Do I Need Planning Permission?
— 25 March 2022
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— 25 March 2022
As you talk to an architect or contractor about your building project, you may begin to wonder if you need planning permission. It’s important to follow the rules when building or you could end up in quite a lot of trouble. Usually, the architect can inform you of whether your planned project requires permission, but you may wish to have a better idea before you get too far in your planning.
If you’ve been dreaming of a new conservatory out the back of your home or of converting your attic into a lovely loft, don’t go too far down that path before you find out if it’s legal or not. You may have to increase your budget to include the costs for planning permission.
Our guide will explain everything you need to know about obtaining planning permission.
Planning permission is simply getting permission from the local planning authorities or council to carry out the sort of building work you wish to complete. If you need planning permission, you cannot start your construction until the permission has been granted.
In some areas of the UK, there may be protections in place to prevent outside alterations of homes. This is to preserve the quaint charm of these towns. While planning permissions may seem frustrating and annoying, they really are there for good reason, so you need to try and work within the guidelines. An architect in the know is a good ally in this case.
Not all areas have the same rules and regulations, so be sure to familiarise yourself when planning everything. You can take your architecture drawing into the local council and show them your ideas to see if they feel you need to apply.
Not all building projects require planning permission, so you may be able to build under permitted development rights. As long as you and your contractor are aware of these and ensure that the construction stays within the guidelines, you won’t need to get permission and shouldn’t have any issues.
Not all buildings fall under the same permitted development rights. Flats and commercial properties, for example, do not have the same rules. You will also need to take care if you are in a designated area. A designated area will be restricted in what may be built. These areas include:
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty
World Heritage Sites
Other similar areas
Check that you are not in a designated area before you begin your plan.
In general, small projects do not require planning permission. If you are simply replacing a window, for example, this won’t cause an issue. You may also do the following without permission:
Interior renovations. As long as the renovation doesn’t change the footprint of the home, you should have no problems with changing the interior.
Single storey extensions. You can add up to 3 metres to your home without need for permission. In most cases you can add 4 metres to the rear of a detached home.
Conservatories. Most conservatories can be added without problems if they’re attached to the original house and not an extension.
Loft conversions. A loft conversion is a good way to add more space to your home and it doesn’t require permission unless you plan to extend beyond the existing front elevation.
Roof replacement. You need no permission to replace your roof, even if you are changing it slightly. There are some measurements for what is permitted however.
External cladding. If you want to redo the external cladding, you can, but it must look very similar to the prior cladding. You may also need special permission for certain types of cladding in certain areas.
Solar panels. You can add solar panels that don’t stick out above 200 mm of the roof plane without needing to apply for anything.
Heat pumps. It’s also possible to add a heat pump to keep your home warm. There are restrictions on sizes, however, so be sure you know the rules.
While these are some of the more common projects you can work on without consulting the city planners, you need to be aware that there are rules surrounding each type of construction. You should be well aware of the rules before you attempt any type of construction project.
Even if you believe you do not need to get permission, it’s best to let the local planning authority know of your building project. If they have any issues with it, they can let you know why the development may not be permitted. You may need to apply for permission and if so, you’ll be notified when you discuss it with them.
If you do need to apply for planning permission, it’s important to determine which type of planning permission is needed. There are several types.
Householder planning permission is used when you wish to extend or alter the house within your property lines.
Outline permission gives you permission to explore an idea, but not necessarily start building. If you choose the outline option, you have to submit more carefully done plans later.
Full planning permission provides permission for a plan that follows a detailed design and process that has all been laid out.
Once you receive permission, you will usually have three years from the consent date to complete the project. You can still reapply after that point.
You will need to include:
Application forms, five copies of each
Signed ownership certificate
Complete site plan
Elevations of current and proposed sites
Design and Access Statement
You will also need to pay the fee for the type of plan you are applying for. As you can see, it is quite the process to figure out everything involved and actually put together the plan for permission approval. This is where you may wish to have an architectural firm on your side.
An architectural firm can be a huge help when you are trying to manage everything with a building project.
First, they will have the knowledge to help you determine if you need planning permission in the first place. This will make it much simpler to deal with. Having an architecture drawing can be quite useful for applying for the permission, but also, you’ll get the expertise of the architect assigned to your project. They will know exactly when and how to file for permission with the best chance of success.
It can be a long, frustrating road to get your plans approved, but with an architect helping you out, you’ll have that aid that eases your mind and helps relieve the stress.
An architect will also provide you with a better house extension cost assessment and may even save you money. They can design just the right space for you and maximise the amount of space you have if you are trying to stay away from planning permissions. There are many ways to work within the allotted space and while it may be difficult for the average lay person to manage it, architects have studied for this. They can maximise the smallest amount of space and make it feel cosy.
Once you have your planning permission, you may continue on and build the addition or shed that you need. Again, the architect can be useful in this as they will manage the contractor for you. In short, it’s very helpful to have an expert with you for these types of projects.
Are you in need of a quality architectural firm? Contact Spatial Design Architects to find out more about our services.