Permitted Development Prior Approval

January 21st, 2016   

Permitted Development Prior ApprovalPermitted development rights have been relaxed to allow larger extensions without planning permission. Until 30 May 2019 this includes rear extensions up to 8m long. What does this mean for neighbours and other residents who want to object?

Permitted development rights

Permitted development rights apply under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2015. This conveys a national grant of planning permission for certain building works and changes of use without the need to submit a planning application.

Permitted development rights are grouped under different classes. For example, Part 1 of Schedule 2 deals with development within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse. Class A applies to the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwellinghouse. Class B deals with alterations and additions to the roof. Between them they cover the most common types of domestic extension.

Limitations and conditions

Permitted development rights are subject to a wide range of limitations and conditions. Domestic extensions must fall within certain size limits. Permitted development rights are more restricted in conservation areas. They can also be modified or removed in certain areas or by planning conditions.

Prior approval

Some forms of permitted development are subject to the condition that prior approval must first be obtained from the local planning authority. Until 30 May 2019 this applies to large rear extensions up to 8m long. These require prior approval of the impact on the amenity of any adjoining premises. The local planning authority must assess this if any neighbours object.

What can be taken into account?

Only the matters requiring prior approval. In our case that means the impact on amenity is the only issue. There is no point raising any other matters, such as highway safety. They cannot be taken into account and will simply be discounted.

Valid grounds for objection

While this might seem restrictive, amenity is a wide-ranging planning issue. Here are just some of the matters that might provide valid planning objections:

  • Overshadowing and loss of light
  • Privacy and overlooking
  • Dominance and overbearing impact
  • Visual intrusion and unsightly development
  • Noise and disturbance
  • Reflections and glare
  • Harm to trees
    • How to object

      As with a conventional planning application, the local planning authority must allow 21 days for neighbours and other interested parties to comment. However, in a prior approval case the authority must notify the applicant of its decision within 42 days. It is therefore essential to submit your planning objection letter within the time limit.

      As always, your planning objections will carry more weight if they address relevant material planning considerations. They should refer to the correct planning policies and should be supported by appropriate evidence and analysis.

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