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Permitted Development Rights

General Permitted Development

Permitted Development Rights are a national grant of planning permission which allow certain building works and changes of use to be carried out without having to make a planning application but are subject to conditions and limitations to control impact and to protect local amenity.

There are over 40 classes within The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. These include, but are not limited to, rights for dwellings, offices, microgeneration equipment, agricultural development, school and college development, development by Local Authorities, Highways’ Authorities and The Crown as well as permitted change between different uses.

Each of these classes carry a number of conditions which need to be complied with in order for the development to be allowed under the Permitted Development legislation. If the development falls within the legislation, in many cases it can be constructed without requiring any permission from the Local Planning Authority. However, some Permitted Development Rights require an application for prior notification to the Local Planning Authority to confirm that the proposed development complies with the legislation.

If you want confirmation that your development does not require planning permission you will need to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate from the Local Planning Authority. They should assess your proposals against the legislation and then provide you with a legal document confirming that the development does or does not require express planning consent.

This option is well worth considering even if you are sure your project is Permitted Development. For example, if you extend your house under Permitted Development Rights and subsequently want to sell, a Lawful Development Certificate will be helpful in answering queries raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives.  When selling a property it is important that all paperwork and records relating to your property are clear and up to date.

If you require further information on Permitted Development Rights or Lawful Development Certificates, please contact the planning team at Sworders.

Residential: Householder Permitted Development

You can make certain types of alterations and extensions to your house without needing to apply for express planning permission. These are called ‘Permitted Development Rights’ and are allowed under The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. This derives from a general planning permission granted not by the Local Planning Authority, but by Parliament.

There are limitations to be considered and Listed buildings and buildings in conservation areas are excluded from this legislation. For properties that do qualify, you can extend your property, erect a modest porch, convert the loft, erect an outbuilding, create a hardstanding and install a chimney/flue or vent pipe. However, for these to be Permitted Development they must meet with strict conditions contained within the Permitted Development Order.

It is possible in qualifying circumstances to undertake a huge amount of development under Permitted Development Rights. For example, the only restriction on the footprint of outbuildings is that it cannot take up more than 50% of the total area of curtilage. Therefore, if you have a particularly large rear garden, you could construct a sizable garage/office/gym/pool house or any other building which would be ancillary to the main dwelling (subject to other conditions/restrictions).

If you would like further information on Householder Permitted Development, please contact the planning team at Sworders.

Commercial Permitted Development

Permitted Development Rights do exist for commercial buildings, however, they are not widely known and the conditions attached are complex. Permitted development exists for industrial and warehouse extensions and alterations and these Rights can be very generous if the development is more than 5 metres from any boundary of the curtilage. The Permitted Development Rights also extend to new plant and machinery and hardstandings.

Office buildings may also be extended and altered under Permitted Development. Office buildings may be extended up to 25% or 50 square metres (whichever is lesser), subject to other conditions and limitations.

Shops or catering, financial or professional services’ establishments can also extend in a similar manner to office buildings. Additionally, trolley stores and hardstandings are also Permitted Development in many cases.

If you would like further information on Commercial Permitted Development, please contact the planning team at Sworders.

Agricultural Permitted Development

Agricultural buildings are required in order to promote agricultural and rural businesses. Their erection within both the countryside and the Green Belt is allowed in principle, provided there is a need for such buildings. However, regardless of need, agricultural buildings can be erected under ‘Permitted Development Rights’. As with all Permitted Development there are a number of conditions and limitations, for example, the building cannot exceed 465 square metres in floor area. The Permitted Development Rights alter depending on whether the agricultural unit is more or less than 5 hectares but to benefit from either of these Permitted Development Rights the land has to be in use for agricultural purposes.

In the event that planning permission is required, the principle of agricultural development is generally accepted by Local Planning Authorities, however, some particularly large buildings or buildings for new farming enterprises are likely to require special justification.

Sworders can provide planning drawings together with statements and reports to submit with your application explaining the rationale behind the proposals. We can provide both planning and surveying advice and our CAD team is experienced in producing agricultural drawings in line with the requirements of the Local Planning Authority.

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