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Permitted Development Rights: Nu's Guide

Before starting an extension or renovation project in London, the first obstacle many homeowners bump into is Planning Permission.

Obtaining Planning permission seems like a challenging task; however, it isn't always required. This is where Permitted Development Rights come into the picture; it acts as a 'middle ground" between no permission rights and the need for full planning permission.

But what are exactly Permitted Development Rights, and what does it mean for London homeowners?

Permitted Development Rights

Permitted Development Rights give the green light to home improvement or extension projects without the need to apply for planning permission. Most residential properties fall under Permitted Development Rights, but flats or maisonettes fall out of these rights.

In most cases, Permitted Development Rights will grant automatic planning permission for the following alterations:

- Small extensions that fit within certain dimensions

- Single storey extensions that don't breach a certain height requirement (between 4m up to 8m [for a detached house] or between 3m and up to 6m on any other house)

- Minor demolition projects

- Loft conversions

- Garage conversions

- The building of a porch less than 3m²

- Internal alterations

- The installation of solar panels

- The installation of satellite dishes

- The installation of roof lights or dormer windows (when not facing a highway)

- The laying of a new drive made from porous materials or non-porous materials with sufficient drainage.

Note: You should always liaise and get confirmation from your local planning authority!

Permitted Development Rights: Not granted

If your project contains a larger extension or major renovation, full Planning Permission will be needed.

In some London locations, buildings are covered by an Article 4 restriction that controls works that could threaten the character of an area, e.g. conservation area. For these listings, full Planning Permission would be required.

Balconies, verandas and platforms over 30cm also require Planning Permission.

Permitted Development Rights over Planning Permission: Why is it beneficial

The simple answer: time. Extension and renovation projects covered by Permitted Development Rights can be started earlier as you don't have to wait for Planning Permission to be accepted.

You also save on application fees!

How can you find out if your project qualifies for Permitted Development Rights?

Local planning authorities can answer all your questions and give further advice and direction for your project.

If Permitted Development Rights apply, you do not need to submit anything to local authorities. Note: For this, you need to be 100% sure that you don't need a Planning Application.


  1. Permitted Development Rights are an automatic right to the extension and renovation of some properties that allow for works to be carried out without any planning application having to be made.

  2. Most residential properties do, flats or maisonettes don’t fall under Permitted Development Rights

  3. Your project has to meet certain criteria to fall under Permitted Development Rights

  4. Local authorities can inform you about your rights

  5. Projects under Permitted Development Rights can save you time and money


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