What Changes Can I Make To My House Without Planning Permission?

What Changes Can I Make To My House Without Planning Permission?

If you are wanting to make rennovations or changes to your house you may be able to avoid the planning process and make changes under Permitted Development rights. We would always recommend that you check if your changes are covered under this before starting work, but here are a few things that are covered.

Internal Remodelling

You can make changes to the inside of your property that do not extend byond the footprint of your house, you could carry out work without planning permission under Permitted Development Rules. You would however need to make sure that all changes such as structural and electrical works meet Building Regulations standards.

Moving Windows & Doors

Replacing windows and doors would not typically require planning permission. You may however require permission if their were conditions attached to the original permission. New double Glazing can be installed under Permitted Development Rights as long as the building is not listed. If you are installing windws or doors that are bigger than the origionals, you need to make sure that you adhere to building regulations. If you are planning to install a bay window, this would be classed as an extension. Planning permission is not required to insert a new window or door opening, providing any upperfloor windows on the side elevation are fitted with obscured glass. These must also be fitted with a none opening frame. Please check the latest guidelines before commencing with any work.

Using Attached Buildings

You can alter internal space within the existing footprint of the building under Permitted Development Rights. As always you should ensure that any changes both structurally and electrically comply with building regulations.

Single Storey Extensions & Conservatories

There are several types of single storey extensions such as conservatories that you can build without planning permission. There are rules that need to be adhered too. You should check for any changes with your planning authority.

•The extension does not sit forward of the principal elevation.
•Materials should be similar.
•Where it is within 2m of any boundary, the eaves cannot be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise.
•Rear extensions — no more than 4m in depth (detached house) or 3m in depth (semi-detached or terrace).
•Side extensions — the width of the extension must not be greater than half the width of the original dwelling.

Side extensions are not permitted on Article 1(5) Land (e.g. AONB, Conservation Areas).

See the planningportal.gov.uk for more information

Loft Conversions

Permitted Development allows for the construction of dormer windows, which would provide additional headroom in a converted attic. They must not be higher than the highest part of your existing roof, or extend forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation.

There are also limitations on the cubic content allowed under Permitted Development but generally up to 40m³ is fine. Please ensure you check with your local planning authority before starting any works.

Two Storey Extensions

You are allowed to build a two storey extensions under Permitted Development rules providing it is located at the rear of the property. Your two storey extension must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of rear boundry. There are specific requirements on the glazing that can be used within the extension.

Work at Home

If you are thinking about working from home but do not have available space in your house, you may be able to work in an outbuilding which could double up as office space. If this is something you are considering for employees as well as yourself, there are certain regulations you would need to follow. Please check this in advance so that you are working within the law.

Sheds & Outbuildings

Working in outbuildings is a good way to find extra space without having to apply for planning permission to build an extension. If you have a larger plot, there may be opportunities to build multiple outbuildings under Permitted Development ao long as the total area covered by the buildings/enclosures does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.

Outbuildings may not sit forward of the principal elevation, and there are height restrictions depending on the type of roof (4m for dual pitch roofs, 3m for other roofs, and 2.5m when the building is within 2m of the boundary). Outbuildings may only be single storey, with the maximum eaves height remaining at 2.5m. Outbuildings constructed under Permitted Development cannot be used for residential purposes, e.g. bedrooms.

Converting Two Homes Into One

If you are looking at ways to significantly extend your home, you could consider converting two houses or flats into one large property. This can usually be done under Permitted Development. If you are considering dividing a property into two separate dwellings, the same rules do not apply and you would need to apply for planning permission.


Where most of the schemes covered do not allow for development forward of the principle elevation, you are allowed to build a porch without obtaining planning permission providing you stick to certain rules.

•No part of the porch can be taller than 3m
•It cannot be within 2m of any boundary adjacent to a highway
•The ground area (measured externally) does not exceed 3m²

Provided they don’t measure more than 3m², porches can be added without needing planning permission.


There are other additions to your property that may or may not be covered by permitted development. Please always check with your local planning authority to see what is and is not included so that you do not fall foul of planning laws.

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