Planning Permission

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Before work starts the scheme must meet the planning laws – options include:

A Pre-Application enquiry:

Useful when there are issues to resolve before we begin preparing plans – this can be a low cost method of obtaining the planning authority’s views on the prospect of getting planning, before you are committed to detailed plans. It is necessary to prepare a site location plan and an indication of the extent of the application, its content, access and a rough idea of scale. Once submitted there is usually three weeks to wait while a planning officer visits the site and writes back outlining his or her opinion of the chances of obtaining permission. This is an officer’s view, not that of the Council, but without officer’s support, a subsequent application can be turned down. This useful guidance can advise us on the next steps.

We may then prepare an outline application: 

This provides site location, access details and indications of various limited aspects of the design. Outline approval can be useful for clients seeking to obtain an approval in principle, with a detailed application to follow once the concept of development is established. It is considerably cheaper than going for detailed design but the permission granted will require a further submission of detailed plans to satisfy the conditions set in order for work to start. These are usually details of elevations, door and window design, scale, access, materials and landscaping etc.

Detailed application:

We recommend applying for this in projects where we know planning permission is very likely to be granted. This includes schemes where there are no matters of principle to decide and where the access and scale of development – say an extension – is not in danger of overlooking or overshadowing neighbouring properties or other issues likely to offend neighbours or the planning laws. Plans submitted in a detailed application will feature existing and proposed plans, elevations, roof plan, site plan, block plan and details of materials. We will often add three dimensional artwork and sections through the adjoining land to support the proposal.

Permitted Development:

Recent changes in planning regulations may well mean your proposed extension does not need Planning Permissions, provided certain requirements are met. We can guide you through the complex rules and ease the process. We often recommend using the “Do I need Planning” application form which offers quick confirmation that your scheme comes within permitted development and does not need planning.

Building Regulations:

Once planning permission is granted, or even if it isn’t needed, you will almost certainly need to apply for Building Regulations approval. This means adding to the plans all the technical information needed by the builder to construct the works according to the building regulations to ensure you have the right structural specification, insulation levels and materials to meet all current legislation. This may require the appointment of a Structural Engineer to specify the more technical aspects of steelwork and roof construction which may sometimes be necessary. An expenditure of a few hundred pounds may be necessary to obtain detailed plans for such work, but we can obtain quotations for you should this be needed.