Due to the vast variety of flats, it is not possible to provide extensive permitted development rights for them.

A flat is defined as a “separate and self contained set of premises whether or not on the same floor and forming part of a building from some other part of which it is divided horizontally”.

The specific permitted development rights for flats are discussed below. Other classes relevant to flats include:-

  • Class 7: construction of gate, fences, walls and other means of enclosure
  • Class 72: Closed Circuit Television Cameras (CCTV).

Other permitted development rights may also be used to carry out development within the curtilage of a building containing a flat. Planning authorities can offer advice on how the rules apply in specific circumstances. They can also help in understanding the process and requirements.


Improvements or alterations that are not enlargements, including replacement windows, solar panels, flues, satellite dishes etc

Permitted development rights cover any improvement, addition or other alteration to the external appearance of a flat that is not an enlargement. This is best visualised as a 1 metre bubble surrounding the flat. A wide range of different types of development is permitted without having to apply for planning permission, including the installation, alteration or replacement of solar PV or solar thermal equipment. In summary, the effect of the limitations is that:

  • the development cannot enlarge the flat
  • the development cannot project more than 1 metre from the walls or roof of the flat
  • the development cannot be a balcony, roof terrace or raised platform or a wind turbine
  • installing a flue forming part of biomass heating system, a flue forming part of combined heat and power system, an air source heat pump or CCTV is not permitted by this class because it is permitted by other classes

There are no permitted development rights for flats in a conservation areas or within the curtilage of a listed building. Listed building consent is required if the proposed development affects the character or setting of a listed building.

Building standards may apply and a building warrant from the local authority may be required.

For more information on the limitations for this class please see the circular.