How To Get Planning Permission

Planning Permission: The Basics

How do you set about getting planning permission? Or, do you need it at all?

Blueprints Tape Measure. Planning Permission: The Basics

What Is Permitted Development?

Permitted development sets out a degree of development that does not require planning consent. There are a number of parameters and equations that cover what can be done, but as long as the development comes within these, the local authority is unable to prevent it. Applicable only to houses, it provides a rare opportunity to break free of the usual constraints.

Harris notes that there is a difference for flats, as opposed to houses, as they do not have any permitted development rights. So any extensions automatically require planning permission whereas a house can use up its permitted development allowance before you have to apply for planning permission - as long as its within the permitted development guidelines.

To see for yourself what is permitted visit The Planning Portal Interactive House. The model house is fully interactive and at the click of your mouse not only informs you what, if any, planning permission is required, but it also outlines the building regulations that apply.

For example, if you want to build an extension or an addition, the portal outlines that a new set of limits and conditions have been applied from 1 October 2008 and provided you meet them you do not require planning permission. A click through to another page within the Planning Portal more fully details what you may or may not do without planning permission.

What Happens If I Need Planning Permission?

Assuming you do require permission, T-Space's Harris outlines the process and timeline: 'If planning is required, an application must be made before work starts. This now involves an exhaustive form, along with drawings of the existing building, drawings of the proposal, a location plan, a statement of ownership, and the appropriate fee.'

'In a Conservation Area an extra form will be required along with a Design and Access Statement. No additional fee is payable. Depending on the circumstances, additional information may be necessary - for example, the council may ask for a report from a specialist examining the effect of the proposal on traffic, daylight, flooding, noise, and so on.'

'Once the council has received the application, they will either validate it (giving you a start date for the application period) or ask for further information. For most applications, local authorities have to issue a decision within eight weeks, after which an appeal on the grounds of non-determination can be launched.'

'The first action is for the council to ask for comments from any affected parties, such as neighbours. These have 21 days to respond. Thereafter, the planning officer will consider the application, and probably visit the site. Under what are called 'Delegated Powers', the application may be granted by the officer. Otherwise, if there are objections from any party, it will be referred to the Planning Committee, which is made up of local councillors.

Companies such as ST Planning specialise in background planning research, pre-application discussions with planners and the submission of planning applications. Sometimes the experience of a company like this can prove invaluable to securing your planning permission as quickly as possible.

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