Home Improvements You Can Make Without Planning Permission

If you want to remodel, improve, extend or otherwise change your property, you may assume that you’ll always have to go through a lengthy planning permission application. However, Permitted Development rights mean that you can make many home improvements without planning permission. There are plenty of home improvement projects that fall under Permitted Development rights, making your life a lot easier. Here are some of the things you can do without planning permission.

Single storey extensions, including conservatories

You don’t need planning permission for various single storey extensions and conservatories, provided the extension or conservatory keeps within the following rules:

·         The materials are similar

·         The extension doesn’t sit forward of the principal elevation

·         If the extension is within 2 metres of a boundary, the eaves cannot be higher than 3 metres, and it can’t be higher than 4 metres in height otherwise

·         Rear extensions cannot be more than 4 metres in depth for a detached property or 3 metres for a semi-detached or terraced properties

·         The width of side extensions cannot be greater than half the width of the original building, and side extensions are not allowed in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or conservation areas.

Using attached buildings

Provided you’re not increasing the overall footprint of the building, you can alter the internal space within an existing part of your property, such as your garage.


Whilst many developments forward of the principal elevation require planning permission, you can build a porch in front of your property as long as the following rules are observed.

·         The entire porch must be under 3 square metres

·         The ground area, which needs to be measured externally, must not exceed 3 square metres

·         The porch must not be within 2 metres of any boundary adjacent to a highway

Converting two dwellings into one

Whilst you need planning permission to split one dwelling into two, you can convert two dwellings into one. Whether it’s a pair of semi-detached houses or two apartments, you can usually complete this under Property Development rights. This is an option that vastly increased your available space, whilst allowing you to remain in a location you love.

New access

When creating new vehicular access onto an unclassified road, you do not need planning permission. If the road is classified, however, you will need planning permission. If you’re looking to create new access to a classified road, you will need to gain sufficient levels of visibility when leaving the site, as well as having enough space to allow you to both enter and exit in a forward gear.

Solar panels

Solar panels can be added to the roof of your property without the need for planning permission, provided that they don’t protrude more than 200mm beyond the plane of the roof, and the highest part of the panel is not higher than the highest part of the roof (this excludes the chimney). If you live in a listed building or conservation area, there are limitations to this. You can also develop free-standing panels, but these will be limited by size and proximity to the boundary of your property.


Please note that the above advice is general advice only and the limitations/requirements stated are by no means exhaustive.  There are many parameters which define whether construction work is classified as permitted development and you should always seek professional advice to confirm that your project falls under these rights before commencement of works.  There may be instances where a project falls within the criteria listed above and still requires planning approval.  Please feel free to contact us if you would like to discuss your project in more detail.