Don’t let the thought of seeking planning permission put you off getting that extra space you need to live. We have helped hundreds of homeowners create the house extension that they dream of. We can talk you through the procedures. And, with a little help, it’s actually not that hard.

The bottom line is:

However difficult planning permission and house extension regulations can seem, they are much easier to navigate than the trials and tribulations involved in moving house.

To help you understand the basics here’s a guide to house extension regulations.

(And we’ll start with some good news!)

Do I Need Planning Permission For An Extension?

An addition or extension to your house is usually classed as a permitted development. This means that it can be made without seeking planning permission.

There are different rules for flats and maisonettes, but a house extension does not require planning permission as long as:

  • It is not occupying more than half the area of land around the ‘original house’ (i.e. when it was built, or in 1948 for older properties)
  • It is not extending beyond the principal or side elevation onto a highway
  • It is not higher than the roof

If it’s a single storey extension:

  • It must not extend beyond the rear wall of the ‘original house’ by more than 3m (4m is allowed for a detached house)
  • It is not higher than 4m

If it’s an extension of more than one storey

  • It must not extend beyond the rear wall of the ‘original house’ by more than 3m
  • It can be no closer than 7m to the rear boundary

If it’s a side extension

  • It must be single storey with a maximum height of 4m and a width no more than half that of the ‘original house’
  • The materials used must be similar in appearance to the existing house
  • It does not include verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  • Any upper-floor, side-facing windows are obscure-glazed, and any opening is 1.7m above the floor

So, you may well not need planning permission. But, we can help you check. And, if you do need it, we can help you understand how to apply for it.

Find more information about what does and does not need planning permission at the Planning Portal’s house extension guide.

Planning Permission

Seeking planning permission is asking your local council if you can do a certain piece of building work. As we’ve seen certain types of work are covered by what’s called ‘permitted development’. This means that they can be carried out without planning permission.

You can always contact your local planning office to check if you need planning permission.

Here’s a useful link to the homeowner section of Brighton & Hove City Council’s planning application page.

Should you apply there are many issues that will be considered by the council. These may include:

  • The extension’s size, layout, siting and external appearance
  • The effect of the extension on any neighbouring properties
  • The proposed use of the extension

Conservation Areas And Listed Buildings

If you live in a conservation area or a listed building there may be different house extension regulations that affect you, or you may need to apply for further permission.

A conservation area is an area of special architectural or historic interest. Here there are tighter rules regarding what you can do to alter the character or appearance of your home.

A listed building is an individual building that is considered of special architectural or historic interest. You will need formal ‘listed building consent’ from the council for any extension work you plan to undertake.

You can find out more about conservation areas and listed buildings in Brighton & Hove on the City Council’s website.

Don’t Let Your Fear Of Red Tape Hold You Back

The property experts at Nationwide say the average home gains £42,000 from an extension. And, as we said at the start, it’s a lot easier to get planning permission than it is to move.

The best news is that you may not even need it.

But we’ll be there to help if you do.

Have a chat with us on 01273 539124 about creating that dream kitchen, extra bathroom or playroom for your home.

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