Permitted Development – get on the right track for your 2021 home extension project….

We at Mint are finding that in some respects there does seem to be some confusion out there reference the quite recent new home extension Permitted Development rights changes. These changes allow certain home extensions and refurbs to go ahead without going through the Planning Permission process with your local council.

If you are not sure about this and want to know more, you can download documents from local councils and RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). These will explain what you can do under permitted development……and of course we at Mint are always on hand to help too!

percentage

You’re allowed to extend your home relating to a percentage of the volumetric space. This includes many types of extensions to your property. If you want to check the facts, you can also quite easily send in to the council what is called a ‘pre-application’ This is an initial sketch and should include a calculation of volume of the proposed property extension.This doesn’t have to be very detailed or extensive as long as key facts are included.

regulations

Also ‘Planning Portal’ online has the rules with which extensions need to comply, covering the regulations involved, including size, height and distance from the road.

The Houzz organisation and its experts has been recently online reviewing the ins and outs of the new regulations.

These include Robert Maxwell, director of Maxwell & Company Architects Hugo Tugman, founder of Architect Your Home and Jerry Evans, architect and principal of Southpoint

confused

Says Hugo Tugman ‘It’s extraordinary how people can be confused by permitted development. You have to stay within quite a complex set of criteria to ensure you don’t step outside it, and local authorities can be quite unhelpful at times, because they don’t want you to sidestep their consultation. It’s absolutely worth getting in the right help and advice at that early stage. In knowing exactly where the limits are, you can do extraordinary things and make enormous changes without requiring Planning Permission.’

scale drawings

Jerry Evans adds, “Of course if your property doesn’t fall under permitted development, you will still need to apply for Planning Permission. There’s nothing to stop you applying for Planning Permission yourself, but you will need scale drawings of plans, elevations, a section through the building and its relation to surrounding properties.

seek advice

Adds Robert Maxwell, “Here again professional help could be important. Most people go through the recommendation of a friend or research on an excellent website online resource such as Houzz. From my point of view, it’s better to seek advice in the early stages, as Architects for sure can have a valuable input into the design of the space.’

conservation area

Another matter to consider is your location. Where a property is in a conservation area, permitted development is not allowed and Planning Permission is more stringent. Here again, you can check with your local planning authority online to see whether or not you are in a conservation area – most city centres are.

designate

Adds Robert, “If a local planning authority is trying to maintain the look and feel of a particular area, they designate it as a conservation area. They don’t want people to adapt the buildings so the city-scape changes.”

building regulations

Of course – as indeed we at Mint have said many times before here on this blog – all changes will need to adhere to strict Building Regulations, which are entirely separate to Planning Permission. Adds Hugo , “To get through Building Regulations, a building must meet rigorous standards. A structural engineer and inspector may need to be brought in to approve final plans from a technical perspective and ensure they are structurally safe with proper drains.”

energy efficiency

Adds Jerry Evans, The Building Regulations for energy efficiency are also a ‘must know’ consideration and are quite strict, certainly in terms of glazing. “ You may struggle to get highly glazed extensions without going to very expensive triple-glazed units, and the Building Regulation standards for energy efficiency are going up all the time,” he adds.

neighbourly

Finally a thought from our side at Mint Builders – planning law specifies that neighbours do not need to be informed for permitted development, but for the sake of your relationship with them we would certainly always say it is wise – even ‘a must’ – to let them know well in advance. That is after all, the right neighbourly thing to do!

We at Mint Builders are here to help with any questions and ideas relating to the priority planning and organisation of your home extension or renovation. We have the expert contacts on hand to help ensure your new extension gets sorted without any expensive blunders, issues or problems.

Please request your project planning and quotation visit to refurbish or extend your home for 2021 when the COVID-19 crisis will hopefully – thanks to recent exciting vaccine successes be diminishing– fingers crossed! Contact Mint Builders on 07734 211958 or email mintbuilders@hotmail.co.uk