New permitted development legislation for homeowners
The government has announced the latest changes to permitted development legislation. As a homeowner what does that mean to you?
Permitted development, in simple terms used to be what you can build without needing formal planning permission subject to a number of criteria being followed.
The latest wave of permitted development legislation complicates things somewhat, in that akin to deeper single storey extensions under permitted development (3 metre to 6 metre extensions to terraced houses and semi-detached houses and 4 metre to 8 metre extensions detached homes) prior approval is required before works can be deemed to be permitted.
This new set of legislation focuses specifically on adding additional storeys on what you already have. So now you can add a further two storeys to a house that already has two or more storeys or an additional storey where the existing house is a single storey bungalow to the original portion of the house.
Much like most permitted development aspects there are a number of criteria that must be met to satisfy these additional storeys under what is now Class AA of the General Permitted Development Order.
- The house must have not been created from a change of use under permitted development.
- The house must have been constructed between 1 July 1948 and 28 October 2018 – this rules out pre-war houses.
- The house cannot be located in a Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), National Parks, The Broads or world heritage sites.
- You cannot have added an additional storey historically, and if you already have accommodation in the roof as a result of a loft conversion this would form part of the additional storeys allowed.
- Following the works the height of the house cannot exceed 18 metres.
- The height of the extension cannot be higher than 7 metres from the existing highest part of the roof if adding two storeys or 3.5 metres if adding one storey. In theory this means you can add a 7-metre extension from the highest part of the existing roof, although there are limitations on this if your house is not detached. So, if you have a semi-detached property you cannot go higher than 3.5 metres from the existing highest part of the roof, and if you have a terraced property you cannot exceed 3.5 metres from the height of the highest part of the roof in the terrace.
- There are also limits in how tall the height can be inside within each storey, such that you cannot exceed the existing floor to ceiling height or 3 metres – which ever is lower is to be adopted. Since most post -war housing has lower ceiling heights it is likely that you will not be able to have a floor to ceiling height greater than 3 metres.
- The changes do factor in an allowance for changes for engineering, this may include strengthening foundations, but in tandem you are not allowed to make additions to the outside that would support the extension. It is likely any additional extension of this nature will want to be in light weight construction.
Additional criteria in relation to materials used, and positions of windows must also be adopted and to the main elevation (normally the front elevation although there are exceptions) if it is pitched you must maintain the same angle for the pitch. The council will also want to ensure that you mitigate any concerns over overlooking, and how this is dealt with will be critical.
To consider this the council will need a prior approval application, and they will assess based on the criteria outlined and consult with your neighbours on this. The neighbours have 21 days to review.
This bit of legislation comes into place on the 31 August 2020 and it is highly likely that the councils will want to resist this type of development akin to other permitted development. That said, it could have a significant impact to your home in terms of additional space and if this is something that you want to consider then really something that needs to be presented well to the council so that they cannot refuse against the national policy. These types of additions may not be the cheapest to execute, albeit the net return on the additional footprint is likely to benefit you, potentially with 2 additional storeys on what you already have.