Planning regulations for buildings
Posted by Mark Turner on 12 March 2014 03:09 PM
Department for Communities and Local
Permitted development for householders
Department for Communities and Local Government
This technical guidance was commissioned and written under the last
Government, and updated in October 2013.
Class A 9
Class B 33
Class C 38
Class D 40
Class E 41
Other Classes under Part 1 47
Interpretation of Part 1 50
Permitted development rights allow householders to improve and extend their homes without the need to seek a specific planning permission where that would be out of proportion with the impact of works carried out. It is important that homeowners understand how they can exercise their rights to carry out development while protecting the interests their neighbours and the wider environment. The Department for Communities and Local Government has produced this technical
guidance to help them. It is designed to be used by anyone who wants to understand more about the detailed rules on permitted development and the terms used in those rules. However, anyone who has no previous knowledge of permitted development issues will find it useful to look at the basic information on the Planning Portal first at:
The guidance set out below was updated in January 2013 to clarify the position on solid wall insulation (see page 13), and in October 2013 to reflect the time-limited changes to the size limits for rear extensions and the introduction of a neighbour consultation scheme for those larger extensions, both of which came into force in May 2013 (see page 17). It gives an explanation of the rules on permitted development for householders, what these mean and how they should be applied in
particular sets of circumstances. Diagrams have been included for illustrative purposes only and these are not drawn to scale. Given the very substantial variations in the design of individual houses, this guide cannot cover all possible situations that may arise. Where there is any doubt as to whether a development would be permitted development, advice should be sought from the local planning authority. To be certain that a proposed development is lawful and does not require
an application for planning permission, it is possible to apply for a "Lawful Development Certificate” from the local authority. Further information on this can be found on the Planning Portal at:
Householder permitted development rights are set out in Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (“the 1995 Order”) and amended by the by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (No.2) (England) Order 20081
and the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 20132.
Part 1 of Schedule 2 to the 1995 Order (as amended in 2008 and 2013) sets out the permitted
development rules concerning what extensions, improvements and alterations a householder may make to their house and the area around it without the need for an application for planning permission.
1 This can be viewed at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2008/2362/contents/made
2 This can be viewed at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/1101/contents/made
The 2008 and 2013 rules on household permitted development amend rules in the 1995 Order3. However, some of the terms used in the amending rules remain as defined in the 1995 Order.
“dwellinghouse” - does not include buildings containing one or more flats or a single flat contained within a building. Note, however, that for the purposes of this guidance, the word “house” is used rather than “dwellinghouse” unless the legislation is quoted directly.
“Building” - includes any part of a building and includes any structure or erection, but does not include mechanical plant or machinery or gates, fences, walls, or other means of enclosure.
“Original” - means a building as it existed on 1 July 1948 where it was built before that date, and as it was built when built after that date.
“Existing” - means a building as it existed immediately before any permitted development (eg a house extension) is undertaken. The existing house will include previous development to the house, whether undertaken as permitted development or as development resulting from a planning permission from the local authority.
“Height” - references to height (for example, the heights of the eaves on a house extension) is the height measured from ground level4. Ground level is the surface of the ground immediately adjacent to the building in question. Where ground level is not uniform (eg if the ground is sloping), then the ground level is the highest part of the surface of the ground next to the building.
“Article 1(5) land” - this is land within a National Park, the Broads, an area of outstanding natural beauty, an area designated as a conservation area, and land within World Heritage Sites.
The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995. This can be
viewed in an unamended form at: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1995/418/contents/made 4
This will be the level of the natural ground and would not include any addition laid on top of
the natural ground such as a patio.
The structure of the rules on permitted development
The rules on permitted development are sub-divided into a series of “Parts”. Part 1 specifically deals with development within the curtilage of a house (this is usually the area of land within which the house sits, but for some houses, may be a smaller area). Part 1 is then sub-divided into Classes covering various types of development:
Class A covers the enlargement, improvement or alterations to a house such as rear or side extensions as well as general alterations such as new windows and doors, and from 30 May 2013 to 30 May 2016 a neighbour consultation scheme for larger rear extensions.
