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What is meant by 'Permitted Development'?

Under Town and Country Planning legislation “development” is defined as “the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land. ”

This is a very wide definition, and to avoid the need for homeowners to have to apply for planning consent for minor works, The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) sets out a schedule of works which are deemed to be permitted without needing consent.

This is a very brief list of some of the works which are generally permitted for dwellinghouses 

  • Enlargement, improvement or other alteration.
  • An addition or alteration to the roof.
  • The erection or construction of a porch outside any external door.
  • The provision of any building, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of a house, or the improvement or other alteration of such a building.
  • The installation, alteration or replacement of a satellite antenna 
  • The erection or alteration of a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure.
  • Painting of the exterior of any building or work.  

The Schedule is extensive, and contains many restrictions or limits on size, volume or location to permitted works. Also permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats or maisonettes.

Permitted development rights may be excluded in certain areas, especially:

  • National Parks,  
  • Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty 
  • the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads
  • Many Conservation Areas
  • Any area subject to an Article 4 Direction
  • Listed buildings are also excluded.

Homeowners are advised that they should contact their local planning authority and to discuss proposals before any work begins.

They will be able to inform owners of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if they need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.

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