Skip to main content

Lofts extensions, garage conversions and installing roof lights are just some of the things that do not require planning permission. Instead, as with a number of other home renovations, it falls under the Permitted Development category. If something is in this category, it will mean you do not require planning permission from your local planning authority and can get it added pretty quickly, rather than going through the normal loops and hurdles with getting planning from your local council.

Magnet Capital are experts in property development finance and we go into further detail to discuss what work does not require planning permission.

  • Garage conversions
  • Loft conversions
  • Roof lights
  • Solar panels
  • Building a swimming pool
  • Adding a porch
  • Conservatories
  • Single-story extension

However, keep in mind that some Permitted Development restrictions can apply. For example, if the building you intend to renovate is:

  • In a conservation area
  • A listed building
  • You have already carried out a lot of work on this property

If you think any of the aforementioned may be applicable, check with the local authority first.


Why do some things not require planning permission?

The nature of planning permission is for the council and area to protect any of your neighbours from any building work or extensions that you do. Things like personal space, natural light and area preservation are key things for the council to consider whenever you want to add or make changes to your house.

The reason that a lot of things below do not need planning are because they are already within the structure of your house or garden – and do not impact your neighbours or your area.


Garage conversions

If you are simply intending to convert a garden into a living space then no planning permission is required. You will need planning permission it though if it is a standalone garage, which will require consent under Building Regulations.


Loft conversions

Not all loft conversions require planning permission. It all depends on the cubic content. You will usually not need planning if it is under 40cm cubed. However, to add a large loft conversion and extra bedrooms, bathrooms or an office space, will require planning.



Some lofts may not require planning permission – always seek advice from a professional

Roof lights

No planning permission is needed if you want to make changes to the roof through adding lights. Providing that these do not project any further than 15cm from the roof slope, it is acceptable.


Solar panels

Solar panels also fall under the permitted development category in the majority of cases. This is providing that the panels do not protrude any more than 200mm beyond the plane of the wall or roof and it is no higher than the tallest part of the roof.


Building a swimming pool

It is also possible for swimming pools to be considered a permitted development too. However, there are some restrictions. The area the pool covers should be no more than half of the total garden curtilage.


Adding a porch

You do not necessarily need planning permission to add a porch either. It will need to meet the following criteria to avoid permission from the local planning authority:

  • The porch is no taller than 3m
  • It is not 2m within a boundary that is adjacent to a highway
  • Ground area does not exceed 3m



You will not need to apply for planning permission from the council if you are deciding to add a conservatory either up to 10 feet long.



Depending on size, a conservatory may not require any planning permission from the council.

Single-story extension

A single-story extension can be classified as a permitted development if:

  • Similar materials to the original have been used
  • It does not sit forward of the principal elevation
  • If a rear extension on a detached house, it does not exceed a 4m depth
  • If an extension on a semi-detached or terrace, it can not exceed 3m in depth

See also, what work requires planning permission.

Ashley Ilsen

Author Ashley Ilsen

More posts by Ashley Ilsen