Tensioned Membrane Buildings

Further Planning Advice


You can sometimes erect a tensioned membrane structure on your property without getting planning permission. The rights to do so are derived from a general planning permission granted, not by the local authority, but by Parliament. Bear in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

This article carries on from Toro’s recent article on Planning Consent for Tensioned Membrane Buildings.

In some areas of the country, known generally as ‘designated areas’, permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas.

There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.

The Planning Portal’s general advice is that you should contact your local planning authority and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if you need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.

The associated Act of Parliament the UK Government passed is the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995/418. More specifically, Schedule 2 Parts 4, 6, 7 and 8. This version of the legislation has been in force from: April 28, 2014 to present

  1. Part 4 TEMPORARY BUILDINGS AND — USES (Class A)
  2. Part 6 AGRICULTURAL BUILDINGS AND OPERATIONS(Class A) Development on units of 5 hectares or more
  3. Part 7 FORESTRY BUILDINGS AND OPERATIONS
  4. Part 8 INDUSTRIAL AND WAREHO– USE DEVELOPMENT(Class A)

Permitted Development Rights withdrawn

You should also note that the local planning authority may have removed some of your permitted development rights by issuing an Article 4 direction. This will mean that you have to submit a planning application for work which normally does not need one.

Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas. You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check with the local planning authority if you are not sure.