Class B covers additions or alterations to roofs which enlarge the house such as loft conversions involving dormer windows.
Class C covers other alterations to roofs such as re-roofing or the installation of roof lights.
Class D covers the erection of a porch outside an external door.
Class E covers the provision of buildings and other development on land surrounding the house (the “curtilage”).
Class F covers the provision of hard surfaces on land surrounding the house such as driveways.
Class G covers the installation, alteration, or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe.
Class H covers the installation, alteration, or replacement of microwave antenna such as satellite dishes.
There are also other Parts of the rules that may be relevant to householders. For example Part 2 covers matters such as erection or construction of gates, fences and walls. Part 40 covers the installation of domestic microgeneration equipment (such as solar panels).
When considering whether a development proposal is permitted development, all of the relevant Parts of the rules and all the Classes within those Parts need to be taken into account. So whilst Part 1 Class A prevents the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe from being permitted development, Class G includes such development as permitted development subject to the rules set out under that Class.
Similarly, changes to the roof of a house are not permitted development under Class A, but may be permitted development under Class B or C. For example, where a proposed two storey extension at the rear of a house has a roof that joins onto the main roof of the original house, the works will need to meet the requirements of both Class A (which covers the enlargement of the house) and Class C (which covers any alterations to the roof) in order to be permitted development. If the works also
include the creation of a dormer window to enlarge the roof space, either in the extension or the original roof space, then they would also need to meet the requirements of Class B.
In order to be permitted development, a proposal must meet all the limitations and conditions under the Classes relevant to the proposal.
It is therefore essential that any proposed household development is considered in the context of the permitted development rules as a whole in order to determine whether it benefits from permitted development rights and therefore does not require an application for planning permission.
Further restrictions on permitted development
A local planning authority may have removed some permitted development rights by issuing what is known as an Article 4 Direction or may have removed those rights on the original, or any subsequent, planning permission for the house. This will mean a planning application will be needed for development which normally does not need one. Before undertaking any development, checks should be undertaken with the local planning authority to determine whether any restrictions on permitted development have been made.
The remainder of this guidance provides further explanation about the detailed rules covering what improvements can be made to a house and its surroundings as permitted development. In articular, it provides more details on the limits (eg on size) and the conditions that will need to be complied with if development is to take place without the need for an application for planning permission. The guidance covers in detail Classes A-E of the rules which cover common development projects such as extensions, loft conversions, alterations to a roof, porches, and buildings on land surrounding the house. The rules for Classes F-H are included in this document; detailed guidance on them is not included, although cross-references are included to other guidance published by CLG.
This provides permitted development rights for the erection of a porch outside any external door of a dwellinghouse.
Development is not permitted by Class D if -
(a) the ground area (measured externally) of the structure would exceed 3
(b) any part of the structure would be more than 3 metres above ground
(c) any part of the structure would be within 2 metres of any boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse with a highway
These rules are illustrated on the Planning Portal:
This provides permitted development rights within the area surrounding a house (‘the curtilage’) for:
(a) any building or enclosure, swimming or other pool required for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such, or the maintenance, improvement or other alteration of such a building or enclosure or
(b) a container used for domestic heating purposes for the storage of oil or liquid petroleum gas
Class E sets out the rules on permitted development for buildings etc within the area of land surrounding a house (guidance under Class A above (A.1 (a)) describes what will be the “curtilage”). Buildings should not be attached to the house and should be built for purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the house. Paragraph E.4 of Class E indicates that purposes incidental to the enjoyment of the house includes the keeping of poultry, bees, pet animals, birds or other livestock for the domestic needs or personal enjoyment of the occupants of the house.
But the rules also allow, subject to the conditions and limitations below, a large range of other buildings on land surrounding a house. Examples could include common buildings such as garden sheds, other storage buildings, garages, and garden decking as long as they can be properly be described as having a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the house. A purpose incidental to a dwelling house would not, however, cover normal residential uses, such as separate self-contained
accommodation nor the use of an outbuilding for primary living accommodation such as a bedroom, bathroom, or kitchen.
