Can you extend a new build property?

Many new build homeowners are unsure whether they can make extensions to their property after it has been completed. This confusion typically stems from planning and developer permission. Specifically, how to acquire it, what is required, and how the process of extending a new build works. 

Fortunately, this blog is here to provide the answers. Toomey Legal will provide expert advice on everything you need to know to extend a new build property.


Regulations around house extensions 

Extending a property can encompass far more than a simple increase in space. It can grant the property new features and selling points, such as access to a view, which can boost asset value. However, this can be at the expense of nearby properties. As a result, rules are in place to ensure consent from local parties.  

The main set of alternative rules surrounding home extensions is called Permitted Development (PD). These are a set of rights possessed by homeowners, set out by the UK government. This enables new build owners to make extensions without submitting a full planning application or obtaining planning permission. Permitted Development guidelines allow the owner of a new build property to: 

  • Enlarge, improve, or alter the property. Extensions cannot make up a more than 50% increase in a building’s size. 
  • Make extensions to the roof. 
  • Install hard surfaces within the curtilage of the property. 
  • Erect a porch. 
  • Install or replace ventilation features such as pipes or a chimney. 
  • Install or replace a microwave antenna. 


Extending a new build property 

When it comes to new build properties, getting permission for an extension unfortunately requires additional considerations. This is because house extension regulations apply to certain degrees depending on the nature of the property. For instance, extending a single-storey home has different requirements to making extensions on a semi-detached property. 

As new build properties don’t often fall into traditional residential building categories, it’s necessary to consider multiple extension rules. The result is that extending a new build has the potential become extremely complex. New build conveyancing is just one area of property law that Toomey Legal can help with through property conveyancing services Newcastle. 

Developer consent 

Most new build homes cannot be extended without first obtaining written permission from the builder or property developer. However, this is only requirement for a set number of years, which will be specified within new build documentation. A developer might decide to charge for their permission to be granted. 

As the role of developers will be different in every new build project, you first need to go back and look at the buying process. The contract should contain a record of any covenants agreed upon when the deeds to the property were signed, which includes those relating to extensions. Typically, if these covenants exist, they will be in place for 5-10 year following the property sale. After this point, any property extensions can be taken forward with general planning permission being the only remaining guidelines.

Planning permission 

As mentioned, planning permission applies to new build property extensions in addition to developer consent. Obtaining planning permission depends on the how the property is going to be extended, where the extension takes place, and any permissions given to the developer during the construction stage. 

Homeowners must produce detailed drawings of the proposed extension, alongside a full householder planning application. These are then submitted to the local planning authority for approval. Once permission has been granted, the extension proposal can progress to the next stage. 

Permitted development  

Permitted development grants permission for a property to be extended so long as the work fits certain parameters and is deemed lawful. For instance, one stipulation is that an extension cannot take up more that 50% of the property’s garden space. Unfortunately, it is rare for permitted development rights apply to new build homes. They can be stripped due to a range of factors, including the local area environment, conservation status, developer permission, and more. 

New build properties can create corner case scenarios where certain types of extension will in fact qualify for PD rights. As a result, professional legal support is recommended to ensure you get the best results for your home.

Pre-purchase extensions 

An appealing option for many new build buyers is to have the property extended before it’s built. This is made possible by the developer making the extension part of the original property design. The buyer will incur the extra costs associated with the extension. If the property is extended further at a later date, this will be subject to the usual permissions discussed above. 


Examples of new build extensions 

One of the main appeals of purchasing a new build home is the creative control that comes with it. As the buyer, you can choose what features and appearance your home has. Subsequently, there is a large scope for extensions on new build properties. Here are some ideas for new build extensions: 

  • A conservatory or sunroom. 
  • A link extension to connect the property to detached elements, such as a garage or shed. 
  • Raising the ceiling in certain rooms. 
  • Rounding out windows and creating alcoves. 
  • Repurposing loft space 


Fixed fee conveyancing Durham 

Toomey Legal also provides services for fixed fee conveyancing Sunderland and fixed fee property conveyancing Newcastle. This means you are only charged for the work completed, rather than the time it takes. Ultimately, extending a new build property comes down to having the right permissions. We can provide clarity on what needs to be considered for your specific extension to go ahead, as well as how it relates to your unique property build. Contact us today for a reliable quote. 

*Toomey Legal are dedicated conveyancing specialists. As such, we do not conduct property surveys, give tax advice or mortgage advice.