In late 2020, the government introduced a new permitted development right to allow homeowners to add up to 2 extra floors to their houses.
The permitted development right is Class AA of Part 2, Schedule 1 of the General Permitted Development Order: ‘enlargement of a dwellinghouse by construction of additional storeys’.
Unlike most permitted development rights, you can’t just start work straight away. To take advantage of this new permitted development right, you must first apply to the council for prior approval.
When you apply, the council assesses whether the proposed extension would harm the appearance of the house and whether it would harm living conditions of close neighbours.
Councils do not like this new permitted development right. The planners are horrified that homeowners might be able to extend upwards without obtaining full planning permission. But the new permitted development right should apply to everyone, unless there are serious design or neighbour impacts.
Sadly, councils have been refusing these prior approval applications where they can and lots of homeowners have been appealing these decisions. As far as we know, the first ever appeal decision for Class AA extensions came through this week and it was one we submitted on behalf of a client in Essex.