Under Class E, the following limits and conditions apply:
E.1 Development is not permitted by Class E if -
(a) the total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures and containers within the curtilage (other than the original dwellinghouse) would exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage (excluding the ground area of the original dwellinghouse)
The total area of ground around the house covered by buildings, enclosures and containers must not exceed 50% of the total area of land around the original house. The 50% figure must also take account of any extensions to the original house under Class A of the permitted development rules or any extension to the original house that has been granted planning permission. The 50% limit excludes the area covered by the house as originally built but does include any separate detached
buildings built prior to 1948 (e.g. a detached garage).
b) any part of the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation of the original dwellinghouse
The guidance on Class A permitted developments - section (d) - describes what will be the principal elevation of a house.
‘Forward of a wall forming the principal elevation’ means that development is not permitted under Class E in any area in front of the principal elevation of a house. It also prevents permitted development anywhere in front of a hypothetical line drawn through the principal elevation to the side boundary of the land surrounding the house.
(c) the building would have more than one storey
Any buildings within the curtilage can only have one storey. Buildings with more than storey are not permitted development and will require an application for planning permission.
d) the height of the building, enclosure or container would exceed -
(i) 4 metres in the case of a building with a dual-pitched roof,
(ii) 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within 2 metres of the boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse, or
(iii) 3 metres in any other case
The height of the building, enclosure or container should be measured from the ground level immediately adjacent to the building, enclosure, or container to its highest point.
The height limit on a “dual-pitched roof” of four metres should also be applied to buildings that have “hipped” roofs (slopes on all four sides)
If any part of the building, container or enclosure is within two metres of the boundary of the area around then house, then the height limit for the whole development is restricted to 2.5 metres if it is to be permitted development.
(e) the height of the eaves of the building would exceed 2.5 metres
The eaves of a building will be the point where the lowest point of a roof slope, or a flat roof, meets the outside wall of the building. The Guidance on Class A above includes examples and further guidance.
Under Class E the maximum height of the eaves on any part of the building (irrespective of total height) is 2.5 metres. For example, on a building with a single-pitched roof, the 2.5 metre eaves limit and three metres maximum height limit would be as shown below.
f) the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated within the curtilage of a listed building
An application for planning permission will be required for any building, enclosure, pool or container that would be situated on land surrounding a listed building.
(g) it would include the construction or provision of a veranda, balcony or raised platform
Verandas, balconies and raised platforms are not permitted development under Class E.
A raised platform is defined as any platform that has a height of more than 300 millimetres. Garden decking will therefore be permitted development under Class E subject to it not exceeding this 300mm height limit and subject to the other limits and conditions under this Class.
h) it relates to a dwelling or a microwave antenna
Class E covers buildings that are for a purpose incidental to a dwelling. Class E does not provide permitted development rights for works related to a house (eg extensions to a house) which are covered by other Classes of the rules on permitted development. Permitted development rights for microwave antenna are covered under Class H of the rules.
(i) the capacity of the container would exceed 3,500 litres.
A container with a capacity greater than 3,500 litres will not be permitted development and will require an application for planning permission.
E.2 In the case of any land within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse which is within -
(a) a World Heritage Site,
(b) a National Park, ,
(c) an area of outstanding natural beauty or
(d) the Broads,
development is not permitted by Class E if the total area of ground covered by buildings, enclosures, pools and containers situated more than 20 metres from any wall of the dwellinghouse would exceed 10 square metres
The effect of this limitation is to restrict the amount of permitted development for buildings, enclosures, pools and containers located more than 20 metres away from any wall of the house. The total area of ground which may be covered by buildings etc more than 20 metres from any wall of a house is 10 square metres.
