Home Blog The truth about Neighbours Consent when planning a home extension

The truth about Neighbours Consent when planning a home extension

Under Permitted Development Rights in England, a home owner cannot usually extend a property further from its original rear wall more than 4 metres on detached properties, and 3 metres on all other properties.

Recently, the Government announced that the temporary laws that allowed property owners to extend up to 8 metres on detached houses, or up to 6 metres on all other properties from the orifinal rear wall of the dwelling, are being made permanent. This extra flexibility does of course not extend to Listed Buildings, Conservation Areas, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty or where there are existing local or national planning rules that prevent any development without prior full planning permission (which is rarely granted).

However, although the neighbours consent scheme sounds great and is free to apply, it is not a walk in the park and not a given permission will be granted by your local council. In fact some councils have opted out of the scheme, refusing to take part, which is why it is always really better to obtain planning permission in writing for any planned extension before commencing works, as not only does this bring piece of mind, the document will increase the value of your home as you are enlarging it.

The Neighbours Consent Scheme still requires property owners to complete and submit a formal application form to their local council.  This application needs to be accompanied by scale drawings of the site and existing/new elevations. The maximum extension projection permitted from original back wall is up to 8 metres for detached houses and up to 6 metres all other properties.

There’s a 42 day determination period following council acknowledging receipt (this can take weeks, as councils not resourced to deal with these applications). If any ONE neighbours which adjoins the curtilage of the property (even if only for as little as a foot) objects, the council are likely to require you to submit a full planning application, which may of course not be granted. Even if Neighbours Consent is granted under neighbourhood all the usual planning rules and building regulations apply to the structure you are looking to have erected.

Neighbours Consent is a bit of a gamble if you are looking to say get an extension built quickly say in time for a new arrival and/or the summer holidays, as if there is a single objection or the council say no, you’ve lost 2 months, and have to start the planning process again from scratch and submit a full planning application, which after it has been accepted, takes a minimum of a further 8 weeks before you get a determination. Given under Permitted Development Rights (assuming you have sufficient intact) you can have an extension without the need for Neighbours Consent or Planning Permission up to 3 metres from a semi-detached house or terraced house, or an extension up to 4 metres from a detached house, it is often worth having what you can have rather than nothing.

It is far better to go down the planning route from the outset as this is a belt and braces process that adds value to your home and delivers iron clad security in terms of official planning permission to build what you’ve applied to erect. In addition, under planning you can potentially (with an approval) have larger projections than 3 or 4 metres, plus sometimes you may not need as much as 6 or 8 metres, as councils tend to be more minded to grant approvals on schemes that take into account their size and position in relation to the neighbouring properties. If you’d like a no obligation consultation from an experienced living spaces extension expert from independent double glazing suppliers and installers Hazlemere Window Company Ltd who have 35 years experience, contact them via info@hazlemere.co.uk

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