Where in the capital are you least and most likely to be allowed a home extension?

Where in the capital are you least and most likely to be allowed a home extension?

Space is a problem in London. Finding a house in the capital which is both big enough and in a location you want can be a challenge.

Compounding this is cost and with Londoners needing an average deposit of £106,577 to secure a home, it makes sense for those short on space to consider a home extension as the answer to their prayers.

However, depending on which area you live in, the chances of achieving planning permission can vary greatly. Online furniture retailer, Furniture Choice, has uncovered the London boroughs which are least and most likely to approve home extensions, highlighting the best and worst areas for homeowners who may consider an extension in the future to buy in.

In 2016, there were 7,855 extension applications submitted in London, of which 4,134 (53%) were approved, and 3,721 (47%) were rejected. A further 7,969 extensions that fell under permitted development rights were carried out in London without a need for planning permission.

The London boroughs most likely to approve planning permission are:

1. Tower Hamlets (100%)
2. Hammersmith and Fulham (86%)
3. Enfield (86%)
4. Ealing (80%)
5. Hounslow (80%)
6. Greenwich (79%)
7. Croydon (79%)
8. Kensington and Chelsea (75%)
9. Richmond upon Thames (73%)
10. Waltham Forest (68%)

The London boroughs most likely to reject planning permission are:

1. Redbridge (88%)
2. Haringey (87%)
3. Barnet (86%)
4. Harrow (86%)
5. Brent (84%)
6. Newham (82%)
7. Barking and Dagenham (81%)
8. Lewisham (81%)
9. Bexley (80%)
10. Kingston upon Thames (75%)

Enfield made the most applications in London in 2016, with 1,347 residents applying for a home extension. Barnet (803), Ealing (717), Hounslow (568) and Harrow (446) made up the rest of the top five boroughs applying for planning permission.


When it comes to sheer numbers of extensions granted, Enfield (1,154) came out top once again thanks to the high acceptance rate of its local planning authority (LPA). 576 extensions were approved in Ealing, 453 in Hounslow, 305 in Waltham Forest and 295 in Croydon.

All planning permission applications made in London need to adhere to both the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the London Plan, an overall strategic plan for London, setting out an integrated economic, environmental, transport and social framework for the development of London over the next 20–25 years.

Semsettin Karahan, Architectural Designer at Zanoply, advises on how to increase the likelihood of achieving planning permission for an extension: “A successful extension design should be influenced by local and national planning policies; the local planning policies should inform the appearance, and the national planning policies should inform the scale of the extension. The site also plays a crucial role; check if your immediate neighbours have also built an extension.”

Five top tips to consider when extending your home

• Cellar opportunities - Converting an existing cellar doesn’t normally require planning permission, although always check when adding in windows

• Right to light - Your neighbours have light rights, and can oppose an extension if it blocks daylight from their property. Avoid doing so to improve the chances of being approved

• The finer details - Ensure all conservatories and lean-tos are separated from the home with good quality exterior doors to please insurers

• Insurance - Make sure to get site insurance while any work is ongoing, to cover both the works and your existing home during construction

• Permitted development - Even if you think your extension doesn’t need permission, always check before work begins.

Tom Obbard at Furniture Choice said: “Finding the right home, in the right area, at the right time can sometimes seem unattainable. As well as being a potentially more affordable way to upsize, extending your home improves your chances of getting the exact house layout you want. Plus, there’s no stress of packing everything up and getting to know a new area.

It’s much easier than people think to apply for planning permission and most applications can be carried out online. Depending on the size of your extension, it might even fall under ‘permitted development rights’ with no permission required. Of course, it’s best to speak to your local planning authority just to make sure, in case your house or area has certain rules.”

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Tony Gimple 09 Dec 2017

Linking professionalism to limited company borrowing is a flawed concept. Despite S24 etc., limited companies are the most tax inefficient way of running a property business and leave borrowers seriously...

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

It's normal. If you plan to buy a house in one of the most beautiful spots in the country you should pay a high price.

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Evelyn Attwood
Evelyn Attwood 01 Dec 2017

I think that the situation will be the same at December.

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Scott Garnet
Scott Garnet 06 Nov 2017

If you have a patio or a porch it is important to make sure that any connecting doors are secured. Good advice for sliding glass doors is replacing the panels with storm resistant glass and getting heavier...

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richardrawlings
richardrawlings 01 Nov 2017

What has not been mentioned here is the effect of not only higher interest payments, but also that these payments are less likely to be offsettable as a business cost due to the scaling back of mortgage...

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Kelvin Lloyd
Kelvin Lloyd 09 Oct 2017

IT is up, to the Planners. If they will only give permission for bungalows on certain (suitable) sites, they will be built.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

It's just the beginning of the shocking rise.

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maggie swift
maggie swift 09 Oct 2017

I have recently read that the bungalows can provide social housing for elderly residents in London.

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zoe glover
zoe glover 05 Oct 2017

Update! Worst company I have ever dealt with. Undervalued a Cambridge property by over 100k, wont take on any evidence of valuation including a RICS valuation done 3 years ago for the very same value...

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Paul Edwards
Paul Edwards 27 Sep 2017

Its nonsense articles such as this that make it harder to get clients to realise just how difficult the market is out there. When you see Rightmove and there are more 'price reduced' then 'new' most days...

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Tom Allen
Tom Allen 20 Sep 2017

Absolutely agree with you!

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RyanGeo
RyanGeo 18 Sep 2017

A sharp correction would be a less dramatic expression to use. That is already underway in certain sectors in Reading where I practice as Chartered Surveyor

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