E.3 In the case of any land within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse which is article 1(5) land, development is not permitted by Class E if any part of the building, enclosure, pool or container would be situated on land between a wall forming a side elevation of the dwellinghouse and the
boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse
This additional restriction applies for land surrounding a house in National Parks, the Broads, areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas, and within World Heritage Sites. In these areas, buildings, enclosures, pools or containers sited on land between a side wall and the boundary of the land surrounding the house are not permitted development:
Interpretation of Class E
E.4 For the purposes of Class E, “purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such” includes the keeping of poultry, bees, pet animals, birds or other livestock for the domestic needs or personal enjoyment of the occupants of the dwellinghouse
Other Classes Under Part 1
This provides permitted development rights within the area of land surrounding the house (“the curtilage”) for -
(a) the provision of a hard surface for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such or
(b) the replacement in whole or in part of such a surface
F.1 Development is permitted by Class F subject to the condition that where -
(a) the hard surface would be situated on land between a wall forming the principal elevation of the dwellinghouse and a highway, and
(b) the area of ground covered by the hard surface, or the area of hard surface replaced, would exceed 5 square metres,
either the hard surface shall be made of porous materials, or provision shall be made to direct run-off water from the hard surface to a permeable or porous area or surface within the curtilage of the dwellinghouse
Communities and Local Government have produced separate guidance on permeable paving. This can be found at:
This provides permitted development rights for the installation, alteration or replacement of a chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe on a dwellinghouse.
G.1 Development is not permitted by Class G if -
(a) the height of the chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe would exceed the highest part of the roof by 1 metre or more or
(b) in the case of a dwellinghouse on article 1(5) land, the chimney, flue or soil and vent pipe would be installed on a wall or roof slope which-
(i) fronts a highway, and
(ii) forms either the principal elevation or a side elevation of the dwellinghouse.
The guidance on the rules under Class A provides advice on the terms “highest part of the roof”, “fronts a highway” and “principal” and “side elevations.
This provides permitted development rights for the installation, alteration or replacement of a microwave antenna, such as a satellite dish, on a dwellinghouse or within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse.
H.1 Development is not permitted by Class H if -
(a) it would result in the presence on the dwellinghouse or within its curtilage of-
(i) more than two antennas;
(ii) a single antenna exceeding 100 centimetres in length;
(iii) two antennas which do not meet the relevant size criteria;
(iv) an antenna installed on a chimney, where the length of the antenna would exceed 60 centimetres;
(v) an antenna installed on a chimney, where the antenna would protrude above the chimney; or
(vi) an antenna with a cubic capacity in excess of 35 litres
(b) in the case of an antenna to be installed on a roof without a chimney, the highest part of the antenna would be higher than the highest part of the
(c) in the case of an antenna to be installed on a roof with a chimney, the highest part of the antenna would be higher than the highest part of the chimney, or 60 centimetres measured from the highest part of the ridge tiles of the roof, whichever is the lower or
(d) in the case of article 1(5) land, it would consist of the installation of an antenna -
(i) on a chimney, wall or roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a highway;
(ii) in the Broads, on a chimney, wall or roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from, a waterway; or
(iii) on a building which exceeds 15 metres in height
H.2 Development is permitted by Class H subject to the following conditions -
(a) an antenna installed on a building shall, so far as practicable, be sited so as to minimise its effect on the external appearance of the building and
(b) an antenna no longer needed for reception or transmission purposes shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.
Interpretation of Class H
H.3 The relevant size criteria for the purposes of paragraph H.1(a)(iii) are that -
(a) only one of the antennas may exceed 60 centimetres in length and
(b) any antenna which exceeds 60 centimetres in length must not exceed 100 centimetres in length.
H.4 The length of the antenna is to be measured in any linear direction, and shall exclude any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting or brackets.
Interpretation of Part 1
For the purposes of Part 1:
‘raised’ in relation to a platform means a platform with a height greater than 300 millimetres; and
‘terrace house’ means a dwellinghouse situated in a row of three or more dwellinghouses used or designed for use as single dwellings, where -
(a) it shares a party wall with, or has a main wall adjoining the main wall of, the dwellinghouse on either side or
(b) if it is at the end of a row, it shares a party wall with or has a main wall adjoining the main wall of a dwellinghouse which fulfils the requirements of sub-paragraph (a).