Extensions are exciting! Imagining how you’ll decorate it, what it will look like from the outside, what it will be used for, how much of a burden will be lifted once you have some space to actually live in your own home!

So, let’s talk about the duller side of extensions in the form of planning permission.

We’ve talked about how beneficial permitted development is, but not all extensions are created equally and therefore not all will fall under permitted development.

We thought it would be helpful to run through what applying for planning permission might entail.

So, every type of extension whether it be one or two storeys, round the front, side or back, a porch or a conservatory, technically needs some form of planning permission. As mentioned though, many of these already have it thanks to permitted development. Permitted development criteria is updated on a regular basis so we would recommend double checking this with your local authority before moving forwards with any construction.

But what about if your plans do not fall under permitted development? This means you’ll need to submit a full planning application to your local authority. Each local council will have a number of policies in place to manage development in the area, this could also have an effect on their decision on whether to approve your extension of not.

If you’re in doubt about which policies apply to your project, it’s always worth contacting your local planning department. The exact wording in these documents varies greatly from council to council, although there are common planning considerations that apply to all extensions, so it’s never a bad idea to ask.

One thing to bear in mind is that listed buildings and protected areas usually have quite limiting policies when it comes to the scale of extension allowed. However, if a figure isn’t specific, it’s likely that the planning officers work on a case-by-case basis, so getting clarification is always beneficial.

There are a few more things that you will need to consider that we’ll look through now. Planning policies often require extensions to blend with the character of the existing house and not dominate or overwhelm it. It does seem that there is greater flexibility with rear additions compared to other types of extension. Saying this, most policies do typically point towards extensions blending in with the existing house in terms of design, materials and finishes, but contrasting styles – such as a contemporary extension on a traditional building can work well too, so don’t be put off this approach if you think it might work for your property.

Another thing to consider is how your plans are going to impact your neighbours. Will your structure result in a loss of light for them or invade privacy due to overlooking windows? It would be a good idea, not to mention a neighbourly one, to show and discuss your plans with them beforehand. This way you can seek support before you apply which may help your case. Do be aware though that the council have the right to override any support and still decide to reject if they see fit.

Make sure to also take into account how your work will affect the environment around you. If you’re looking to build close to trees for example, you’ll need to include a tree survey as part of your application. If your plans have an impact on any greenery that forms part of the street scene, this can be a particularly sensitive issue. Garden ponds nearby may also be home to some protected species such as the crested newt, if you’re planning to build nearby, you’ll need to have an ecological survey completed too. 

When you put in your application, it’s worth considering what you could do as permitted development and use this as part of the case in favour of your scheme.

We’ve only touched the surface of what to expect when looking to apply for planning permission for your extension, this is by no means an exhaustive article and we definitely recommend doing your research, especially as each local council can have their own policies.

Luckily, with our HAB’s they do fall under permitted development, so a lot of the above can be cut out making the process a lot simpler. With permitted development, the majority of the time we’re given the green light from the start (subject to listed buildings and conservation areas) so it makes for a much smoother journey. During your site visit, our team will survey the area and assess whether we feel planning permission is advisable, if this is the case it will be built into the cost of your HAB and we will handle a lot of the heavy lifting.

Exterior Example - Living Room Layout - Hab 2 Prefab Extensions
Hab 2 Interior Example - Living Room Prefab Extension

If you would like to find out more about our modular extensions then head on over to www.habattach.com for more information or drop us an email to hello@habattach.com.

We can install our prefab extensions anywhere the UK including London, Oakham, Manchester, Northampton, Leicester, Coventry, Cambridge, Bedford, Lincoln, Birmingham and more.