If you’re extending your property, you need to get all the necessary permission and regulatory approval. If you don’t, the council could order you to tear your extension down, with you footing the bill.
Most people know they have to apply for planning permission before building an extension, to make sure the work matches the existing building, and won’t harm the look and character of the local area.
You also have to comply with building regulation standards, to ensure your home is built to a decent standard, and is safe, energy efficient, properly soundproofed and physically accessible.
If you don’t secure all the necessary approval before you start pouring concrete or knocking down walls, all your spending could be money down the drain.
What permission do I need? - Whether you need planning permission depends on what you are going to do. As a general rule, if the work will change the external character of your property, you need to get approval from your local council. Some smaller extensions may not need planning permission, but check with your council first. You may not need planning permission for a loft conversion, for example, but you will if you plan to extend your roof or install new windows, if the conversion will constitute a change of use (say, you plan to use it as an office), or if you live in a conservation area. You typically won’t need planning permission for a conservatory, unless you are extending a listed building, or again, live in a conservation area. But you may need permission if it has more than 30m² floor space, no connecting doors to your home, or is a kitchen/conservatory extension. The rules are fiddly, as you can see, so do your research carefully. If you are hiring an architect, they should explain what approval you need. Otherwise visit your local council’s website to bone up on local planning regulations.