A few years ago David & Victoria Beckham got into a bit of trouble with their local planners in Hertfordshire.
It wasn’t the first time either.
A few years before that they began building a chapel on their property, purpose built for christening a couple of their boys.
They hadn’t applied for planning permission and were forced to halt the work at great expense to them
This time round they built a £120,000 miniature castle for their kids Brooklyn & Romeo again without planning permission.
They were threatened with having to tear the whole thing down by the local planners.
It got resolved in the end as they got retrospective planning permission because of the fact that no one was going to live in it.
Lucky for them but if you run foul of your local planners you won’t be so fortunate.
Imagine having to tear down an extension to your home just because you didn’t get planning permission for it?!
Getting Planning Permission
Of course not every project requires planning permission and the rules vary considerably between local authorities.
The general rule of thumb however is that if you are changing the external fabric of your building in any way (such as a rear extension or loft conversion with a new dormer window) or live in a conservation area or listed building then you will require planning permission.
There are some things you can do with what are called Permitted Developments which are known as your PD Rights. Unfortunately just like our beloved planning laws, what you can and cannot do and not need planning permission is just as vague.
All the planning laws in England were based on the Town & Planning Act of 1948. Basically houses which are built pre-’48 are seen to be in their existing state and everything there after is seen as an extension.
To complicate things further your PD rights were rewritten in 2008 and a lot of things that used to apply now don’t. You can also throw David Cameron’s changes to the planning laws into this mix too.
Generally Permitted Developments are projects that don’t require full planning permission as long as you don’t exceed 10% of the overall gross floor area of your home or no more than 50m3 of volume of an extension.
But if in doubt ask your local planning authority.
That said though, with us humans being very political creatures, it is good to know what your PD Rights are so they may come in handy if your proposed project is shall we say a bit controversial.
For example you might want to build both a side and rear extension. If you assume that your PD rights are still intact but the addition of both extensions exceeds the limits set out by the PD, choose which extension the planners are most likely to object to and apply for the lesser controversial one.
If planning is granted then you can exercise your PD rights later to build the controversial one and not require planning at all.
A useful place to start is at http://www.planningportal.gov.uk, go to General Public Area and then household planning rules so you can figure out what you can or cannot do.
They recently revamped their site and it’s a lot better than it used to be, believe me!
If you do need to apply for planning then they will usually require 6 copies of the following although applying online via pdf is becoming more of the norm:
- Location Plan
- Existing Site Plan
- Proposed site plan
- Layout plans & elevations of the existing house
- Layout plans & elevations of the proposed house
- Details of materials to be used
- Details of trees to be felled if any
Isometric view drawings are also a good idea to show the planner how your house will fit in with the neighbours. Basically the easier you make it for them the easier they will give you planning permission.
Planning costs do vary depending on what you intend on building and whether you go for outline & detailed planning permission, both types of which I’ll go into now.
Outline Planning Permission
Outline planning permission is permission given for an overall concept of what is intended to be built rather than exactly what is going to be built.
For example the planner might agree with idea of building a house on a particular plot of land but not have any of the details on what that house will actually look like, size of it, etc.
It’s a bit like planning on going out for the night without knowing where you are going to go.
Quite often land is sold with outline planning permission for a purpose such as building a house, so the person selling it can get more money for that plot of land.
Outline planning permission is a quick and inexpensive way to see if the basic concept of what you plan to build is going to be acceptable to the local planners.
Detailed Planning Permission
As the name suggests this type of planning permission is concerned with the details of the design of the house and these are to be approved before permission is granted.
For example, if you are proposing to build in a conservation area, the level of detail to be provided to the planners might go down to the type of gate you want to have on the front of the house.
So you will need an Architect to develop drawings and a design that works.
This is more expensive as you will need professional drawings and details to show the planners and this is part and parcel of what your Architect will do for you.
They will also submit the planning application and deal with the planners so you don’t have to.
Planning In London
There is one type of development that is loved by planners in London and that is basement conversions..
Planners love them because you are building under your existing home which means you are not increasing your carbon blueprint and getting planning permission for them is generally a lot easier than for extensions.
And if you would like to see how much a basement will cost you then I’ve got something very special for you.
Want To Know How A Basement Will Cost You?
The most common question we get on this site and from our clients is “how do I get a ball park figure for my building work so I have an idea on how much it will cost me before I start?”
And there hasn’t really been an easy answer to that…
Well if the question above also applies to you then you need to check out our Ultimate Basement & Basement Conversion Costing Toolkit.
Basically we’ve tried every pricing tool both offline & online and we’ve put together this toolkit which shows you how to use what we consider the best free online pricing tool that exists for the UK market.
We break it down and give you step-by-step instructions on how to use it and you’ll be shocked with how ridiculously easy to use it is.
We’ll also show you what info you need to fill them out and how to get this info if you don’t have it, again it’s really simple to do.
This is the best resource on the big bad interwebs for getting a pretty good ballpark figure for your basement be it a conversion of one you already have or a brand new one.
And the best part is that you can do it all online, there’s no calling anyone or booking an appointment or being hounded by sales people!
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And this is just a sample!
So to find out more all you have to do is click the link below: