 25 per cent of the area of a pitch or flat roof, you will not normally need to submit a building regulations application. You will need approval, however, if:

  1. You carry out structural alterations
  2. The performance of the new covering will be significantly different to that of the existing covering in the event of a fire
  3. You are replacing/ repairing more than 25 per cent of the roof area, in which case, the roof thermal insulation would normally have to be improved.

There are separate rules for construction of new roofs.

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15. Roof

Planning Permission

You do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof your house or to insert roof lights or skylights.

The new rules introduced on 1 October 2008 allow for roof alterations without the need for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
  • No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.

Planning permission is not normally required. However, permission is required where you extend or alter the roof space and it exceeds specified limits and conditions.

A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses*
  • A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses*
  • No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  • Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
  • Roof extensions not to be permitted development in conservation areas
  • Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the eaves

*Bear in mind that any previous roof space additions must be included within the volume allowances listed above. Although you may not have created additional space a previous owner may have done so.

Building Regulations

If you want to carry out repairs on or re-cover less than 25 per cent of the area of a pitch or flat roof, you will not normally need to submit a building regulations application. You will need approval, however, if:

  1. You carry out structural alterations
  2. The performance of the new covering will be significantly different to that of the existing covering in the event of a fire
  3. You are replacing/ repairing more than 25 per cent of the roof area, in which case, the roof thermal insulation would normally have to be improved.

There are separate rules for construction of new roofs. Building regulations approval is required to convert a loft or attic into a livable space.

Protected Species

Work on a loft or a roof may affect bats. You need to consider protected species when planning work on this type. A survey may be needed, and if bats are using the building, a licence may be needed.

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16. Manhole

Planning permission is not normally required.

Building Regulations

Replacing manhole covers like for like requires no approval however, alterations will need approval.

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17. Paving Your Front Garden

Planning Permission

New rules applying to paving over your front garden came into force on 1 October 2008.

You will not need planning permission if a new or replacement driveway of any size uses permeable (or porous) surfacing, such as gravel, permeable concrete block paving or porous asphalt, or if the rainwater is directed to a lawn or border to drain naturally.

If the surface to be covered is more than five square metres planning permission will be needed for laying traditional, impermeable driveways that do not control rainwater running off onto roads.

Building Regulations

Building Regulations do not generally apply. However, you will need to make sure that any alterations do not make access to the dwelling any less satisfactory than it was before.

So, for example, changing levels to introduce steps where none existed before would be a contravention of the regulations.

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18. Wind Turbines

Planning Permission

The planning regime for installing wind turbines is complex and evolving.

At present in most cases you will need to apply for planning permission from your local authority to add a domestic wind turbine to your house, or grounds surrounding your home.

Building Regulations

If you wish to install a wind turbine which will be attached to your house building regulations will normally apply.

Size, weight and force exerted on fixed points would be considerable.

Building regulations also apply to other aspects of the work such as electrical installation. It is advisable to contact an engineer who can provide the necessary advice.

If the wind turbine is not attached to your house, then only the electrical installation and connection will be captured by the requirements of the building regulations.

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