Not all extensions require planning permission; there are some extensions that are permitted provided that they meet a set criteria.

These sort of extensions are called ‘Permitted Developments’ (‘PD’) but they do not apply in Conservation areas, commercial properties or houses that have been converted to flats.

Examples are

• Single storey rear extensions not exceeding 3m (4m for detached houses)
• Single storey side extensions and some two storey rear extensions
• Most loft conversions provided additional volume does not exceed 40 Cu.m (50 Cu.m for semi and detached houses)
• Outbuildings with flat roofs, height not exceeding 2.5m

The Planning Enforcement teams are becoming increasingly pro-active in serving notices on unauthorised extensions; so we suggest you seek advice from a professional before you embark on a PD project.

The next stage is to get a Building Control Application.

Building Control are the Inspectors that check your plans for building regulation compliance and also monitor your work during construction.

The Building Control Inspectors keep an eye on your builder to make sure that your building is built safely and is energy efficient.

The two inspectors usually belong to the same department in your local authority.

Development Control aka Planners are particular about the external appearance of your extension and the impact on adjoining properties/neighbours and the environment.

Building Control Inspectors make sure that your extension is structurally safe, conserves energy, is damp proof and hygienic.

They work according to Building Regulations in order to protect you from ‘Cow-boy’ builders.

Yes and No! It depends on the size of the shed, the construction materials, the height of the outbuilding and your intended use of the building.

Some sheds/outbuildings can be legally constructed under ‘PD’ rights.

In most cases you do not need planning approval, all you need is a Building Control application.

However you will have to seek planning permission if you are in a Conservation area, the garage was built as part of an extension to the original house, or the garage is part of a flat or new estate where ‘PD’ rights have been revoked.

Usually, three years. In order to validate your planning approval you must commence the work within the first three years of the grant. There is no time limit to finish the work.

You can also extend your approval without having to resubmit the plans, but there is a charge which equals to about the same amount for a fresh planning application.

The ‘PD’ rules were changed in October 2008, separating the requirements for roof alterations to form dormers and floor extensions. They are now quite independent.
Approved Inspectors (AI) are private sector Building Control service providers. They carry out the same function as your council Building Control.

A bit like the NHS vs BUPA where AI’s are the BUPA of the Building Control industry.

AI’s are generally more expensive but they can be more efficient, pro-active and supportive.

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