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  • Writer's pictureLucy ay Winova

A Beginner’s Guide To Permitted Development

A Beginner’s Guide To Permitted Development

When it comes to choosing a property to invest in or renovate, it is crucial to understand what can be done within the framework of national and local regulations and if you need to apply for planning permission. That is why it is advisable to speak to someone who has done it before, to guide you through your project, to understand what is possible and realize the property’s full potential.

According to the UK Government, Planning permission is only needed if the work being carried out meets the statutory definition of ‘development’ which is set out in section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

‘Development’ includes:

· Building operations (eg structural alterations, construction, rebuilding, most demolition);

· Material changes of use of land and buildings;

· Engineering operations (eg groundworks);

· Mining operations;

· Other operations normally undertaken by a person carrying on a business as a builder.

· Subdivision of a building (including any part it) used as a dwelling house for use as 2 or more separate dwelling houses

Working under Permitted development rights (PD) if you’re extending or renovating your home makes it possible for you to save time and money by avoiding the need for planning permission. So what is permitted development and how can you tell if your project will qualify for it?

1 - What is Permitted Development?

You can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called "permitted development rights".

Permitted development means that a property owner can carry out renovations and construction projects without the need to apply for planning permission. These are rights that you are entitled to and permit you to develop.

This gives you a greater amount of freedom when undertaking a project. As of May 2019, the Government has expanded your Permitted Development rights. This provides more options when renovating for homeowners.

According to Real Homes, while it's essential to check with your local council first, permitted development rights should provide you with automatic planning permission for:

· When you're planning a small extension;

· When you're planning a single storey extension;

· When you're planning a double storey extension;

· Demolition;

· Certain changes of use;

· When you're planning a loft conversion;

· When you're planning a garage conversion;

· When you're planning a basement conversion.

· Build a porch less than 3m³

· Carry out internal alterations

· Install solar panels

· Install satellite dishes

· Put in rooflights or dormer windows not facing the highway

· Put in new doors or windows

· A new drive made from porous materials, or from non-porous materials, if provision for drainage is made

However, there are still certain limitations and not everything is included under your property development rights. That is why we are happy to explain all the important details and exclusions.

We will also explain a form of permitted development known as ‘Prior Notification’, and to apply for an LDC Lawful development certificate if you decide to not to use it.

2 - Important Government Updates and Information for your Permitted Development project

The first important limitation to be aware of are the types of properties that are included under the newest 2019 permitted development rights. These new rights are only for England and not for the rest of the UK. This means Liverpool stands to benefit.

Properties that are excluded from the new rights are listed buildings as well as buildings that were built before 1948. Although pre 1948 buildings still stand to benefit from the original legislation.

Flats are also excluded from the changes. Houses within conservation areas stand to benefit from the changes but there are greater limitations. This may seem like a broad list but a huge array of property investment opportunities in Liverpool gain from the new expanded rights.

3 - Permitted Development Rights for Specific Categories

A homeowner could build a single-story side extension up to half the width of the existing dwelling. As of May 2019, Larger single story rear extensions have been expanded and it is now permissible to have an extension of 8m for detached homes and 6m for semi and terraced homes. Rear extensions and Hip to Gable extensions are allowed for, as long as the volume does not exceed 50m3.

These rights also allow for an outbuilding to be built at the rear of property, provided that pre-approved diameters are met.

Another category that has benefited from these expanded rights are two story extensions. Under the new regulations, these are permitted as long as it takes up less than 50% of the width of the original house. Other requirements are that similar building materials need to be used and that the eaves and ridge of the house are the same height.

Loft and garage conversion have also benefited from the new regulations. When converting a loft, a volume allowance has been increased to 50 cubic meters for both detached and semi detached houses. When converting a garage, work can be carried out as long as it stays internal.

Whilst some of these details may seem a little complex or hard to understand, the new rights only serve to increase renovation and construction potential for most properties. These regulations have made it an opportune time for homeowners and investors alike.

4 - What is ‘Prior Notification’?

At this point, we feel it necessary to let you know about another form of permitted development known as Prior Notification. This is when a local planning authority needs to be notified of property development details taking place.

However, this is not the same as planning permission. This is more of a notification of your intent to build, and the LPA will guide your proposal. However, this is not the same as applying for planning permission and will still allow for projects to be completed without it.

5 - How a Lawful Development Certificate could help!

You may decide to not approach the LPA before construction begins and not to use your ‘Prior Notification’, usually because you already know that your project is within the regulations. In which case, you would apply for a lawful development Certificate. This would ensure that your project complies with regulations and that you won’t face difficulties post construction.

Rest assured, all these regulations have been put in place to enhance any homeowners opportunity for investment. It’s an exciting time to renovate and in Liverpool, property investment is a promising strategy.

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