Permitted Development

GBS Architectural on February 16, 2021

Permitted Development – The Background

If you are looking to undertake a renovation of your home either with an extension, a loft conversion or something a little bit different such as an outbuilding there is potential that you may be able to make use of Permitted Development Rights, and as architectural designers in London we are perfectly placed to explain the rights to you and assist you in your potential project.

What is Permitted Development?

Permitted Development (PD) rights allow for certain types of works and projects to be carried out without the need to apply for planning permission, provided that the property or development is not exempt or that no restriction is attached to prevent access to the rights.

They are derived from a general planning permission granted by Parliament and therefore are above the local authority planning permission process. The most familiar area of permitted development rights are those attached to residential properties commonly referred to as Householder Permitted Development Rights which is set out within The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. Although it has seen a number of revisions, alterations and additions, it is the principal order under which we still work within today.

Common Projects

As a residential architectural practise in London there are 3 project types that we are frequently engaged with that look to access the PD rights. You will have most likely seen these in our social media posts, website projects and on your own walks or whilst visiting friends.

Home extensions in London are by far the most common you will have seen, where it is not uncommon for a standard 19th/20th Century mid-terrace property to have either had a side infill extension or a rear extension. These are a great way to gain that extra living space or larger kitchen that you may need.

Loft conversions in London follow closely as the second most common project type and we challenge anyone to try and find a road or street that does not have a set of Velux roof windows in the front roof slope. Loft conversions are a fantastic way to utilise that unused space and gain additional bedrooms and bathrooms to really boost the value of your home.

Outbuildings in London are becoming ever-present in households especially in properties that boast large amount of garden space. The need for a flexible space that can be used to suit a family’s needs at any given time can not be understated, whether this be a new home-office, a gym or a playroom for a growing family. With some properties boasting large garden spaces an outbuildings can be the perfect way to utilise this without upsetting the balance of the home.

Do I have access to Permitted Development Rights?

The most likely answer is yes, the rights were set out to benefit homeowners but that does not mean that all homeowners can benefit from the rights. If your property is within a designated area such as those listed below your rights are likely to be restricted. For example, if you live in:

  • A Conservation Area
  • A National Park
  • An Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
  • A World Heritage Site or
  • The Norfolk or Suffolk Broads

Alternatively, the rights may have been restricted or removed from your property or a group of properties if they are subject to an Article 4 direction, this is likely to be the case if your property is a listed building.

What is important to understand here is that whilst this may seem prohibitive the restriction or removal of the rights is done so in the interest of preserving the character of the local area.

Permitted Development Rights do not apply to flats or maisonettes either due to the impact that any alterations may have on the neighbouring properties.

If are looking to utilise your Permitted Development Rights to commence a project or if you are unsure if you have access to them, please do give our team of Chartered Architectural Technologists and Architectural Designers a call on 020 3384 9464 or email us at

Post a comment