Think You Don’t Need Planning Permission for That Small Extension? Think Again!

Home renovations and extensions can be thrilling prospects. They promise the allure of expanded space, improved functionality, or increased property value. However, before you pick up that sledgehammer or approve those architectural designs, it’s crucial to understand the ins and outs of planning permission. Many homeowners dive headfirst into their renovation projects, only to stumble upon legal roadblocks because they believed in certain myths.

Today, we’re busting 5 of the most common myths surrounding planning permission:

  1. “It’s just a small change; I don’t need permission.”

Contrary to popular belief, the size of the extension or alteration doesn’t always dictate the need for planning permission. While there are some permitted development rights, it’s essential to check the specific regulations in your area. Sometimes, even minor changes to the exterior or the usage of the property require permission.

  1. “My neighbour did something similar without permission.”

Remember, each property might have different historical permissions or constraints. Just because a neighbour could execute a change without planning permission doesn’t mean the same rules apply to your property. It’s always safer to check rather than assume.

  1. “I’ll get it retrospectively if there’s an issue.”

While it’s possible to apply for retrospective planning permission, there’s no guarantee it’ll be granted. If denied, you might be forced to undo the changes made, which can be both costly and time-consuming.

  1. “I only need to inform the local authority, not get their permission.”

Simply informing the local authority of your plans doesn’t absolve you from getting the necessary permissions. It’s a structured process and skipping steps can land you in legal hot water.

  1. “It’s inside my house; it doesn’t affect planning.”

Internal alterations might seem harmless, but in certain circumstances, especially in listed buildings or conservation areas, you might need permission for interior changes too. Always check to ensure you’re not inadvertently breaching regulations.

Navigating the maze of planning permission can be challenging, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Before initiating any home improvement or extension project, conduct thorough research, consult with professionals, and ensure you’re not falling for these or other myths. A well-informed approach can save you time, money, and potential legal woes in the long run.

We have lots of free advice and practical guides on our website – see some of our suggested articles below. If you feel you need a little extra advice and support, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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