Permitted Development & Prior Notification.

Prior Notification

We are just submitting our first “Prior Notification” notice. These are for “Large Domestic Extensions” which fall outside of the normal Permitted Development Rights but which fall inside a temporary relaxation that will be in place until 30th May 2016.

Permitted Development

Permitted Development” describes a development which can be carried out without applying for Planning Permission.

The Planning Portal describes the current relaxation which has increased the scope of what can be done under permitted development rights as; “Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house. In addition, outside Article 1(5) designated land* and Sites of Special Scientific Interest the limit is increased to 6m if an attached house and 8m if a detached house until 30 May 2016. These increased limits (between 3m and 6m and between 4m and 8m respectively) are subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. “

Neighbour Consultation Scheme

In order to comply, the homeowner or their agent must complete a “Prior Notification” form which asks the basic information normally asked on a planning application form  and submit it to the Local Authority Planning Department along with a Location Plan showing the area of the site.


In addition we would almost always recommend that a set of plans & elevations are  submitted with the form to show the dimensions and character of the extension.  This is to prove that the development does fit in with the Permitted Development Right described above and complies with other relevant criteria, such as overall height, eaves height, materials and percentage of original land developed etc.


To find out more about Permitted Development Rights for Domestic Extensions visit the planning portals page on extensions: Permitted Developmet Rights – Extensions

Guidance outlining the Neighbour Consultation Scheme in more detail can be found here: Neighbour Consultation Scheme

Prior Notification Form

If you appoint us to design your extension for you, as your agent we complete the Prior Notification Form as well, just as we would also handle a Planning Application. However, if you’re trying to go it alone, here is a link to a form you can complete then print off yourself: Large Domestic Extension Prior Notification Form

Need a helping hand?

Clive Elsdon Building Design would be pleased to be involved with your project, whether it falls within the usual permitted development rights, within the relaxed permitted development rights or requires a full planning approval. Within DL & DH postcodes, and sometimes other areas, we will meet you at the site to discuss your project and look at the feasibility of it FREE of charge. Call us on 01388 526641 or drop an email to design at cliveelsdon dot co dot uk (replacing “at” and “dot” with the appropriate symbols) to discuss this further.

Wondering if you can use permitted development rights for your project or if you need planning approval? – Check out the Interactive Houses at the Planning Portal!

There is a simple(ish) way to find out if what you are thinking about doing to your house needs planning permission.  Click the link to see the interactive houses at the Planning Portal to see if your proposals fall within the Permitted Development guidelines!

But beware! Before going ahead think about where you are, if you’ve already had extensions or what planning conditions have already been imposed on your house in a previous planning application or applications!

There are areas where Permitted Development Rights do not apply, known in planning terms as Designated land. These areas include National Parks, The Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites (That’s covered Weardale then!)

Even if you’re not in one of these areas, some houses have permitted development rights removed! You can find this out by checking the original planning approval for your property or by ringing the local authority planning department.

If you want a little bit of good news though, if the development to your house only needs permission because the permitted development rights have been withdrawn, the actual local authority planning fee is free! The downside is that, unless you fancy doing it yourself, you will need to commission someone like me to prepare the application, which often involves a full survey and production of existing & proposed drawings, a location plan (at 1:1250 or 1:2500), and block plans as well. There are some exceptions, and if you are not altering every elevation or plan, then you may not have to have them all drawn.

Here are some of the descriptions that describe what can and can’t be done under permitted development rights in relation to an extension to your semi-detached house providing you’re not on “Designated Land”:


  • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
  • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
  • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
  • Single-storey rear extension must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres if an attached house or by four metres if a detached house.
  • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.
  • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres.
  • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.
  • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.
  • Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.
  • Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.
  • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.
  • Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
  • Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
  • On designated land no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.
  • On designated land no cladding of the exterior.
  • On designated land no side extensions.

There are also permitted development rights relating to things like sheds, conservatories, solar panels, fences, patios, fuel tanks ,bbq’s, air sourced heat pumps, ground sourced heat pumps, driveways and hard standings etc. etc., and guidelines for terraced houses, all of which can be viewed at the Planning Portal. The guidance above does not apply to flats or maisonettes.