A question we are frequently asked by clients is whether they can build their side return extension under Permitted Development, rather than submitting a full Planning Application.

In 2013, for a period of three years until May 2016, legislation came into force which allowed for an increase in the size of single story rear and side extensions allowed under Permitted Development.

Currently, for a detached house, side and rear extensions can be up to 8 meters from the original rear wall, and 6 meters for an attached or terraced house.

However, these limits are subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. What this means is that once you have notified your local planning authority of your proposed extension, they will then serve notice on the adjoining owners providing them with details about your plans. The adjoining owners, your neighbours, then have 21 days in which to raise any objections regarding the project; and only “material considerations” are taken into account. The local planning authority must respond to you within 42 days confirming whether or not the plans can go ahead.

Following this, it is usually advised that you submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate as this acts as proof that your building work is lawful, this usually takes about 5 weeks.

Here at Build Team we a lot of experience with regards to planning issues and have noticed that 95% of our instructions don’t meet the criteria for Permitted Development. The reason for this is that extensions on Victorian homes in London tend to exceed the 8 meter and 6 meter limit allowed under Permitted Development.

However, we realise that this is not always the case and so this is something we discuss with clients as part of our Design Phase, to ensure we make the right decision to get their dream extension.