I am currently looking at converting my garage into an additional room, and it has got me investigating whether I need planning permission or not. The answer depends on what exactly I intend to do, but as I looked into it, I thought more people will be in this or a similar boat.
When you need it and when you don’t
A good place to start is the Government website. They advise in simple terms the three basic conditions under which you need planning permission:
- When you build something new;
- Making a major change to the building;
- Changing the use of your building
It also advises when you don’t need planning permission, this is termed as permitted development rights:
- Industrial premises and warehouses – some limits apply
- Outdoor signs and adverts – special rules apply
- Demolition – but approval is required
Check the planning portal
In residential circumstances, another good resource is the planning portal. This sets out a number of things to consider when looking at home improvement projects:
- Building and;
Specifically looking at planning projects, the planning portal advises on getting started, project advice, common projects, making an application, finding a tradesperson and choosing a self-build package.
Understand the legislation
The solicitors Kingsley Smith have written an article on building without planning permission and the legal implications. Their article issues warnings about what happens when you commit a planning breach and submitting a retrospective application. The worst case is the local council issuing an enforcement notice, which legally cannot be ignored and can result in very expensive retrospective action.
Look to your local council
Up here in leafy Leicestershire Stressline’s local council is Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council. They offer advice to home owners when extending or carrying out work on your own home.
They also site the planning portal as well as provide self-assessment forms and a permitted development rights enquiry form.
In addition to this they offer advice if you are in a conservation area or have a listed building. They also offer pre-application advice.
20 things you can do without planning permission
Finally Homebuilding & Renovating magazine have published an article on 20 home improvements you can make without planning permission. These include but are not limited to:
- Internal remodelling
- Garages and attached buildings
- Two storey extensions
- Sheds and outbuildings
- Swimming pools
The list goes on but it is worth perusing for some great tips on what you can do without planning permission.
If you are looking at doing some work on your home, it is worth putting the work in beforehand to know exactly where you stand with planning permission, we hope this list of resources has helped.