Table of Contents

Do I need planning permission for this? That’s the question on the lips of many home improvers. We’ve listed 20 projects you can take on without needing approval from the planners.

Loft conversions

Loft conversions are great opportunities to create additional space and may not require planning permission. Permitted Development allows for the construction of dormer windows, which can provide additional headroom within a converted attic. However, they must not sit higher than the highest part of your existing roof, or extend forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation.


The introduction of roof lights can be accomplished without permission until they are more than 15cm from the slope of the roof. If the roof lights in the plane are positioned at an altitude in front of the highway, then they are not allowed. Also, they are not allowed in an apartment located in a protected area or an area of outstanding natural beauty.

Add a single-storey extension

If you dream of a beautiful glazed extension linking your kitchen to your garden, you will be glad to know that single-storey rear and side extensions are both permitted under PD.
For side extensions, you can extend up to a maximum of half the width of the original building and no more than four metres high.

Moving windows and doors

Unless your house is listed, you should be able to swap out and even move your windows and doors. As long as the structural integrity of the home is maintained and you won’t be looking directly into a neighbour’s property, you should be good to go.

Remodel the interiors

Reconfiguring rooms is a quick and easy way to update a space, and you won’t need permission for internal changes such as moving walls, adjusting floor heights, rejigging a kitchen or creating a new bathroom.

This only applies to a completed and occupied house, however; not to a new-build or conversion under construction, where the approved plans must be followed.

Wind turbines and solar panels

Temporary wind turbines do not require planning permission but permanent ones often do. If you are unsure, contact your local authority. Solar panels do not require planning permission unless you live in a listed property.

Adding a shed or outbuilding

There may be an opportunity to build multiple outbuildings under PD, as long as the total area covered by such buildings/enclosures does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.

Garage conversion

Permitted development allows you to alter the internal space within an existing part of your property as long as you are not increasing the overall footprint. This means that it’s possible to convert a garage without applying for planning permission.

Paving over the front garden

As long as the material you are using is porous, there is no need for planning permission whatever the size of the new hardstanding. However, if the material is impermeable, anything over 5 square metres requires planning permission.

Commercial Properties Conversion

Renovating a commercial, agricultural or industrial building can be done without planning permission. You can convert any of this kind of buildings to residential ones if you have approval for Listed Buildings. Also, you are required to complete the Prior Notification process if it is an agricultural property.

Gates, Walls and Fences

It’s worth knowing that Permitted Development facilitates the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration to a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure.


Expert advice during planning helps predict costs more accurately. Although experts cannot completely mitigate the risks of unknown costs, they ensure that correct investigations are done as early as possible to try and minimise additional costs.