Planning Advice for Common Projects

Information and guidance on the most common types of projects we receive planning applications for:

Rear Extensions

Provided you do not live in a conservation area or listed building you may be able to construct a single storey rear extension to the depth of 3m-6m for a semi-detached or terraced house, or 4m-8m on a detached house without Planning Permission, as long as you go through the Prior Approval for larger home extensions (PDF, 467KB)

If your extension exceeds this depth, the Planning department will consider the following things:

  • If the extension is subordinate (ie smaller in height, width and depth than the original building)
  • If it avoids blocking sunlight to neighbouring properties, and that windows of the extension avoid looking into habitable rooms of neighbouring properties
  • If it avoids reducing gardens to an unreasonably small size
  • If it avoids impacting trees on the property or adjacent properties

If your extension is not subordinate, overlooks neighbouring houses inappropriately, or generally is not in line with the above advice, planning permission might not be granted.

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Loft conversions and dormers

A loft conversion which creates extra space in your home can have serious impacts on the appearance of a house, on neighbouring properties and the streetscape. Therefore, the quality and appearance of your design will be important when considering if we grant Planning permission.

In general:

  • Roof extensions like dormer windows should generally be located at the back of the property, away from the street
  • Unless you live in a flat, within a conservation area or listed building, rooflights do not usually require planning permission if they are no higher than 150mm from the plane/existing slope of the roof
  • Many people apply for ‘dormer’ windows, which are windows that protrude from a roof. Dormers should be in keeping with the character of the area.
  • In general, a dormer window should be set a minimum of 1m from the edge of either side of the gable roof, or 0.5. metres from the edges of a hip roof
  • Generally, altering the shape of a roof is not granted planning permission because of its impact on the streetscape.

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Replacement of windows and doors

Provided you are not living in a conservation area or listed building, and there is no change in material, colour, size of design, you can replace single glazed windows with double glazing.

If you are planning on changing the material of your windows, for example replacing timber windows with uPVC windows, you will need planning permission.

If you live in a conservation area or listed building, it is likely that planning permission will be required to change windows.

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Conversion of houses to flats

Conversion of a property into smaller flats, must comply with Policy DM16 of the Haringey Development Management DPD. The Policy permits the subdivision of larger homes into smaller self-contained flats where the gross original internal floor space of the dwelling is greater than 120m2.  Within Family Housing Protection Zones (FHPZs) there is an additional requirement that there is no net loss of family sized units (3 bedrooms or more). The FHPZs can be found on the Planning Policy Map.

Conversion must satisfy all other relevant policies, including the minimum internal space standards set out in the Nationally Described space standards (external link) and the Mayors Housing SPG (external link).

The conversion must provide convenient and efficient room layouts which are functional and fit for purpose, including vertical stacking arrangements that minimise noise transfer between homes (eg. Bedrooms stacked with bedrooms and living areas stacked with living areas).  Any external alterations to the building, garden areas or forecourt must comply with Policies DM12 and DM16 of the Development Management DPD and should not harm the character of the area.

The proposal must also provide satisfactory levels of amenity space, privacy, daylight, parking and access, and adequate and convenient refuse storage and collection in accordance with the requirements set out in Appendix A3 of the Sustainable Design and Construction SPD;

All residential conversions should be supported by a car parking survey which demonstrates that there is residual car parking supply to meet the need created by the proposal. The survey should use the Lambeth Parking survey methodology.

Applicants are encouraged to use our pre-application advice service if they are interested in taking on this kind of project.

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Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Conversion of a property into an HMO, must comply with Policy DM17 of the Haringey Development Management DPD. The Policy permits the conversion of larger homes to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO), where the gross original internal floor space of the dwelling is greater than 120m2. 

Conversion to an HMO must:

  • Not have a negative impact on the surrounding neighbourhood, including cumulative impacts caused by too many HMOs within an area 
  • Be in an accessible location for public transport, cycling and walking
  • Provide high quality accommodation that satisfies the relevant policies of the Local Plan, including internal space standards and amenities for occupants 
  • Provide adequate space for refuse storage and collection in accordance with the requirements set out in Appendix A3 of the Sustainable Design and Construction SPD

Self-contained rooms (with cooking and sanitary facilities for their sole use) within a larger building are not an HMO but self-contained flats.

Applicants are encouraged to use our pre-application advice service if they are interested in taking on this kind of project.

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Change of use for shops, cafes and takeaways

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) puts uses of land and buildings into various categories known as 'Use Classes'. Changes of use within the same use class can be carried out without submitting a planning application.

Previously changing a shop to a cafe required planning permission but since 1 September 2020 most typical High Street uses such as shops, cafes, restaurants and services such as estate agents now fall within the same use (Class E). This also includes offices, community uses such as health centres, day nurseries and gyms. So changes between these uses do not require planning permission. For further information see the Planning Portal Use Class Order (external link).

Hot Food Takeaways

Applications for hot food takeaways must also comply with Policy DM47 of the Development Management DPD (see also DM42, DM43, DM44).

The London Plan 2021 Policy E9 (external link) does not allow new hot food takeaways within 400 metres walking distance of a school entrance or exit.

Other considerations

While the change of use of a building may not require permission, a planning application is likely to be needed for associated building works, tables and chairs on the pavement, ventilation and signage. A license may be required, for further information see our licensing page.   

If you require formal confirmation of the lawful use of a building or land you will need to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.

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Short Term and Nightly Letting (e.g. Airbnb)

In Haringey, residential premises can be used for short-term of nightly letting (for example through Airbnb) without planning permission, provided the use does not exceed 90 nights in a calendar year.

Using a property for short-term letting for more than 90 nights per calendar year will require planning permission and must comply with Policy DM53 (Hotels and Visitor Accommodation) of Haringey’s Development Management DPD – Policy DM53 (Hotels and Visitor Accommodation). The policy requires visitor accommodation to be within existing town centres or locations, well served by public transport and they must avoid a negative impact to surrounding residents.

The person who is providing the short term accommodation is liable to pay council tax.


Within Greater London including Haringey all short-term lets are subject to a planning restriction. This restriction makes the use of residential premises for temporary sleeping accommodation a “material change of use” for which planning permission is required. The Deregulation Act of 2015 (external link) created an exception to this restriction. This exception allows residential premises to be used as temporary sleeping accommodation without a change of use, but the total number of nights cannot exceed 90 nights in a calendar year.

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Fast Track Certificate of Lawfulness (LDC) Service

If you urgently require confirmation that you do not require planning permission in advance of the usual 8 week  timeframes we  offer a Fast Track Certificate of Lawfulness Service for £500 + the statutory application fee.  On submission your application will be allocated to a dedicated case officer who will make a decision within 5 working days (subject to all relevant information having been provided on submission).  

First submit your application through the Planning Portal (external link) then please fill in our online form with details of your Planning Portal Reference Number so we can divert the application to the fastrack process:

Online form

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Page last updated:

July 29, 2022