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Can I build an extension to my house without having to seek planning permission?


The construction of an extension does not generally require planning permission when it is to the rear of the house, if:


Terraced and Semi-Detached Houses: If the house has not been previously extended, the floor area of the proposed extension cannot exceed 40m2. This exemption also allows for extensions above ground-floor level (if the house is semi-detached or terraced, the area of the above ground extension cannot exceed 12m2). This means, for a typical semi-detached house, one could have a ground floor extension of 28m2 & 1st floor extension of 12m2 without applying for planning permission. Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2m from any party boundary.


Detached Houses: As with terraced and Semi-detached above, the overall area of extension must be less than 40m2. This exemption also allows for extensions above ground floor level, the are above ground floor are cannot exceed 20m2. One could therefore have a ground floor extension of 20m2 & a 1st floor of 20m2. Any above ground floor extension shall be a distance of not less than 2m from any party boundary.


Both Cases: If the proposed extension is in addition to an existing extension, overall areas of all extensions must not be more than 40m2 including extensions which needed permission, e.g. to side of house.


Can I cover my entire back garden with an extension of 40m2?


No, an extension shall not reduce the "Private Open Space" of the back garden to less than 25m2.


Does an attic conversion require planning permission?


Normally, no. However, if work involves dormer windows, permission is required. If Velux windows are proposed to the rear, they are exempt. If Velux windows are proposed to the side/front elevation then planning permission is required.


Can I convert my garage to living accommodation without permission?


Yes, subject to the provisions of Part 1 of the 2nd Schedule to the Planning & Development Regulations 2001 (i.e. the garage must be attached to the dwelling).


Can I build an extension to the side of my house?


It is not exempted development, planning permission is required.


Can I erect Solar Panels to my house?


Yes, these are exempted development, subject to limitations:


The total aperture area of any such panel taken together with any such panels previously placed on or within the curtilage of a house shall not exceed 12m2 or 50% of the total roof area, whichever is the lesser;


1. The distance between the plane of the wall or a pitched roof and the panel shall not exceed 15cm;


2. The distance between the plan of a flat roof and the panel shall not exceed 50cm;


3. The solar panels shall be a minimum of 50cm from any edge of the wall or roof on which it is to be mounted;


4. The height of a free standing solar array shall not exceed 2m at its highest point, above ground level;


5. A free standing solar array shall not be placed on or forward of the front wall of the a house;


6. The erection of any free standing solar array shall not reduce the area of private open space to the rear or side of the house to less than 25m2.


Do these exemptions apply to a Protected Structure?


No, most works to a Protected Structure require planning permission.

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