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Will I Require Planning Permission For Bifold Doors or French Doors?

If you’re considering new bifold doors or French doors for your home, you might be wondering whether you need planning permission. As with many British laws and regulations, rules can become quite complex and planning permission rules are no exception. The good news is that the installation of bi-fold and French doors are one of the easiest installations to get past the planning department.

When Do You Need To Worry About Planning Permission?

Whether or not you need to apply for planning permission for your home improvements will depend on what you have in mind. Typically, you need planning permission for the following improvements:

  • Making a major change to a property (such as an extension)
  • Building something new
  • Changing the primary use of the building (for example, changing a residential building to a commercial building)

Do I Need Planning Permission for Bifold Doors or French Doors?

If you’re adding or replacing doors to your property, this is usually considered a ‘permitted development’ which means you generally won’t require planning permission. If permission is required, it will usually be granted if the changes do not affect the principal elevations of the building. These are usually at the front of the property.

Whether you require planning permission or not, you may need to submit a building notice to your local authority in order to satisfy building regulations. You can contact your local Building Control Body (BCB) through your local authority or through a private BCB. If you are unsure about the requirements for your improvements, you can check before work starts by visiting: https://www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval/how-to-apply

What About Permitted Development? Are There Any Restrictions?

The rules governing permitted development can change from region to region. If you live in an area of outstanding beauty or a conservation area, for example, and want to replace your glazed doors, you will need to check with your local authority about what is permissible. Flats, apartments and maisonettes do not automatically have permitted development rights. You will need to seek planning permission in these instances. You will also need to seek listed building consent if you plan to make material alterations to a listed building.

Will I Require Planning Permission If I Am Building a New Extension?

If your bifold doors or French doors will form part of a new extension, you may need to seek planning permission. A number of considerations will be taken into account, including:

  • The location of the extension
  • The size of the extension
  • The potential impact of your extension on surrounding properties

Extensions and conservatories of specific sizes are covered by permitted development rights. However, a number of rules must be adhered to. For example, a new extension must not extend more than 3 metres from the read of the property on an attached property, or 4 metres from a detached property.

You can find out more about permitted development rights by visiting:


How Long Does It Take to Be Granted Planning Permission?

One of the most frustrating parts about planning home improvements is the length of time it can take for a planning permission decision to be made. The time it takes varies, but you’ll usually be looking at around eight weeks to obtain planning permission. You can find out more about how to apply and how much the process costs by visiting:


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If you are thinking about having new bifold doors or French doors fitted, then please get in touch for a free quote.