Getting planning approval for developments, extensions and loft conversions is generally a straightforward process. If you follow the rules set out in law and by your local authority you shouldn’t have a problem.
But you don’t have to look far to find examples of people who ran into problems by trying to circumvent the process, or by building a structure that varies significantly from the approved plans.
If you want a smooth path through the planning application process it helps to get expert advice from the earliest stage.
Assuming that your proposed development doesn’t fall within permitted development rights, you will need planning permission before you can start building. You’ll also need building regulations approval.
All building work – including permitted development projects – need to comply with building regulations. These are mainly technical requirements affecting construction techniques and materials, electrical and fire safety, and thermal insulation.
If your property is a listed building or you live in a conservation area you will need to apply for planning permission before carrying out significant alterations.
PowellsLaw has helped many clients to negotiate the planning process by drawing up compliant planning applications. We understand the local planning constraints and can advise you on whether the development you’re proposing is likely to be approved, or how you might need to modify your plans to gain approval more easily. In the long-run this can save a lot of time and expense.
We also help clients with appeals where planning permission has been refused. Appeals can only be made on specific grounds such as when the local authority hasn’t applied the law appropriately or hasn’t applied its powers in the right way.
Planning regulations can also apply in cases such as removing or altering trees and hedgerows or displaying advertisements. Penalties for not complying with regulations (even inadvertently) can be severe so it’s important to get professional advice.
Houses in Multiple Occupancy
The rules are generally different for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). Local authorities usually exclude HMOs from permitted development rights and if you are renting to more than six unrelated people you will need planning permission.
Planning approval typically comes with the condition that work is started within three years. This can be extended by submitting an appropriate application.