Do You Need Planning Permission For An Oak Porch?

A porch is by far one of the easiest home improvements to add, but do you need planning permission for an oak porch?


At first glance, the subject of planning permissions and building regulations can seem daunting.


However, the rules are relatively straightforward and in the case of porches there are few, if any. Despite effectively being small house extensions, porches are exempt from many rules and regulations for extensions due to their limited size.


Exceptions to this will be discussed below. For additional information, it’s a great idea to check out Planning Portal’s home improvement section for your specific project.


Permitted Development

Common domestic construction projects, including porches, fall under what are known as ‘permitted development rights’.


These are part of a system of general planning permission granted by parliament rather than local authorities.


They only apply to houses and not flats, maisonettes, former commercial properties converted into homes or non domestic properties.


Additionally, in ‘designated areas’, permitted development may be restricted. These include Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, National Parks, World Heritage Sites and Conservation Areas.


If the house is a listed building you will need Listed Building Consent for any alterations unless this has been granted already.


It is always worth contacting the local planning authority for your area before starting work to ensure permitted development applies.


Planning Permission

Adding a porch to any external door of a house should be permitted without planning permission provided it follows the following limits:

  • Ground Floor Area – The footprint (ground floor area) of the porch should not exceed three square metres. This should be measured externally, if the footprint within the frame is three square metres or more, planning permission will be required.
  • Height – The height of the proposed porch must not exceed three metre for flat or single pitch roofs. For dual pitched roofs the height limit is raised to 3.5 metres. This should be measured in the same way as other extensions. So the height should include any tiling or other roof covering, not just the frame.
  • Distance From Boundary – No porch should be less than two metres from the ‘boundary of the curtilage’ of a house and the highway. This is the edge of the enclosed grounds surrounding the house, usually separated from surrounding properties by a wall or fence. The term ‘highway’ includes all public roads, byways, bridleways or footpaths. These are only guidelines and your local planning authority should be consulted.
  • Appearance – The porch must be of similar appearance to the rest of the house, although it is unlikely an owner would choose a contrasting design. This avoids violating any ‘eyesore’ or ‘nuisance’ laws and future complaints from neighbours. The Development Management Team of Local Planning Authorities use planning permission to guide the way towns and cities develop.

Building Regulations

Although building regulations are often mentioned together with planning permission, they are separate legislations and governed by different laws.


They are designed to ensure any building is a safe environment for residents or workers within and those in its immediate surroundings.


Porches that adhere to the above planning permissions exemptions should not need building regulation approval.


Any glazing or electrical fittings in the porch must comply with appropriate building regulations. As long as this is the case, porches must satisfy two further specific requirements to be exempt:

  • The existing outer door must remain in place to separate the porch from the main dwelling or be replaced with another of similar construction.
  • If the house is already fitted with ramped or level disability access, it cannot be removed and the porch should not negatively affect this access.

What Happens If You Build Without Planning Permission?

If your new porch meets the above criteria, planning permission should not be necessary.


If construction is completed without necessary planning permission, a planning breach will have been committed. As the homeowner, you will be held responsible for this regardless of whether you were aware or not.


It is possible plans will have to be changed during construction due to unforeseen circumstances. However,  this is not an acceptable excuse for violation.


Should this happen, you can submit a retrospective application and some councils will consider appeals if this is refused.


If unsuccessful, you will be issued with an enforcement notice to remedy the breach and failure to comply is a criminal offence. The homeowner can then face prosecution and fines. The council can conduct demolition work and bill the homeowner for the cost.


Hardwoods Group have a wide range of Precision Perfect Oak Framed Porches .


Contact us today with your project specifications, or for any questions!