It is a common problem for us to feel we have outgrown our homes as our families get bigger in numbers and size. The hub of most homes is the kitchen / dining / living room. Therefore this is where we generally feel the need for more space. At present a great deal of my work involves ground floor extensions to create bigger kitchen / dining spaces and loft conversions to add bedrooms and bathrooms. Both types of extension are answer to this situation.
In May this year the government approved plans to make it simpler for homeowners to extend just the ground floor rear of their homes without having to go through the traditional planning process which can be long-winded and involve a great deal of frustration.
Up until May 2016 If you wish to extend the ground floor of your house into your garden by up to 6 metres for a terraced or semi-detached property or 8 metres for a detached house you can do so by completing what is called a ‘Notification of a proposed larger home extension application’.
The plans shown here illustrate how this can work for a flat backed house typical of a 30’s or a more contemporary house and a side extension which is typical for a Victorian terraced house.
The required application form can be found on the government website www.planningportal.gov.uk. It is not that easy to find but if you type upload forms into the search bar on the home page and then look at page 2 at the bottom of the page the link should appear called ‘notification of a larger home extension’. This will take you to the form that needs to be filled out.
With the form you are required to give plans and elevations showing the existing and proposed changes and a letter detailing the length of the extension from the original rear of the property, the eaves height, and the height at the highest point of the extension.
The form also asks you to name any properties that adjoin yours to the left, right and rear. It also asks for a separate written description that correlates with the drawings.
Your neighbours will be notified of your application and if no one objects within 42 days then the work is considered to be lawful development and you can carry on with building works.
If you need any guidance then it is worth speaking to a professional but also available on the planning portal website is a guidance document which can be found from the home page by going to the tab at the top of the page in blue called ‘need planning permission’ and then right at the bottom of the page under the house diagram you follow the link called ‘extensions’. Then select the single storey extensions blue tab and go to page 9. Finally two boxes appear on a diagram of a house and on the bottom box there is a blue link named ‘neighbour consultation scheme’.
The planning portal website doesn’t make it very easy to find the relevant documents, but the actual process is very simple and if your neighbours are all in agreement then it works well. We have completed a number of these applications in London Boroughs and happy home owners are now seeing their dream homes take shape.