Planning legislation is complex, and it can get pretty difficult to acquire planning permission for the ideal property extension or critical upkeep.

How do you apply for planning permission if so, and when is the deadline? This comprehensive tutorial is a must-read for anybody new to the planning procedure.

We’ve compiled a list of key facts about the projects that require and do not require a planning permit.


What Can Property Owners Build Without Permit?

There are numerous projects that homeowners don’t need any permit to start. The most common are the ones below.

  • Install a garden room
  • Replacing doors and windows
  • Installing solar panels
  • Organising a loft conversion

Of course, in order to make sure you’re in the right, you will want to check with the local administration before starting the project.


Is Planning Permission Required to Break Internal Walls?

When you knock down internal walls, you not only get more space but also have the option of redesigning a portion of your house without adding.

It’s unusual that you’ll need any permit to go ahead with this. However, there are exceptions, particularly in case the property is listed so it’s always worth investigating with the local administration. While you won’t need a planning permit, structural elements and electrical works will be under Building Regulations approval.


The 4-year Planning rule

The ‘4 Year Rule’ allows you to fill out an official application for a permit to see whether your unlawful use or development can become lawful after time has elapsed rather than through conforming to space rules, and may continue without the need for a planning permit.


The Extension You Can Plan Without Planning Permission

Single-story expansions, such as conservatories or orangeries, for instance, are included in the Permitted Development Rights as far as they are:

  • Extensions to the back of the existing property are limited to no more than 3 meters in length.
  • If the original house is a single-family dwelling, attached property extensions do not extend beyond the rear wall by more than 4m.
  • Properties with single-storey extensions must not be taller than 4m.
  • On the roadside or in front of a property, extensions must be closer to the home than a public road.


Property Extensions

A planning permit is not needed for the scenarios below:

  • The highest point of your extension isn’t higher than the roof peak
  • For detached homes, the renovation must not expand further than the original property’s rear by over eight metres or farther than six metres for any other home.
  • The materials are equal or similar to the ones used in the previous construction.
  • Extensions that include more than one storey and do not expand further than the rear wall of the initial house by more than three meters.
  • Any side-facing, upper-floor windows are obscure; any aperture is 1.7 meters above the ground.
  • There are no balconies, verandas, or raised platforms planned in your extension.


Doors and Windows

In most cases, you will not need planning permission to repair or replace windows and doors. The main exception is in case your home is listed. In that scenario, you will be asked for listed building consent. Windows also require this approval.


Outside Roof and Walls

When it comes to improvements of repairs such as painting your home or installing a skylight. This is true whether your property is listed or not. If you live in a conservation zone or an area of outstanding natural beauty, you must get planning consent if you want to alter the exterior appearance of your property.


Gates, Fences, Walls

Just like the other parts of the property above, you will not need a permit for the cases here below in terms of walls, fences, and gates:

  • It’s located just off the street and is about 1.2 meters tall. To the side of a road and with an elevation of more than 1 meter
  • If your property is listed
  • If it establishes a barrier with a listed monument or monument
  • Over 2 m and not adjacent to a road.


Indoor Features

The majority of interior renovations, such as loft conversions, new staircases, bathrooms, kitchens, or rewiring do not require any planning permission. But, we recommend checking ahead of time in case you want to modify a listed property or if you live in a Conservation area.


How Much is the Application for Planning Permission?

The cost of a project application varies depending on the type of work you want to apply for. The current price for a new build in England and Wales is £462. If you wish to renovate or improve your house, expect to pay around £206. 

In Wales, the fee is somewhat lower at £190. However, as your application progresses, you may encounter additional costs based on the specifics of your request.


How Long Does the Process Take?

When your application has been submitted, the planning staff will verify that all of the data and payments are in place. Local authorities are required to handle planning applications within 10 to 12 weeks after registration, with the majority of ordinary householder applications being completed in this period.


What to do if Your Planning Permission is Refused?

In England and Wales, around 75% of applications are accepted. If you are denied planning permission, you can either modify the application that has already been submitted in accordance with local authority guidelines or submit an appeal. According to statistics, approximately 40% of appeals to a local planning inspectorate are ultimately successful!


As a UK resident and property owner, if you’re wondering whether you need planning permission when designing your remodelling project, the answer is no, but in specific cases, you will indeed need a permit. These were all the details you had to know about the planning permit, the 4-year rule, and the extensions you may or may not make at your property.

To conclude, smaller renovations won’t probably need a permit but more substantial ones will surely do.