Renovation Without Planning Permission – 5 Projects You Can Undertake


By Ema Globyte on Dec 15 2017

Whether you’re looking to improve your existing home or perfect a future one, finding out if you’re good to go without planning permission, or if you’ll need consent from your local authority, should be your first step.

Determining whether you need a permit isn’t a simplest task, and many homeowners find it frustrating. Planning regulation is complex, and can easily confuse even the savviest individual.

Yet, if you begin to work on that dream extension without planning permission when you’re required to get one, the local authority could issue an enforcement notice to undo all the work you’ve done. And that would be terrible news.

What types of projects NEED planning permission?

In general, if you’re looking to build a new home, make a major change in your building, or change the use of your building, you will probably need to apply for planning permission from your local planning authority. It’s no surprise that it will cost you both time and money.

What types of projects can be done WITHOUT planning permission?

The good news is that you can do many home remodelling, renovation or extension projects without planning permission, under Permitted Development Rights.

We have compiled a list of 5 home improvement projects that can be done without planning permission. However, for your peace of mind, drop your local permitting office a call before you get to work.

A full list of caveats for each of the following projects can be found on the Planning Portal.

Single-storey extensions

If you’re looking for ways to create additional space in your home, building an extension is the perfect solution. You can build storey-height additions to the sides and back of your house without planning permission. However, they must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4 metres for a detached house, and 3 metres for an attached house. The extension must also not sit forward of the principal elevation, or else you’ll probably need a permit.

Rear Extension London property

Multi-storey extensions

You can also build two-storey extensions without planning permission, but only if they are at the back of your house. General limitations are that they must not extend by more than 3 metres, and should be located under 7 metres from the rear boundary. The extension also can’t project beyond, or be added to what is deemed to be the front of the house. Bear in mind that if the side extension is within 2 metres of the flank boundary, then the eaves can’t be more than 3 metres high.

Loft conversions

A converted loft isn’t only a stylish addition to the house – it’s also a great way to raise the value of your property by up to 20% without planning permission! Permitted Development allows for construction of dormer windows, if they don’t sit higher than the highest part of your existing roof, or extend forward of the roof pane on the principal elevation. So how about an airy, light room at the top of your house, at a lower cost than building a brand-new extension?

Loft Conversion London Property

Garage conversions

Generally, internal work to buildings that doesn’t affect a building’s external appearance can be done without planning permission. With that in mind, why not convert your garage into a unique living space? That could be a smart way to gain extra room in your property, particularly if you aren’t using your garage to its fullest potential. As always, planning regulations should be checked carefully.


Building a basement can be another option for gaining more space in your home, particularly if you don’t have opportunities to develop extensions above ground. Currently, adding an underground living space falls into the extension category, but in some urban areas, councils are removing these rights, so double check before you begin working on it.

Would you like to improve your home, but not sure where to begin?
Contact us and we will be happy to advise – no strings attached.