People’s buying habits have changed a lot since March 2020, with much more of an emphasis being placed on extra rooms and outdoor space than the length of the commute.

But what if you find your perfect property in an ideal area, but could either do with a bit extra space now or growing room for the future?

The words ‘planning permission’ often strike fear into the hearts of those looking to buy a property, but there are another two words to quell that fear and which make the prospect of making changes much less daunting. We present to you, ‘permitted development’.

What is permitted development?

When it comes to making changes to your home, there are certain things you can do without the requirement of getting planning permission and these are called permitted development rights.

These allowed changes include:

  • Small extensions
  • Single and double storey extensions
  • Loft, garage or basement conversions
  • Porches less than 3m x 3m

Wait just a second before you snap your goggles into place and pick up your sledge hammer, though. There are some exceptions.

Balconies, verandas, or any platforms higher than 30cm aren’t covered by this, and there are certain areas of the country where there are stricter permitted development rules.

Some areas may also be subject to Article 4 directions, put in place by the local authority which means certain things may not be permitted. With different rules applying to different areas, it’s always good to check with your local authority as to whether the changes you’re considering would be covered by permitted development, but it’s a great thing to bear in mind when viewing properties that making that little bit of extra space might not be as difficult as you think!

If you’ve seen a property and you’re thinking of making changes, the government also have a fantastic resource in their planning portal website which you can visit here