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  • Planning permission is granted by local planning authorities.
  • An application for planning permission must be made to undertake certain types of work.
  • Failure to obtain planning permission when required, is likely to lead to enforcement action being taken by the local planning authority.
What is Planning Permission?
Planning Permission can be defined as the granting of consent by a local planning authority to undertake a proposed alteration, extension or other type of associated works. If you chose to carry out applicable work without Planning Permission it can lead to enforcement action being taken by the local authority. Within the planning system the type of work you are seeking to undertake, determines the type of planning application you should make.

Householder planning consent
Householder planning applications are for proposals to alter or enlarge a single house, including works within the boundary/garden of a house. It should be used for projects such as:
  • Extensions
  • Conservatories
  • Loft conversions
  • Dormer windows
  • Garages, car ports and outbuildings
Full planning consent
Full planning applications should be made for developments including building, engineering or other works, in, on, over or under land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings or other land excluding householder developments. As such it should be used for projects such as:

  • Any works relating to a flat
  • Applications to change the number of dwellings (flat conversions, building a separate house in the garden)
  • Changes of use to part or all of the property to non-residential (including business) uses
  • Anything outside the garden of the property (including stables if in a separate paddock)
Outline planning Consent
Applications for outline planning permission seek to establish whether the scale and nature of a proposed development would be acceptable to the local planning authority, before a fully detailed proposal is put forward. This type of planning application allows fewer details about the proposal to be submitted. Once outline permission has been granted, you will need to ask for approval of the details (“reserved matters”) before work can start. These details will be the subject of a “reserved matters” application at a later stage.

Lawful Development Certificate: Proposed or Existing
If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that a proposal does not require planning permission an application for a Lawful Development Certificate from your local Planning Authority.

Other types of planning consent
  • Listed building consent
  • Reserved matters
  • Planning permission for demolition in a conservation area
  • Removal / Variation of conditions
  • If required, building regulation drawings must be submitted to building control.
  • They are followed by the builder you instruct to ensure the work carried out meets regulations.
  • Your local Building Control Officer will visit your project to perform checks and sign off the work
What are Building Regulations?
Building Regulations are minimum standards for design, construction and alterations to virtually every building. They are developed by the Government and approved by Parliament.

The Building Regulations also contain a list of requirements (referred to as Schedule 1) that are designed to ensure minimum standards for health, safety, welfare, convenience, energy efficiency, sustainability and to prevent misuse, abuse or contamination of water supplies.

These regulations set national standards for building work, whether it be on a major new development or an extension or alterations to your home. They cover all aspects of construction, including foundations, damp-proofing, the overall stability of the building, insulation, ventilation, heating, fire protection and means of escape in case of fire. They also ensure that adequate facilities for people with disabilities are provided in certain types of building.

What Is The Difference Between Building Regulation Drawings and Planning Permission Drawings?
Building regulation drawings are technical drawings that set out in detail such as construction methods and types of materials that should be used throughout the build.

What Types of Work are Building Regulations Approval Required For?
  • New Build Residential Properties.
  • Extensions and Alterations.
  • Change of Use.
  • Internal Structural Alterations.
  • Loft and Garage Conversions.
  • Installing a WC.
  • Loft Conversions
*Please note this list is not exhaustive, if you require further information contact you're local building control office or contact us.

How Can I Get Building Regulations Approval?
Building Regulation approval can be obtained through either a Full Plans Application or for smaller DIY projects a Building Notice. A full plans application comprises of a completed application form, a detailed set of building regulation drawings and the correct fee. Throughout the Building Regulations process a building control inspector will visit the site to make sure that the work which has been undertaken meets the required standards.

What Happens If I Do Not Apply For Building Regulations Approval?
Obtaining Building Regulation Approval from you’re the Local Authority is a legal requirement when carrying out certain types of building work. If you chose to carry out applicable work without Planning Permission it can lead to enforcement action being taken by the local authority.

Want to know even more?
Building Regulations are regularly being updated, and consist of parts A-P. Below is a brief explanation of each.

