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Property development rights for loft conversions, rear and roof extensions and driveways

The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008 came into force on 1 October 2008 and made changes to the planning regime governing development of houses in England.

The changes are to what constitutes “permitted development” and mean that, subject to conditions, express planning permission will not be required for certain common types of development, such as loft conversions and rear extensions. Changes are also made to when planning permission is required for new driveways and hard standing, which are intended to tackle the problem of surface water flooding.

The changes mean that a householder will not have to apply for planning permission to build a single storey ground floor rear extension provided that;
• The extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original dwellinghouse by than 4 metres in the case of a detached house, or 3 metres in the case of any other type.
• The height of the extension does not exceed 4 metres, or 3 metres where it is within 2 metres of the boundary of the cartilage of the dwellinghouse.

Roof extensions and loft conversions

A householder will not have to apply for planning permission to build a loft conversion provided that;
• The cubic content of the extended roof does not exceed 40 cubic metres in the case of a terraced house, or 50 cubic metres in any other case.
• Any enlargement, other than in the case of a hip-to-gable construction, would be no more than 20 centimetres from the eaves of the original roof.

A loft conversion that meets with the above conditions can still be carried out even if the property has previously benefited from a single or two storey rear extension.

Similarly, where a property has already benefited from a loft conversion, most single storey extensions, and in some cases a two storey extension, can subsequently be constructed without the need for planning permission.

Drives and hard standing

From 1 October 2008, the construction of new drives or areas of hard standing require express planning permission where the hard surfacing will cover more than five square metres and the surface in impermeable. If the surface is permeable, so that water can permeate to the ground, no express planning permission is necessary.

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