When Do I Need Planning Permission?
Jul 30, 2014
It's that dreaded term. Planning permission. It strikes fear into the hearts of property developers and runs cold down the spine of home owners looking to really make their property feel like their home. It can spell months of red tape, countless meetings, headaches and shattered dreams.
But that's only if it's approached all wrong. Following our guide to planning permission, you will find that it's not as daunting a prospect as some would make you believe (or indeed our first paragraph did!).
So what do you need to know about planning permission?
Well, the first step is to figure out whether you will even need it at all. Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) consider the following three basic factors requisite of permission in most cases:
- A new build
- Major structural changes (extensions, loft conversions, etc.)
- A change in the use of the property (i.e. from a private property to a commercial one)
Each of these will be interpreted by your LPA in a different way, so the kind of permissions that you will require and assessments you will have to go through, will vary from case to case. For the most part industrial properties won't require planning permission from their LPA, though most changes to these sorts of premises will almost certainly require permissions from separate departments. The same goes for the demolition of buildings, although your local authority will have to approve of this separately too...
One type of property that avoids a lot of red tape are buildings of significance and beneficence of the local community. These sorts of properties will often be walked around the traditional routes of planning permission, and instead be fast tracked through schemes like the Community Right To Build.
What are the assessment criteria for planning permission?
The LPA take into account many factors when deciding whether you can make changes to your property. The following is a basic list of the sorts of things that they consider, though they are pretty vague, with each council likely to stipulate different rules for each variable.
- The size of the property
- Citing and appearance of the premises
- Local landscaping and how the works on your property will affect them
- The reason why you are undertaking the development. (turning your house into a pub in a terraced street might not pass through this one!)
- The effect on the local way of life, including the change of natural vistas, or a slowing down of local traffic.
This should give you an idea of what you can expect before you file for planning permission, though of course each council will treat these factors differently, and each build will affect the local environment in its own way!
Most applications are returns (either passed or failed) within 8-13 weeks. If you fail first time you can always reapply having altered your plans, so it's not game over at the first hurdle. However, it's most advisable for you to send off your application a long way in advance of your planned work as you don't want to get caught up in bureaucracy and end up disappointed!
Image by Will Scullin