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New Rules Covering Rear Extensions

Friday, 28th June 2013 | by: Justin Burns

Following a public consultation and weeks of political wrangling temporary changes to the Permitted Development rules came in to force on 30th May 2013.

Until 30th May 2016 homeowners have the right to build larger (i.e. deeper) single-storey rear extensions without having to apply for planning permission. The size limits will double from 4 metres to 8 metres for detached houses and from 3 metres to 6 metres for all other houses.

The original idea was as simple as that but after coming under pressure from lobbying groups the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, was forced in to effectively watering down the proposals by tacking on a new Neighbourhood Consultation Scheme. What we’re left with is a kind of halfway house between Permitted Development and Planning Consent.

This is how it works:
A homeowner (let’s call them the ‘Building Owner’) wishing to construct a larger single-storey rear extension must notify the local planning authority and provide:

  1. A written description of the proposal including proposed depth, height at the eaves and maximum height;
  2. A plan of the site showing the proposed development;
  3. The addresses of any adjoining properties (those that share a boundary; including to the rear);
  4. Their contact details.

No fees are payable.
The Planning Office may ask for further information but will then serve a notice on adjoining owners or occupiers. The notice will describe the proposed development and triggers a 42 day determination period.
Neighbours have 21 days in which to raise objections and only those comments will be taken in to account by the planning office when it decides whether the impact on the amenity of all adjoining properties is acceptable.
The Planning office will notify the building owner of the 3 possible outcomes within the 42 day period i.e. there have been no objections, there have been objections but they have not been upheld or there have been objections and permission is refused. There is a right of appeal if permission is refused but I’ve so far been unable to find details of how that works.

If the planning office fail to reply within the time limit work can proceed.

The developer must notify the local authority in writing of the date of completion.
So what we have is a fudged version of the original idea but the upshot is likely to be that many more substantial rear extensions are built over the next 3 years.
If you require assistance with an application, Building Regulation drawings or advice on party wall matters (both of which are still applicable) you are welcome to contact us.