David Granger Architectural Design News

10 Things You Didn’t Know Needed Planning Permission

1. Raised Timber Decking

If you are planning some ‘Ground Force’ style garden renovations you might be tempted to include some raised timber decking. If you do, you’ll need planning permission if you intend going higher than 30cm above ground level. This is to help prevent any over-looking between properties.

You will also need planning permission if your deck covers more than 50% of your garden area.

Garden decking

2. Boundary Walls, Fences and Railings

If you’re planning any of the following, it is likely you will need planning permission:

  1. If any new fence, railing, wall etc. adjoining a highway boundary or footpath is over 1m high.
  2. If the height of any new fence, railing, wall etc is to be over 2m high.
  3. If your right to put up fences or walls has been removed by an Article 4 direction
  4. Any new fence, railing, wall etc if your house is a listed building or within the curtilage of a listed building.
  5. If the fence, wall, gate, or any other boundary involved, borders a neighbouring listed building or its curtilage.

There may be other instances where boundaries require planning permission. If you are not 100% sure it is always best to check with your local planning department.

3. New and Altered Driveways

Surface water drainage is an important consideration when installing or altering a driveway. If your new or replacement drive uses a permeable surfacing material that allows rainwater to drain through (e.g. gravel, permeable concrete paving or porous asphalt), you can carry on without planning permission.

However, if your drive will use more than 5 square meters of impermeable material (e.g., non-permeable block paving, tarmac), then you will need to seek planning permission.

Note there is a difference between a resin-bound gravel driveway (which is permeable) and a resin-bonded gravel one (which is not).

Block paved driveway

Also, if you are planning on forming a new dropped kerb to access your property, you will need to seek permission from your local council, as the pavement could require strengthening to protect any underground service pipes.

4. Outbuildings

Most outbuildings can be built under permitted development. However, there are some planning restrictions which mean some will need planning permission. Here are some examples where planning permission for an outbuilding will be required:

  1. If the outbuilding is to be located on land in front of the principal elevation of your dwelling.
  2. If the proposed building exceeds any of these limits: outbuildings or garages should be a single storey, with a maximum eaves height of 2.5m, and an overall height of 4m for a dual pitch roof. If the roof is constructed in another style, the height limit is 3m.
  3. If the proposed building is within 2m of the boundary, the height limit is 2.5m.
  4. If the outbuilding covers more than half of the land surrounding your property.
  5. If you’re in a conservation area.
  6. If yours is a listed building.

5. Changes to External Materials

If you wish to change the outer materials of your home, you will require planning permission if the materials are not of a similar appearance to those that already exist. For example:

  1. Changing from brickwork to render (or vice versa).
  2. Switching from a rendered building to a type of cladding (e.g. timber or aluminium).
  3. Changing the style of roof tiles (e.g. from slate to concrete interlocking tiles).
  4. Changing the style of window frames.

We would advise you to speak to your local council before changing materials, to check if planning permission is required.

However, if you live in a listed building then planning permission would be required. If you live within a conservation area the rules on materials are strict, so again planning permission would be required.

Timber cladding

6. If your permitted development rights have been removed

You can complete some small extensions under permitted development.

However, if your permitted development rights have been removed, then the most minor of extensions will require planning permission, no matter where it is in relation to the property.

To find out if your permitted development rights have been removed you would need to look through the deeds for your home. You can also look at previous planning approvals for the property.

7. Demolition of Buildings in a Conservation Area

If you plan on demolishing a building within a conservation area, then this is likely to need planning permission, particularly if:

  1. The building to be demolished has a volume of more than 115 cubic metres. There are occasional exceptions to this, please check with your local authority as the rules can vary from council to council.
  2. If you want to demolish a gate, fence or railing over 1m high that’s adjacent to a highway, footpath, bridleway or public open space.
  3. If you want to demolish any walls, fences, hedges or railings over 2m high elsewhere on your property.

8. Alterations to Listed Buildings

Changes to listed buildings will require either planning permission or listed building consent. This will be dependent on the extent of works that you wish to carry out, as alterations can range from the removal of internal walls to new extensions to the property.

Whether your works require planning permission will also depend on the listing of your building. There are three types of listed buildings: grade I, grade II and grade II*. The rules regarding alterations to grade I buildings are rigorous and become less restrictive as you go down the listings scale.

Grade II* listed building

9. Change of Use

It is generally the case that when you want to change the use of a building from one class use to another (such as from commercial use to residential), then consent will be required by the planning authority. The consent will ensure that the new use does not harm the building and surrounding area. The planning authority will then be able to decide each case on its merits.

There are instances where a change of use can be completed under permitted development rules, which would then mean planning permission is not required. The Planning Portal provides an idea as to what uses are acceptable without planning permission.

10. If the property has already benefited from a change of use to become a dwelling

If your house has been created through the permitted development right to change the use of a building to a dwelling (e.g. from a shop or an agricultural building), then your property will have no permitted development rights. This means any alterations or extensions you wish to carry out to the property will require planning permission.

We always advise that if you are in any doubt as to whether your project requires planning consent from the local authority, you should contact them and ask before proceeding with the work. 


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