The Planning Process

Your local planning authority (LPA) – usually the district or borough council – is responsible for deciding whether a proposed development should be allowed to go ahead. This is called planning permission.

 

Most new buildings, major alterations to existing buildings and significant changes to the use of a building or piece of land need this permission.

However, certain minor building works – known as permitted development– don't need planning permission. This is because the effect of such developments on neighbours or the surrounding environment is likely to be small – e.g. building a boundary wall below a certain height.  

 

Based on experience I can advise on the proposal to extend your property in terms of whether Permitted Development can apply or not. 

 

Should planning permission be deemed required for the works, this will require an application to be made to the planners. This will require accurate 'to scale' drawing information to be submitted and can take between 6-8 weeks to be determined. 

 

I would typically follow-up the application shortly after being submitted to make contact with the relevant planning officer to discuss the works and to appreciate any potential issues.

 

For more information on current guidance click here.

To review the 'Interactive House' click here.

For information concerning the Party Wall Act click here.

 

building plans

Building Regulations

Building regulations are generally required for ALL building works. Only certain minor works to include conservatories less than 30m2 are exempt from such. 

 

The regulations can often seem unreasonable, but they are all there for good reasons. Building regulation matters are usually handled by Building Control Officers in the Building Control Department of your local authority but increasingly private licensed inspectors are an alternative. Unlike planning, there is no committee and you should not have to endure a long wait for approvals, normally within 4weeks.

 

Your application for building control approval pays for the Building Inspectors to check your plans for compliance with the various regulations and for the Building Inspector to visit your property at various stages of the work to ensure that your builder is adhering to the regulations. 

 

Applications can be made in 2 ways:

 

1. Full plans deposit

2. Building Notice

 

Full plans deposit is the recommended approach. This provides for the detailed drawing information to be submitted to the relevant body (Local council building control or Independent approved inspectors) for their review and comment upon PRIOR to works commencing. This will typically result in 'conditional' approval with indication of any items requiring further information to be provided or confirmed as forming part of the design. This approach and developed set of detailed drawing information will also benefit your contractors in providing more robust costs. The application fees are levied in 2 stages, one upon application and a further 'Inspection fee' due upon the first site inspection / attendance to review the foundation level.

 

Building Notice provides for an application being made with less detailed information, often just planning level drawings however it will require your chosen contractor's experience and familiarity of the Approved Documents for their liaison with the Inspectors.

 

The limited level of information will not provide for such accurate costing against and will provide for risk in the contractor-led design and choice of structural elements, joist & rafter sizes being correct/in compliance with the regulations. The Notice requires your providing of 48hr notification prior to works commencing. Single payment is required upfront being the combined submission fee & 1st Inspection.

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