Planning Approval Process Frequently Asked Questions

The planning process can be quite complicated however below are some of the frequently asked questions.

Why do we need planning permission?

This approval is a legal requirement should you wish to construct a new home or make significant modifications to your existing home.

What happens if I do not obtain planning approval?

If you proceed and construct a building on a building plot or make alterations to your home without permission you could be breaking the law and may be prosecuted and also enforced to remove the new addition at your expense.

Will I be able to sell my house after it has been altered without permission?

No, very unlikely as solicitors very often nowadays look for all planning approvals during property searches and usually advise their clients not to proceed with the purchase until the necessary approvals have been obtained.

When is permission required?

Permission is required for the following:

·   A new dwelling

·   House extensions to existing dwellings

·   You want to make additions or extensions to a flat or maisonette

·   You want to divide off part of your house for use as a separate home e.g. a self-contained flat or bed-sit

·   Use a caravan in your garden as a home

·   You want to build a separate house in your garden

·   You want to divide off part of your home for business or commercial use

·   You want to build a parking place for a commercial vehicle at your home

·   You want to build something which goes against the terms of the original planning e.g. fencing in an open plan development

·   The work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users

Do you need permission to carry out internal alterations?

No, you do not need planning permission to carry out internal alterations or work which does not affect the external appearance of the building.

Do you need permission to let out rooms in your house?

No, you do not need planning permission to let one or two of your rooms to lodgers so long as the main use remains that of a private residence.

What are the different types of approvals and the planning approval process?

There are three types of approvals applicable to dwelling houses:

Outline Planning Approval

This building plan approval establishes the principle of a development and as such detailed plans will not normally be required. Outline permission applications can only be made when the proposal involves the erection of a new dwelling.

Reserved Matters

Once outline is approved you should then apply for Reserved Matters approval. This application provides the architectural detail drawings for the proposal and should comply with the conditions of the outline approval and should be submitted within 3 years. Details include detailed plans and drawings to show location, design and external appearance of the development, the means of access to the development and landscaping.

Full Planning Permission

Full planning applications must be made for the following types of development:

·   Extensions outside the scope of permitted development

·   Applications for retrospective planning permission

·   For a change of use of land or buildings

·   The carrying out of mining, engineering or operations other than building operations

·   Full applications are also appropriate when the principle of the proposed development is acceptable in planning terms Contour Architectural can help determine the type of planning application you should make.

How long does it take to get permission?

Depending on the type of application a decision could take up to several months. The Planning Service should be able to give an idea about what the likely timetable will be.

When is permission required for a housing extension?

You will need to apply for permission to extend or add to your house in the following circumstances:

·   You want to build an extension which would be nearer to any road than the original house was

·   More than half the area of land around the original house would be covered by the new extension or any other buildings

·   The extension is higher than the highest part of the roof of the “original house”

·   Any part of the extension is more than 4 metres high and is within 3 metres of the boundary of your property

·   For a terraced house (incl. end terrace) where the volume of the “original house” is increased by more than 10% or 50 cubic metres (whichever is the greater)

·   For any house in a Conservation Area where the volume of the “original house” is increased by more than 10% or 50 cubic metres (whichever is the greater)

·   For any other house outside those areas, the volume of the “original house” is increased by more than 15% or 70 cubic metres (whichever is the greater)

Do I need permission for a front porch?

Yes, if the proposed has:

·   A ground area (measured externally) exceeding 2M2

·   Higher than 3M above ground level

·   Less than 2M away from the boundary of a dwelling house with a public highway

Do I need permission to erect a fence or wall?

Yes, if:

·   The fence or wall is above 1M next to a vehicular road

·   The fence or wall above 2M elsewhere

·   Your house is listed or close to a listed type building

What is permitted development?

In some cases it is possible to construct an extension or alternation to your home without the need for permission provided you meet specific requirements. These requirements are more restrictive in designated areas e.g. conservation areas. This legislation is quite complex and we at Contour Architectural can consult with the planning authorities to be sure that you are not contravening planning legislation.

In addition to planning approval your project may require building control approval.

For a FREE consultation please call 02890 692 444 if you have a question on the planning requirements