Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government
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Planning Portal Launches Visual Guides for Three Common Home Improvement Projects

The Planning Portal has yesterday launched a series of visual guides for the most common home improvement projects - extensions, loft conversions and porches.

The visual guides which apply to England only explain in simple terms the work householders can and cannot do under the new rules. Extensions, loft conversions and porches fall under the permitted development regime, not requiring planning permission provided certain limits and conditions are met.  The guides are aimed at clarifying the guidance around these projects which are available on the Planning Portal website.

Key features of the guides include:

  • Visuals and text showing limits and proximities
  • Clear summary checklist at the end
  • Printable PDF summary documents for users and Local Planning Authorities (LPAs)

The Planning Portal provides a wealth of free information to Planning Professionals for their own use and for guiding their customers.  The visual guides are the latest stage in an ongoing programme of enhancements to the service.

Chris Kendall the Planning Portal Director said:

“I am delighted that the Planning Portal has launched the first series of visual guides for the most common home improvement projects.  The guides form part of the government drive to improve the quality of planning information available and make it easier for the public to carry out a range of home improvement projects”.

The next part for this series – a visual guide for outbuildings is due in December 2009.  Further visual guides on home projects will be developed and launched as demand arises.

The guides are available on the Planning Portal Website (

Notes to editors

  • The Portal provides products and services to deliver tangible and meaningful benefits to all users of the planning system including citizens, businesses and every Local Planning Authority (LPA) in England and Wales.
  • The Planning Portal is the first port of call for anyone wanting to find out about the planning system in England and Wales. Its aim is to provide a one-stop-shop supplying answers, services and information to anyone involved in the planning process - from home owners and businesses to planning professionals and Government officials.
  • The Planning Portal received its first electronic planning application in April 2003. Today 35% of all applications pass through the Portal and it is possible to submit an electronic application to every authority in England and Wales using a standard national form.
  • The Killian Pretty Review into the planning application process was published in 2008 and highlighted key recommendations to ensure its successful future development.  The review recommended continued Government investment into facilitating and encouraging improvements in the processing of applications.
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