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  • Tom Jarman

Maximize Your Home's Potential in Bexley: A Guide to Permitted Development Rights

Are you considering home improvements but daunted by the thought of navigating the planning permission maze? In Bexley and neighbouring boroughs, Permitted Development (PD) rights might be your solution. This guide will walk you through what PD is, what qualifies under it, and how you can use these rights to transform your home efficiently and legally.

Understanding Permitted Development

Permitted Development rights are provisions in the UK planning system that allow homeowners to carry out certain types of work without the need to apply for planning permission. These rights are designed to make it easier for homeowners to enhance their properties without a lengthy planning process, provided the changes meet specific criteria.

What Qualifies as Permitted Development?

PD rights cover a range of home improvements, from interior modifications to larger structural changes. Common projects that usually fall under PD include:

  • Small home extensions

  • Loft conversions

  • Certain changes of use, such as converting an existing office space to residential use

It's important to note that specific rules can vary, particularly in conservation areas or listed buildings, where you might still need to apply for planning permission.

Guidelines for Home Extensions in the Bexley Borough

Planning a home extension can be straightforward if you adhere to the PD guidelines. Here’s what you need to know:

Single-storey Rear Extensions

  • Detached houses can extend up to 4 meters from the original rear wall.

  • Other types of houses may extend up to 3 meters.

  • The maximum height for these extensions is 4 meters.

Two-storey Extensions

  • These should not be built closer than 7 meters to the rear boundary.

  • The materials used should closely match those of the existing house.

Side Extensions

  • Should be single-storey, no higher than 4 meters, and no wider than half the width of the original house.

Loft Conversion Specifications

Loft conversions are a popular choice under PD because they can significantly increase the living space without altering the house's footprint. Here are the key points to consider:

  • Volume Allowance: Up to 40 cubic meters for terraced houses and 50 cubic meters for detached and semi-detached houses.

  • Height: The extension should not be higher than the existing roof.

  • Design: The materials used must be similar in appearance to those of the existing house, and the conversion should not overhang the outer face of the wall.

Practical Tips for Using Permitted Development Rights

To make the most of your PD rights and ensure your home improvement project goes smoothly, consider these tips:

  1. Verify Local Regulations: Always check with the Bexley council (or your local planning authority) for the most current regulations, as there may be local restrictions, especially in designated areas.

  2. Consult Neighbours: If your project involves significant changes, such as large extensions, it's wise to consult your neighbours to mitigate any potential disputes.

  3. Seek Professional Advice: Engaging with an architect, engineer or planner can provide valuable insights and help ensure that your project complies with all necessary regulations.


Permitted Development rights offer a flexible path for homeowners to upgrade their properties. Whether you're looking to add a loft conversion, extend your kitchen, or transform an unused office space, understanding and utilizing PD rights can save you time, preserve your peace of mind, and potentially increase your home's value. Make sure to adhere to the guidelines and consider reaching out to local professionals to maximize the potential of your home improvement projects.

Transforming your home doesn't have to be a hassle. With the right knowledge of Permitted Development rights, you can effectively enhance your living space and enjoy the benefits of a well-planned home upgrade.

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