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What is 

Permitted Development  

Permitted development refers to specific types of building work and changes of use that can be carried out without needing to apply for planning permission, as they are granted automatic approval under the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO). These rights can vary significantly across the four countries of the UK—England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland—reflecting differences in policy, geography, and urban planning priorities. The summary below outlines the general approach to permitted development in each country, noting that specific details and allowances may change over time.


In England, permitted development rights are quite extensive, especially for residential properties. Homeowners can often extend their homes or convert certain types of buildings to residential use without a full planning application. This includes single-story rear extensions, loft conversions, and changes of use from commercial buildings to dwellings under specific conditions. Recent changes have sought to simplify and expand these rights to support housing supply and reduce bureaucratic hurdles.

To find out if your development is exempt from planning permission in England, Click here. 


Scotland’s approach to permitted development is similar in spirit to England's but with its nuances and regulations. Scottish permitted development rights cover various changes, including converting agricultural buildings, domestic extensions, and renewable energy installations like solar panels. Scotland tends to have more stringent guidelines for changes in conservation areas and listed buildings, emphasising preserving historic environments.

To find out if your householder development is exempt from planning permission in Scotland, Click here. 


Wales has been updating its permitted development rights to encourage sustainable development and address housing needs. It includes rights for home extensions, agricultural building conversions, and, notably, provisions for small-scale renewable energy projects. Wales also places a strong emphasis on protecting its natural and built heritage, so there are careful considerations around developments in sensitive areas.

To find out if your householder development is exempt from planning permission in Wales, Click here. 

Northern Ireland

In Northern Ireland, permitted development rights are tailored to balance development needs with protecting the countryside and urban character. Rights include home extensions, agricultural development, and changes of use for buildings. There's also an emphasis on supporting economic development, for instance, by allowing certain types of industrial and commercial building works without full planning applications.

To find out if your householder development is exempt from planning permission in Northern Ireland, Click here. 


Across the UK, permitted development rights aim to streamline the planning process for minor and low-impact developments while ensuring that larger, potentially more impactful projects undergo thorough scrutiny. These rights are periodically reviewed and updated to reflect changing policies, economic conditions, and environmental concerns. It's important for individuals and developers to check the most current local regulations and guidance, as there can be significant local variations and conditions attached to permitted development rights.

Commercial Permitted Development, 

If you need information with regards to commercial, industrial or retail permitted development, please use this contact

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