It might interest you to know that there are changes you can make at your home without having to get planning permission. According to the general permitted development (England) order of 2015, certain works can be undertaken without the need for planning permission. Listed below are some of them. 

1. Loft conversion

You can quickly create space and increase the value of your home by converting an unused loft into living space without having to wait on planning permission. Under permitted development rights you can also include roof light to converts dark and dingy spaces into light-filled rooms. Your converted loft can be a cosy bedroom, a handy storage room, a home office – there are multiple things you can do with your old dusty attic.

2. Have your interiors remodelled 

Remodelling your interiors is a  very easy and quick way to update your space. The good news is, you will not require permission to make changes to the internal structure of your property. For example, adjusting floor height, moving walls, creating a new bedroom, refitting kitchen and so on. 

Please note that this is only applicable to occupied and completed houses, not a conversion under construction of a new build, with approved plans that have to be followed. You will also need listed building consent if your house falls under this category or is a conservation area.

3. Add, replace or repair windows

Adding, replacing or repairing your window is an alteration that you would not need consent if the appearance of the house will not be altered. Under permitted development rights, you can also have your existing fenestration enlarged. Please note, bay windows are considered extension and are not covered under permitted development. 

To protect your neighbours’ privacy, these rules apply to side windows – it has to be fitted with obscured glazing. It is quite commonplace for certain conditions on previous planning consents to prevent alterations to conversions and windows in houses, so it is always best to check before you begin.

4. Basement conversions

Under permitted development rights, you can have your current existing basement turned into a habitable living space if the change will not alter the internal/external fabric of your home. You should note, there are certain restrictions for ground excavating under your home. You can only dig in a basement under permitted development rights if the building is one storey and it doesn’t go past 3m from the back wall of your property.

5. Converting two houses into one

It is possible to convert two houses (for example a pair of semis or two flat) into one property under permitted development rights. Sadly, if you are thinking of dividing the property into two dwellings, the same rule does not apply –  you have to get planning permission.

6. Walls, fencing and gates

You can have new boundary treatments built, as long as they are within allotted height restrictions. For those facing the highway, it can only go as high 1m,  the threshold everywhere else there is a 2m. As should be expected, this does not apply to listed buildings.

7. Install decking

You can have an external decking laid under permitted development if it isn’t over 300mm above ground level. This also applies to garden coverage (which amounts to about 50% of the threshold) outbuildings and floorplan size in protected areas.

8. Two-storey extensions

A two-storey extension can be built under permitted development rights if it is at the rear of the dwelling (this also includes the inclusion of a second storey on an existing single-storey building). Please note,  under PD, your two-storey extension must not be over 3m in depth or within 7 metres of the rear boundary. 

9. Cladding

Unless your home falls under article 1 (5)  of the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) in the UK, you can clad your home in any timber or stone that you choose. We, however, recommend that you get your neighbours on board as you do not want a  dispute further down the line.

10. Porches

Installing a very beautiful porch at the front of your home is not only aesthetically pleasing but it is also practical. This is also one addition that does not require planning permission. Like a single-storey, small entrance porch is nothing that you cannot handle on your own. But if you’re going for a large-sized porch, chances are you will need planning permission.

As with all rules there can be exceptions. So make sure you get advice on any consents required before you rush into planning a building project.