Planning Guide


Below is some information regarding planning for schools. If you have any questions or concerns then get in touch and speak to our in-house planning consultant.

Permitted development rights for schools


From 21 April 2021, the erection, extension, or alteration of a school building is permitted development provided that:


  • The footprint of the extended/new building is no more than 25% of the footprint of the existing building (as it was on 21 April 2021) or 250sqm, whichever is greater.
  • the proposed development is not within 5m of the boundary of any residential facilities.
  • The height of any new building does not exceed 6m (or 5m if within 10m of a boundary of the curtilage of the premises).
  • The height of the building if extended or altered does not exceed its existing height (but if within 10m of the boundary of the curtilage it cannot exceed the lesser of 5m or its existing height).
  • The height of any rooftop structure does not exceed 1.5m.
  • Any land within the premises which has been used as a playing field in the last five years (and is still used for this purpose) could continue to be used as a playing field after the development has taken place.
  • If the school is located within a conservation area, AONB, The Broads, a National Park, World Heritage Site or an area specified by the Secretary of State under s41(3) of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 then the materials used on the new or extended building have a similar external appearance to existing buildings.
  • The building in question is not listed or in the curtilage of a listed building.
  • The development is within the curtilage of buildings where the predominant use is for the provision of education and the new building will also be used for this purpose (or purposes incidental to it).
  • where a new or altered school building will result in an increase to the school’s published admission number, a travel plan (a framework for delivering sustainable travel to and from the school) is required to be submitted to the local planning authority (LPA) within six months of completion of the extension.


If none of these apply then you should be good to go without planning permission.