Permitted Development Rights & Certificate of Lawful Development

Legal Aspects of Property Development

This article is for guidance purposes only always check with your local council.

Most houses come with permitted development rights.

This right has been derived in law by parliament, not your local council.

It allows you to make certain changes to your property without the need to obtain formal planning permission.

It does not apply to the following.

Follow the advice in this article to get this stamp

Follow the advice in this article to get this stamp


Flats, Masonite’s and some other buildings.

Permitted development may be restricted If you live in an area that has been designated a conservation area, or an area of outstanding beauty.

If you live in a conservation area you may be restricted from permitted development

If you live in a conservation area you may be restricted from permitted development

Different rules apply to listed buildings (buildings that are deemed by the local council to be of national importance) If you are unlucky enough to own one of these it’s quite possible you will need permission to use the toilet)

Local councils also have the ability to restrict or remove some or all of your permitted development rights by issuing an article 4 direction. This is most common in conservation areas.

Assuming you have sailed over all the pre-mentioned hurdles

Drawings of your plan need to be sent to the council

Drawings will need to be sent to the council for approval

What are you entitled to do

Take a look at this planning portal link it’s very easy to use and will save me a huge amount of writing.

If you can’t be bothered to look.      Briefly-

Small extensions, loft conversions, solar panels, windows & doors, Garages, paving, decking & conservatories. With regard to extensions- they are dependent on size & location of boundaries etc.

IE: if you have a house that has a footprint area of 100m2 and you want to build an extension of the same size, you will not have permitted rights to do this, and will need full planning permission. Recently the government announced changes to how far you could build an extension at the rear that’s attached from your existing house from 4m to 8m.

It’s important to obtain a certificate of lawful development for your project.

This certificate authenticates your project as a lawful development under your permitted rights. You will need to provide this proof when you come to sell your house. Solicitors are very sceptical of extensions and alterations that are not supported by approved documents.

To obtain a certificate of lawful development. You are required to submit drawings to the council for approval and pay a nominal fee of approx. £80.00 c 2013. This can all be done online via the government’s planning portal.

Remember this is for planning- in most cases you will also need Building control approval. See links at the bottom of the page.



Image credit: owenwbrown and USDAgov