Planning Permission – Unpicked!

  1. Do you need Planning Permission? 

Under Permitted Development Rights you can extend up to set parameters and may not need planning permission at all.

  1. Listed Building Consent 

black and white historic building in Shropshire, UK

If your property is listed you will need Listed Building Consent as well as Planning Consent.

  1. 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 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Talk to your neighbours

Finger ringing doorbell. Hand pushing door bell. Friend visiting or unwanted guest. Neighbor complaining about noise. Police with bad news.

Always talk to your neighbours before putting in your application. If you are going to disagree its better that you do it 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.

  1. Get Design Advice

Elegance of a Loft (drawing) - 3d visualization

Appoint an architect early to go through potential designs and what is feasible.

  1. 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.

 8. Party Walls

You can’t start work until you have your party wall awards signed off, speak to Davis Brown!

  1. 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.

  1. Do you need a Rights of Light Survey?

Blue sky with clouds and sun reflection. looking up view

Are you adjacent to another property with windows? In which case you will probably need a right of light survey.

  1. Tree Preservation Orders

Fresh green tree.  Light in the sun and The big tree which grew

 Check if the property has any TPO (Tree Preservations Order), these are protected and cannot be removed.

  1. Ecology

A colorful Red-Eyed Tree Frog (Agalychnis callidryas) in its tropical setting.  (A colorful Red-Eyed Tree Frog

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.

  1. Drainage

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 soak away.

  1. Time Limits

Most planning consents expire after 3 years so don’t leave it too late once you have consent!

  1. Planning Refused

If your planning is refused all may not be lost, you can go to appeal and if rejected there you can take it to the High Court

  1. How much does a planning application cost?

Golden pound sterling signs falling on the white background.

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.

  1. What are Planning Conditions?

Sometimes the local authority will impose specific conditions like the materials you use.

  1. Scaffolding

If your scheme is using scaffolding you may need a licence especially if it’s on another owner’s land.

  1. 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 are 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

  1. 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.


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