Permitted Developments

Permitted Development Rights - Quick Startup Guide

Permitted Development Rights (PDRs) are a set of regulations in the UK that allow certain types of building work and changes of use to be carried out without needing to apply for full planning permission. These rights are especially beneficial for homeowners and developers looking to streamline their projects. Here’s a quick guide to understanding PDRs in 2023.

What Are PDRs?

  • Permitted Development Rights are established by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015 and its subsequent amendments.
  • They allow for specific types of development without the need for a full planning application.
  • These rights can cover extensions, alterations, and changes of use for certain buildings.

A summary of a few key areas of Permitted Development

Residential Extensions:

  • Single-Storey Extensions: Up to 8 meters for detached houses and 6 meters for all other houses (subject to neighbor consultation).
  • Double-Storey Extensions: Up to 3 meters but not within 7 meters of the rear boundary.
  • Roof Extensions: Loft conversions that do not exceed the height of the existing roof and add no more than 50 cubic meters of space for detached houses and 40 cubic meters for terraced houses.


  • Sheds, Garages, and Other Outbuildings: Permitted if they do not cover more than 50% of the garden and are not higher than 4 meters (with a dual-pitched roof) or 2.5 meters (if within 2 meters of the boundary).

Changes of Use:

  • Class E (Commercial to Residential): Allows for the change of use from commercial buildings to residential use, subject to prior approval covering aspects such as flooding, transport, contamination, and space standards.
  • Agricultural to Residential: Converting agricultural buildings to up to 5 dwellings (maximum 465 square meters).

Conditions and Limitations

Article 4 Directions:

  • Local planning authorities can remove PDRs in specific areas, requiring planning permission for developments that would otherwise be permitted.
  • Common in conservation areas, areas of outstanding natural beauty, and certain urban areas.

Prior Approval:

  • Some developments under PDRs require prior approval from the local authority. This process assesses specific impacts such as transport, contamination risks, noise, and flooding.

Designated Areas:

  • PDRs are more restricted in National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas, and World Heritage Sites.
  • Special rules apply to listed buildings and scheduled monuments.

By understanding and leveraging Permitted Development Rights, homeowners and developers can save time and resources in achieving their building goals while complying with regulations. Always ensure to check the latest updates and consult with MCA or your local authorities to avoid any legal pitfalls.

MCA offer a free 20-minute consultation to get you started and on the right path.  


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