Permitted development rights: a guide


Working under permitted development whilst renovating your house can save you time and money because you wouldn’t need to apply for planning permission.

Here is a comprehensive guide to understanding what permitted development rights are, and if they can benefit you on your journey to transforming your home.

So, what are they?

Permitted development rights are a national grant of planning permission which allows certain building works and changes of use to occur without having to put in an application. These rights are not granted by the local authority, but by Parliament.

Whilst permitted development rights apply to most houses, they do not apply to flats and maisonettes, so planning permission would be required. In the case of commercial properties, they have different permitted development rights compared to the rights of dwellings. It is also worth noting that the rights are updated regularly and there are variations of the rules in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland.

It is essential to check with the local council first, but these rights should provide automatic planning permission for small extensions, single-storey and double-storey extensions, as well as the following changes of use: loft, garage and basement conversions.

Designated areas

There are some designated areas whereby permitted development rights are more restricted, and these include National Parks, World Heritage Sites and Conservation areas. In these cases, you would have to apply for planning permission.

Withdrawn permitted development rights

By issuing an “Article 4” direction, the local planning authority may have removed some of your permitted development rights. This will then mean that you have to submit a planning application for work which normally does not need one. Article 4 directions are made when the character of an acknowledged area is being threatened.

For more information on the limits and conditions of permitted development rights, and advice on your projects, contact the team at Design Studio Architects.