For many people adding to their current home is the preferred option than moving to a new one. It may be that more space is needed or that a dedicated space for a specific reason is required. It might be that the homeowner wants to add to their home and make it more attractive for sale in the long term. Whatever the case, when work is being done it may fall under the official system known as planning permission – but what work requires planning permission and what can be done without it?
Is Planning Permission Needed for a Garage Conversion?
For a growing number of people, the garage is no longer the place to store the car. Modern car alarm systems, quality street lighting and other factors mean that there isn’t the urge to hide the car that there once way. This means the garage is often a poorly used space and is why garage conversions are a popular option. But do you need planning permission for the project?
In most cases, a garage conversion doesn’t require planning permission as long the work being done is external and doesn’t involve enlarging the building. However, if you intend to convert the garage to a separate house, then you will need to have planning permission and should work through it with the local planning authority.
Under permitted development rights, you can convert your garage in most case. Exceptions include flats and maisonettes, converted houses and other types of buildings. But if you have a normal house that hasn’t been through a change of use due to permitted development, then you can normally go through the conversion without planning permission.
If you intend to make the garage into a habitable space, then you do need to regard building regulations in the plan. This looks at categories such as performance expected of materials as well as ensuring the work complies with the latest regulations. Often these are common sense but can be worked through with the local authority before work starts.
Is planning permission needed to extend a garage?
In many situations, the extension of a garage comes under permitted development, but it is more complex than just simply converting an existing garage for a new purpose. It is worth checking with your local authority to get the exact rules in place with them. But some general rules that apply include:
- No more than 50% of the area around the original house should be covered with outbuildings
- The garage couldn’t be forward of the principal elevation or side elevation beside the highway (in other words the walls of the house)
- No part of the garage could be higher than the highest part of the roof
- The garage can’t be more than four metres high or three meters if it is within two metres of the boundary with the neighbouring property
Is planning permission needed to build a garage?
If you are looking at a self build garage or having someone construct a garage for you, it is also possible to do this without the need for planning permission. The garage must not be designed as a living space so is for storage rather than containing habitable furniture such as beds. It also needs to be less than 15 square meters if freestanding and less than 30 square meters if attached to the house.
There are other regulations that apply regarding the distance from other properties and from fences and walls. Therefore, it can be advisable to check with the local planning authority for your property just to make sure that the project you have in mind will be okay under permitted development rights.