You’ve decided on a new oak frame building, but before you get into the detail of the design and structure the most important consideration is the feasibility of the project. Consent is generally required for any addition to a property and our advice is to seek approval through your Local Authority for any development. The most common forms of consent are Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent and Certificate of Lawful Use (for Permitted Development).

English Heritage Buildings can provide customers with a free feasibility study that will help determine whether the proposal could be built under Permitted Development or, if Planning Permission is required, whether it will likely be granted.

Initial considerations for the feasibility of your project:

  • What type of land the building will be placed on. Is it, for example, on designated land such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, or within the Green Belt?
  • Whether the building will be subservient to the main house.
  • The position of the building in relation to the main house.
  • Whether the building is within a residential curtilage. It can be very difficult, for example, to build an outbuilding for leisure use on agricultural land.
  • How visible the building will be to neighbours and/or any main roads.

As a general guide you will require Planning Permission if:

Planning Permission Advice
Planning Permission Advice
  • Your property is a Listed Building and your proposal affects this or is to be built within its grounds. Careful consideration will need to be given to the design and location of the proposal and the aim should be to minimise alterations to the historic fabric of the property. Outbuildings within the curtilage of a Listed Building or extensions to Listed Buildings will generally require Listed Building Consent and Planning Permission.
  • Your project lies on designated land and the new building is to the side or front of the house. Properties within designated land including National Parks and The Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Conservation Areas and World Heritage Sites and have stricter policies to adhere to.
  • Your intended development is closer than the nearest part of the original house to the highway. (The term original house means the house as it was first built or as it stood on
    1 July 1948.)
  • Your proposed ridge height will be higher than four metres.
  •  Your project lies within an area where planning permission is required for an agricultural building.

Extensions or outbuildings within the residential (garden) curtilage of the site can be submitted under a Householder Planning Application.  Any development outside the residential curtilage or those applications for a new dwelling will need to be submitted under a Full Planning Application.

If your planning application is not successful do not give up just yet – you have the right to appeal.

Permitted Development

Outbuildings and some extensions are considered to be permitted development and therefore do not need an application for planning permission, provided all the conditions are met. In some cases, those proposals that are refused Planning Permission can be completed under Permitted Development.

Read our guide to Permitted Development and its conditions and limits.