Do I need Planning Permission or can I build under Permitted Development?

Planning Permission and Permitted Development are two different sets of policy that control development. They apply to all forms of the built environment, not just for residential or housing projects. As BBD-architects works predominantly with private residential projects let’s just understand the difference in this sector.

Permitted Development is a set of rules (or policies) that allow you to extend or modify your home without having to go through the formalities of a planning application. The rules do limit what you can do and while the criteria is quite in depth there are some simple principles that can, generally, be followed; including depth and height of an extension, for example. In most cases you do not need to do anything before constructing an extension that falls within Permitted Development. However, it can be formalised by requesting a Lawful Development Certificate from your local authority planning department. The application process for this certification requires a full set of drawings and an application form as a minimum.

Planning permission, on the other hand, is a formal and public application process that will seek approval of a development outside of the rules for Permitted Development. Planning applications are considered against a series of Planning Policies. These policies are written at a national level and local level. There are also even more concentrated policies that relate to villages and local areas too. The policies are written to provide some degree of control or guidance towards the extent, materiality and/or impact of any development.

The policies and rules within either system can be complicated. They are there for interpretation in design rather than being directional. Sometimes, in very local consideration, they can be very prescriptive and occasionally the local authority will produce a Supplementary Design Document to provide direct guidance. Understanding and transposing these varying levels of policy can be difficult to the untrained eye. Formalising either of them will significantly benefit from having an expert produce supporting information, such as existing & proposed drawings, Design Statements and application forms.

Therefore, it depends on what your intention is, in terms of development, as to whether you will fall within Permitted Development or require Planning Permission. At BBD-architects we help you to understand which bracket you fall within by interpreting your design brief in the most economic and successful way to suit your needs and family lifestyle choices.

If you are considering an improvement to your home in or close to Hampshire, even if it is not an extension, we can help find the right answer. Give us a call on 01794 524200 for a free initial consultation to find out how we can help improve your home.

Written by Laurence Wright. Laurence is an Architect at BBD Architects, based in Romsey, Hampshire. He is passionate about improving lifestyle within residential design and looks for the greenest solutions through construction.