Quarantine: the perfect time for home improvements?

Posted by Sadie Pitman, 25th March 2020
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It’s fair to say that a large number of us will be feeling frustrated with being cooped up inside for an indefinite period. But what better time to carry out some home improvements?

Whilst planning permission is required for the carrying out of any “development” of land, which includes “the carrying out of building… in, on, over or under land” (section 55 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990), not all works to the home constitute “development” and require a planning application.

An interior re-model or re-decoration doesn’t need planning permission (providing that you don’t live in a listed building). And a spruce up of your lounge with a lick of paint could invite new life into your “working from home” area!

For those of us with sufficient time and enthusiasm, there’s further opportunity to improve our DIY skills, as “permitted development” rights allow various further small-scale changes, from garage and loft conversions to the introduction of roof lights and outbuildings, without the need for planning permission. (However do take care, as there are strict rules as to what is allowed under permitted development.) You’ll find some helpful guidance on this on the government’s planning portal. For detail please see the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

Even if such endeavours and home improvements are beyond your current skill-set, in these uncertain times, to keep spirits up it is important to keep planning for the future!