Are you in EHDC/SDNP rural area and seek to increase the size of your house?


South downs national park- imminent planning policy changes affecting the potential to extend your home, with some positive benefits if you live in a countryside location within East Hampshire district council (EHDC).

Many people local to our area will be familiar with the principles of EHDC’s policy H16, which limited the degree to which permission would be granted to extend a house, if outside a ‘settlement boundary’. This is the old ‘50% rule’

With the forthcoming replacement planning policy for the SDNP, All houses with the National Park (whether within a settlement or not) appear to become subject to a replacement policy, having similar aims, ie to limit the degree to which houses can be increased in size.

At first reading the new policy appears more restrictive than previously, ie a previous 50% allowance is replaced by a 30 % allowance.  But there are important differences in detail and  there will be many houses within the old EHDC rural area  which have up to now been faced with the realisation that they are already ‘up to their size limit’, that will now be in a position to add significant additional space!

The main reason for this is because the ‘base date’ for the measurement of the original size of the dwelling has moved forward from 1974 to 2011.

Example- previous EHDC policy regime

A house with an overall gross floor area of 100 sq.m at base date 1974  has been extended since then (say in 1990) by a further 50 sq.m (the 50%) and thus no further extensions are allowable under EHDCs planning policy.

Example- new SDNP policy regime

The same house is assessed at base date 2011 – 150 sq.m.  It is now reasonable to apply for a further 45 sq.m (30%) , so achieving an overall house floor area of 195 sq.m

(for simplicity I have  ignored the differences in measuring method, ie whether inside or outside of the external walls)