Homeowners in England are now being given the green light to build larger extensions without planning permission.
Temporary Permitted Development rules, are now being made permanent and permit rear extensions of up to 6 meters in terrace or semi-detached properties, and 8 metres in detached properties.
However, homeowners must beware!
Whilst it is good to see that Permitted Development rights have now been made permanent, thus continuing to avoid unnecessary delays and red tape, it is important to recognise that this does not mean that other items of construction related legislation are also avoided. Furthermore, often the responsibility for following such legislation will ultimately fall upon the homeowner and not the builder. In particular, this will not absolve a homeowner from Party Wall Act, and under most circumstances, this will still be required, even if they do not share a party wall with their neighbour.
When considering the recent case of Ormiston-Kirby V. Fattahi, where a particularly hard line has been taken towards a homeowner that failed to serve Notice under the Party Wall Act, this reinforces the importance of homeowners becoming aware of their statutory obligations before entering into small scale construction projects.
This relaxation of planning laws may result in an absence of professional advisors dealing with planning applications which may, inadvertently, lead to other legal requirements falling unnoticed by uninformed homeowners.
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