Ultimate Planning Permission Guide

house extension loft conversion Lysia Street SW6

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is – in simple terms – asking your local authority for permission to do construction on your property.

Planning permission takes into account various aspects of your case, from disruption to neighbours to traffic disruption. Therefore, it is not just a case of ‘It’s my house, I can do what I want!’

The planning system is there to control inappropriate development.

You will need planning permission when making extensive changes to a property, this includes basement or loft conversion or an extension.

In this case APT Renovation can do it for you.

When do you need to apply for planning permission?

You will need planning permission if your project requires:

  • Making a large dig up or excavation
  • Making alterations to your building, e.g. building an extension
  • Make changes to the use of a building, e.g. converting a house into flats

Some projects only require planning permission depending on the square metreage of the project and the level of Permitted Development Rights (see below) afforded to the property.

To find out whether your project will need planning permission, simply contact the APT Renovation team, who will be happy to talk you through the process.

Please note: If your project requires planning permission and you fail to comply with the rules, you run the risk of receiving an ‘enforcement notice’ which will force you to undo all the changes you have made to your project.

Planning Permission FAQ

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted Development was introduced when the planning system was created back in 1st July 1948, as a part of the Town and Planning Act.

Permitted Development Rights allow minor – size dependent – changes to building planning. But for larger changes, full planning permission is required.

What’s the difference between Outline and Full planning permission?

Outline planning permission:

Outline planning permission, if for the construction of a dwelling, can be granted in principle. This will be subject to conditions based on shape and size of the design. Even for an outline application there is still a lot of documentation needed, so many people prefer opting for a full application.

Often Outline applications are used for valuation purposes. For example if you do not wish to build this development yourself, or if it is for a major development, where a full application would not be financially advised.

Full planning permission:

When your development involves contracted work, you will likely have to apply for full planning permission.

Full planning includes approval for appearance, scale, layout, access and amount of work needed for your project.

If your project involves work on a property in a conservation area or on a listed building you may additionally need to complete a listed building or conservation area consent form jointly within your application.

APT Renovation advises that you to go full planning permission

How much will an application cost?

The fee for submitting a planning application varies depending on the nature of the development. For pre-application advice on fees and to discuss the process, get in touch and we will help you work out the exact price.

What do I need to apply for planning?

Each planning application is made up of five things:

  • Planning Permission application forms
  • A signed ownership certificate
  • A site plan, block plan and elevations of both existing and proposed sites
  • A Design and Access Statement (see below)
  • The correct feePlanning Permission FAQ

What is a Design and Access statement, how do I get one?

A Design and Access Statement (DAS) is a short report that accompanies a planning application. It is a framework for applicants to explain how potential users will access the development.

A DAS must explain the design concepts of the development, and how the purpose of the project has influenced its design.

The level of detail in your statement depends entirely on the complexity of the project. However, it should not be a lengthy document. Usually, for most straightforward planning applications, the Design and Access Statement should only be a page long.

Your local authority should have guidance notes available to help you with filling out this part of your planning application. But, if you wish to have this hassle taken care of, simply get in touch with us and we will take care of it for you.

What are planning Conditions?

Planning Conditions are conditions set by the Local Authority in regards to your planning application. You will need to agree to these conditions prior to the granting planning permission.

Conditions can be simple requirements for your project such as using correct materials that match existing ones, acoustics, the results of a soil test, or opening hours if it is a commercial project.

Even if they may seem trivial, planning conditions are extremely important and failure to comply with local authorities can result in breach of condition notice, to which there is no right of appeal – not to mention it could be enforced through the courts.

How do the Local Authority decide on applications?

After your submission of your project application, your local authority will make a decision based on many considerations, which includes (but are not limited to):

  • Highway safety
  • Loss of light or overshadowing
  • Noise
  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Traffic
  • Government policy
  • Impact on listed building and Conservation Area
  • Layout and density of building
  • Design, appearance and materials
  • Disabled access
  • Nature conservation
  • Proposals in the development plan
  • Previous planning decisions
  • Parking

While neighbours and parish councils (in England and Wales) are consulted and invited to comment on your design project, only objections based on material, loss of privacy, proposals in development plan considerations are taken into account.

If your planning application faces objections it will be elevated into a committee by one of your local councillors, then the final decision will be made by majority vote by the local planning committee.

During the planning meeting, you or your agent [APT Renovation] will be given an opportunity to add

ress the planning committee to make your case.

How long does is take to get planning permission?

Once you have submitted your planning application, the planning department will check over all of the information.

Local authorities can issue planning permission within 8 to 10 weeks of submission.

In some cases, the local authority will place signage up outside your property in regards to the proposed development of your project. Thus, allowing any neighbours likely to be affected by the project to be invited to view the plans and make their comments. This is known as the public consultation process and normally takes around three to eight weeks.

The authority will also initiate statutory consultations with the Local Highways Department and the Environment Agency.

What if the Local Authority refuse your planning application?

Our experience shows that around 85% of applications are successful. However, if you’re in the small majority that has their application refused – this is not the end of the road.

If your Local Authority refuse your application, we will take a closer look and make the suitable amendments and resubmit your application.

Alternatively, you can appeal the decision to the planning inspectorate and around 90% of refused householder applications are later granted at appeal.

How long do I have to wait start the project?

You can begin the project as soon as planning permission. It is worth remembering that planning permission is normally only granted for three years, thus you should begin your project within this timeframe.

Can I alter my plans once I have Full planning permission?

Yes, you are eligible to make minor alterations by applying for a non-material amendment.

Planning Permission FAQ

What happens if I carry out works without planning permission?

It is illegal to carry out works that require planning permission without having authorisation. If you have failed to get permission for your project, the local planning authority hold the rights to take action to have your project demolished.

You can still apply for a retrospective planning application. However, if this fails, you can still appeal the decision.

If you have a listed building, the stakes are a lot higher. Altering a listed building without the correct permissions is a criminal offence. In extreme cases it can lead to prosecution, unlimited fine charges and even imprisonment.

Therefore, we stress the importance of applying for planning before starting any work.

When don’t I need planning permission?

The government states that with Permitted Development Rights, some building projects will not require planning permission.

Building projects that normally have permitted development rights include:

  • Industrial premises and warehouses
  • Demolition – but before you begin you must get approval to demolish from your local planning authority.
  • Projects that will have no impact on your neighbours or the environment. If you are unsure if your project falls into this category, check with your Local Planning Authority.
  • If your building project benefits the local community, and the community supports it, you may not have to go through the normal planning permission process. Neighbourhood planning and Community Right to Build lets your community grant planning permission directly, under certain circumstances.

When do you need Building Regulations approval?

In general, Building Regulations apply to the construction of new buildings, extensions and material alterations to buildings.

Certain parts of the Regulations apply to existing buildings where a material change of use takes place. Otherwise, Building Regulations do not apply to buildings constructed prior to 1 June, 1992.

You will need building regulations approval if you are planning to make alteration, which includes:

  • Any structural work in basement conversion
  • Replacing the main fuse boxes and connected electrics
  • Installation of a fixed air-conditioning system
  • Replacing the new windows and moving door fixtures
  • Installation of boiler

If you are not sure whether you need approval, contact us and we will discuss the options with you.

What will happen if I don’t seek approval?

If you do not follow the correct procedures, penalties will arise.  Also, without full approval of your alterations, you will not be able to sell your home.