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Bifold doors are a fantastic way to create a seamless transition between home and garden. They are very popular, especially in homes with patios or decking. Bifold doors will open out onto these areas, creating a beautiful open plan effect. Bifold doors will generally not need planning permission as they are covered by permitted development rights. If your bifold doors are part of a new extension, they will need to be included in the plans.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission allows local authorities to approve building work in their area. The system means that for some kinds of building work you will need to apply for permission from the local authority. The local authority will make sure that the building work is in keeping with the area. They take a range of factors into account for each decision. Some of these include the size and design of the work as well as any impact on neighbours or parking spaces.

Bifold doors and planning permission

If you want to install a bifold door as a replacement for an existing door, this will not usually need planning permission. There are no restrictions on the style or material you can use for your bifold doors. However, you must make sure the bifold doors follow building regulations.

You may need planning permission to widen an existing opening for your bifold door installation. It’s usually worth checking with your local authority if you plan on significantly altering a door opening. In general, this will be covered under permitted development rights, but in some areas, you may need planning permission. If you are altering a door opening and installing bifold doors, you will need to make sure the existing opening is structurally capable of withstanding the extra weight.

If you are adding a new opening for your bifold doors, you are likely to need planning permission. This would generally be classed as a major alteration to your property. Speak to your local authority for advice.

Listed buildings and conservation areas

If you live in a listed building or conservation area, you will normally need to apply for planning permission to install bifold doors. You may also need listed building consent. There may also be restrictions that affect the materials and styles that you use. In some areas, aluminium bifold doors are not considered to be acceptable. This is because the appearance of these doors is not in keeping with the local area. In this case, timber bifold doors are more likely to be acceptable.

If you are in a conservation area or listed building and want to install bifold doors, speak to the local authority or conservation team. They will be able to offer you advice on the materials and styles that are acceptable in the area.

The restrictions on bifold doors will not usually affect your project. However, it’s worth being sure as local authorities can enforce the regulations. If you’re not sure if your bifold door installation will need planning permission, you can check with your local authority. To find out who your local authority is, use the government’s search tool.