- Do you need Planning Permission?
Under Permitted Development Rights you can extend up to set parameters and may not need planning permission at all.
- Listed Building Consent
If your property is listed you will need Listed Building Consent as well as Planning Consent.
- Understanding what precedent means
People incorrectly assume that if someone else has done it, they will be able to get the same feature on their house with no problems.
These houses may have had these features for a long period of time and these could have been approved through a certificate of lawfulness. Also planning policy changes and the feature you want may now not be in favour with the local authority.
- Use the pre-app system
The pre-app system is there to help you put in an application which will get approved. It will generally only cost a few hundred pounds and the likelihood of the application going through it greatly increased and should save you a great deal of time with refusals, although this is not guaranteed.
- Talk to your neighbours
Always talk to your neighbours before putting in your application. If you are going to disagree its better that its at this early stage so you can try and come to an agreement. Rather than them putting in an objection once the application is in and it being refused for something that could have been avoided. You will usually need cooperation from your neighbours in the course of a build so it’s not worth starting off on the wrong foot.
Ultimately a neighbour’s objection will not stop your application going through if it’s in line with policy but when it comes to further down the line and you need a scaffolding licence from them, a chat before it all starts can do wonders.
- Get Design Advice
Appoint an architect early to go through potential designs and what is feasible.
- Appointing a Builder
Get several quotes from recommended builders and ask for references along with evidence of their insurance. When you receive the quotes ensure it is itemised and don’t forget about VAT.
- Party Walls
You can’t start work until you have your party wall awards signed off! Speak to Davis Brown!
- Inform your Insurer
Before you start work you will need to inform your insurer that you are carrying out works to the house and you may face an increase in your premium for the period of the build. If you fail to inform your insurers of the work you may not be covered if something happens during the build.
- Do you need a Rights of Light Survey?
Are you adjacent to another property with windows? In which case you will probably need a right of light survey.
- Tree Preservation Orders
Check if the property has any TPO (Tree Preservations Orders), these are protected and cannot be removed.
Protected species like newts, reptiles and bats can stand in the way of development! If you anticipate any of these on your site you need to get an ecological survey undertaken.
You need to consider how the build will be drained and what it will link into, such as a public sewer and in the case of surface water a soakaway.
- Time Limits
Most planning consents expire after 3 years so don’t leave it too late once you have consent!
- Planning Refused
If your planning is refused all is not lost, you can go to appeal and if rejected there you can take it to the High Court.
- How much does a planning application cost?
The cost depends on the nature of the build. If you are constructing a new house it will be £462 for a full application whereas a home extension will generally be £206.
- What are Planning Conditions?
Sometimes the local authority will impose specific conditions like what materials you can use.
If your scheme is using scaffolding you may need a licence especially if it’s on another owner’s land.
- How Long Does it take to get Planning?
Once your application has been submitted and accepted as complete along with the fee, the local authority is supposed to determine planning applications within 10 to 12 weeks of registration. The majority of straightforward householder applications will be dealt with within this time frame.
- What if I don’t get Planning Consent?
While it is not illegal to develop land without planning permission, it is not lawful and if you have failed to get consent for your project, then the local planning authority can take action to have the work altered or demolished. In this instance, you can make a retrospective planning application and if this is refused you can appeal the decision. If you lose, it can prove very costly.
Altering a listed building without prior permission is, however, a criminal offence, and in extreme cases it can lead to prosecution and unlimited fines — and even imprisonment. So do ensure you apply for this first.