The Town and Country Planning legislation provides for a significant range of development to be ‘permitted development’. This enables development, including some changes of use, to take place without the need to apply to the Council for planning permission. Various ‘permitted development’ (PD) rights apply to houses (though not flats), as well as to commercial properties shops and businesses.
Over the years the range of permitted development rights has expanded considerably and space does not permit a full explanation here. Furthermore some rights relating to changes of use are of a temporary nature.
For dwelling houses various matters are covered by the permitted development provisions but all are subject to restrictions or limitations eg on size and siting and materials used. These include domestic extensions and outbuildings, forming hard-standings, fencing and other enclosures (though planting trees and hedges does not need permission), roof alterations, solar panels, chimneys, flues and vent pipes.
If you are a householder who wants to extend or alter your house more advice can be found on the Planning Portal website. This link will give you general information, but please note:
- that in parts of Rother the provisions for permitted development may not apply if you live within the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), in one of the District’s Conservation Areas or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
- that permitted development rights do not apply to flats.
- that the requirements of the Building Regulations are likely to remain applicable in most cases, notwithstanding the planning permitted development rights. If in doubt, you are advised to check this with the Building Control Service.
- that Certificates of lawful use (Proposed Uses) are still likely to prove beneficial in determining whether permitted development rights are applicable. The legislation is complex, and detailed research can often reveal important background considerations. For example, permitted development rights might have been removed by an earlier decision of the Council.
- that failure to discharge obligations set out in the GPDO, such as starting works before submitting for "Prior Approval", or complying with any other conditions in the GPDO, may result in losing your permitted development rights.
- that further technical guidance in relation to permitted development can be found online.