Do you want to make major changes to your house?
If so, you might require planning permission. In our beginner’s guide, we will be walking you through the entire process.
- Planning permission is not needed for all projects
Permitted development (PD) rights allow you to do certain kinds of building work without obtaining planning permission. Maisonettes and flats do not have PD rights (therefore, you cannot do any construction work without obtaining planning permission) however, most houses do. If you live in an area of outstanding natural beauty, national park, or conversation area, you will have restricted PD rights.
If your home is a listed building there will also be limitations. You can seek advice from your local planning authority. There are planning experts available that can tell you if there is anything that will prevent your building work from going forward from a planning perspective and tell you whether you will need to apply for permission or not for part or all of the work.
- Local authorities can provide you with pre-application advice
If you are wanting to do work that PD doesn’t cover, you will be required to make a planning application. It is a good idea to consult with your local planning authority about your application before you officially submit it to determine if it has a good chance of succeeding. You will be given non-binding feedback, but it will provide you with a good indication of whether or not your scheme will succeed and if you need to make any changes to it before submitting it.
- There are many different kinds of permission
The kind of permission you need to obtain is going to depend on your specific project. For a residential extension, as an example, you will be required to apply for the Householder Planning Permission. On the other hand, Listed Building Consent is needed for a listing building. After you understand what type of permission you need to obtain, you can apply for it either by post (download the forms at your local authority’s website) or online at the Planning Portal website.
- As part of the application process, you will need to submit your plans
The majority of planning applications require you to submit two plans along with the application as supporting documents: a site plan showing your detailed proposed development, and a location plan showing the site as well as the surrounding area. In addition to submitting all of the required documents, you will need to pay a fee for the application. The cost will depend on the kind of development you are planning. In England, for example, it costs £172 to apply for the Householder Planning Permission.
- The decision process takes some time
After your application has been submitted, the planning department of your local planning authority will need to check to make sure it has all of the necessary information. They will tell if there is anything missing. A decision on most planning applications is given within eight weeks. However, if they are unusually complex or large it might take as long as 13 weeks. During this time, your neighbors who are likely to be affected by your new development may view the plans and make comment. You can contact your local authority to review their responses.
- Key considerations
The local planning authority takes various material considerations into account when determining whether or not to grant your planning application. That includes sustainability, noise, traffic, highway safety, parking, overshadowing or loss of light, and loss of privacy. To take sustainability for instance, you could consider using aluminium double glazing as the metal is the most recyclable and sustainable. The planning authority also looks at any concerns from neighbors, although when it comes to planning, complaints about negative effects on surrounding property values or loss of view are not relevant.
- There might be conditions
If your plans do get approved, be sure to note any conditions that are attached. For example, you might be required to get specific approval for certain aspects of your project before you can begin work, such as the types of materials you are using. The authority must provide reasons for any conditions they impose.
- If your application gets rejected you can appeal
If your planning application gets rejected or is approved with conditions that you are not happy with, talk to your local planning authority. You might be able to submit an amended application- and frequently you can do this without any extra cost. Amend your application and then resubmit it using the Planning Portal service.