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Don’t forget building regs if your home extension doesn’t need planning permission, warns DBCP

House Extension

On 25 May 2019 the government announced that homeowners could extend their properties quickly and easily without the need for a full planning application.

Extending your property can be a cost-effective way to add more space to your house or even add value. But, Derbyshire Building Control Partnership (DBCP) is reminding home owners, while you don’t always need planning permission for extending your property you do always need Building Regulations approval.

David Pratt, DBCP Building Control Manager, said: “If you do not follow the building control procedures then you will have contravened the regulations and that can lead to prosecution and an unlimited fine can be imposed. In addition, as well as possibly invalidating your insurance, the local authority may also serve an enforcement notice on the building owner requiring alteration or removal of work. Failure to get Building Regulations approval and the necessary certification can also have an impact when you come to sell the property.”

The relaxation of the planning rules, follows a temporary relaxation by the Government in 2013, when it allowed homeowners to build a single-storey rear extension of up to 6 metres on a terrace or semi-detached house, or up to 8 metres on a detached, without having to submit a full planning application. In just five years, more than 110,000 extensions have been completed this way — prompting the Government to make the relaxation permanent in 2019.

Although you may not need formal planning approval, there are however still a number of restrictions. An extension or addition to your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

  • 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 principal 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 eight metres if a detached house; or more than six metres for any other house
    If the house is in Article 2(3) designated land* or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, this limit is reduced to four metres if a detached house; or three metres for any other house
    These limits are now permanent and subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. This requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres
  • 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 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
  • On Article 2(3) designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey
  • On Article 2(3) designated land* no cladding of the exterior
  • On Article 2(3) designated land* no side extensions.

Source: https://www.planningportal.co.uk/

Before embarking on any alterations to your property, DBCP advises seeking guidance from your local planning authority as there may be restrictions, such as listed building status, in place.

While the exterior design of your extension is critical if you want to avoid a planning application, the functionality of the building is also key. Extending your home is an opportunity to make it more energy efficient and save money and the environment long-term. For our top energy-saving tips please visit here.

If you’re thinking about extending your home, please get in touch with our friendly expert team of building control surveyors who can help you ensure your extension meets the all-important Building Regulations.

For more information, you can download our free Guide to Extending Your Home here, which DBCP has produced in conjunction with LABC. It’s packed full of valuable advice and information, helping you avoid some of the common pitfalls when it comes to altering your home.

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