In May 2013, the laws were changed to increase the size of rear, single-storey extensions which were allowed to be built, and the related neighbour consultation scheme became effective.
Until May 2019, size limits for single-storey extensions are doubling for detached homes from four to eight metres, and from three to six metres as far as all other properties are concerned.
If you want to builder a bigger single-storey extension at the back of your home, you must tell your local council. The process is free of charge but you need to supply:
• An outline in writing of your plans, including how far the extension reaches beyond the original property’s rear wall, the height at the extension’s highest point, and at the eaves.
• Plans for the development you propose.
• If there are any adjoining properties, including at the back, their addresses must be given.
• Contact details for the developer.
If any further information is needed, you will be asked to supply it.
Anyone who shares a boundary with you will receive a notice from the council, giving full details of the plans.
Neighbours then have three days to raise any objections, and the local authority then have to take these into consideration in their decision on your plans’ acceptability.
Once the council has written to the developer saying no objections have been received, or that, after consideration, the authority has decided the plans are acceptable, you can proceed with your development as planned.
Equally, the development can also go ahead if the developer has not heard from the council with a decision during the 42-day determination period.
The developer also has the right to launch an appeal if approval for the proposals is not given.
However, the extension has to be constructed according to the proposals which the council has approved, or the details submitted if there were no objections or the council hasn’t given a decision to the developer.
All other relevant restrictions and conditions must be followed, including for example, the rule that, unless the extension is a conservatory, the building materials used must be the same as for the rest of the property.
Remember, work must be finished by the end of May 2016. The developer needs to tell the council the day it will be completed, in writing.