A – Structure
This part is concerned with the structural stability of buildings. Areas covered include design of foundations, walls, floors and roof components and also in limiting the extent to which parts of the building may collapse if a major catastrophe, like a gas explosion occurs.
Approved Document A - Structural Safety

B – Fire Safety
This part includes requirement for providing early warning of a developing fire, satisfactory escape routes, preventing fire spread both within and to other buildings and providing good access and fire fighting facilities for the Fire Services.
Approved Document B - Fire safety

C – Site Preparation and Resistance to Contaminants and Moisture
This part contains the recommendations of making sure your property remains free from damp penetration, condensation, from any contamination that may be in the ground, and watertight.
Approved Document C - Site Preparation and Resistance to Contaminates and Moisture

D – Toxic Substances.
This part provides guidance on the prevention of toxic substances permeating into the building when inserting insulation into cavity walls. Approved Document D - Toxic Substances

E – Resistance to the Passage of Sound.
This part includes requirement aimed at reducing sound transference between dwellings, flats, from certain types of rooms and between communal areas and dwellings.
Approved Document E - Resistance to the Passage of Sound

F – Ventilation.
This part provides for adequate levels of ventilation to buildings and prevention of condensation forming in roof voids.
Approved Document F - Ventilation

G – Hygiene.
This part is concerned with providing sanitary conveniences and adequate washing facilities. It also includes requirements associated with unvented hot water storage installations.
Approved Document G - Hygiene

H – Drainage and Waste Disposal.
This part deals with the disposal of sewerage, waste water and storm water drainage together with details for solid waste storage (household refuse).
Approved Document H - Drainage and Waste Disposal

J – Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems.
This part covers safety requirements when installing either solid fuel, gas or oil heating appliances.
Approved Document J - Combustion Appliance and Fuel Storage Systems

K – Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact.
This part is concerned with staircase design, headroom, handrails, balustrading and guarding of landings, balconies and other raised areas.
Approved Document K - Protection from Falling, Collision and Impact

L – Conservation of Fuel and Power.
This part provides minimum standards of energy efficiency to all parts of the building. This section also provides design criteria for space heating and hot water storage.
Approved Document L - Conservation of Fuel and Power

M – Access to and Use of Buildings.
This part deals with the design of buildings to enable all people to gain access, and be able to use the facilities of the building. It also includes requirements to help people with sight, hearing and mobility impairments use buildings.
Approved Document M - Access to and Use of Buildings

N – Glazing Safety in relation to Impact, Opening and Cleaning.
This area is concerned with providing safety glass in critical locations (glazing you are likely to walk into or fall against).
Approved Document N - Glazing Safety

P – Electrical Safety.
This part applies to electrical installation work in dwellings, common parts to dwellings and associated gardens.

This section came into effect on 1 January 2006 and applies in buildings or parts of buildings comprising:
  • Dwelling houses and flats;
  • Dwelling and business premises that have a common supply – for example shops and public houses with a flat above;
  • Shared amenities of blocks of flats such as laundries and gymnastics.
Part P applies also to parts of the above electrical installations:
  • In or on land associated with the buildings – for example Part P applies to fixed lighting and
  • Pond pumps in gardens;
  • In outbuildings such as sheds, detached garages and greenhouses.
This means that new electrical installations carried out either on their own or as part of, for example a loft conversion or extension need to be certified by a qualified person. The certificate is then sent to us for our records.

If you cannot do this you will need to notify us so that we can inspect the work.
Approved Document P - Electrical Safety

Regulation 7
Approved Document for Regulation 7 - Material and Workmanship
  • Permitted Development Rights are not subjective.
  • You either have them or you don't.
  • Your neighbours do not have the right to object.
  • Covers Loft Conversions, Single Storey Side and Rear Extensions and Two Storey Rear Extensions.
  • Local Authority Planning Officers cannot influence your project
  • You need plans drawn for the Council to "confirm" its lawful.
Please click here to view a great extension guide for permitted development created by the Governments Planning Portal

Permitted Development Rights
You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called "permitted development rights". It is important to note that permitted development rights do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

In some areas of the country, known generally as 'designated areas', permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas.

There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.
We advise that you should contact your local planning authority and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if you need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.

Permitted Development Rights withdrawn
You should also note that the local planning authority may have removed some of your permitted development rights by issuing an Article 4 direction. This will mean that you have to submit a planning application for work which normally does not need one.

Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas. You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check with the local planning authority if you are not sure.

NOTE: Houses created through permitted development rights to change use from shops, financial and professional services premises or agricultural buildings cannot use householder permitted development rights to improve, alter or extend homes: planning permission is required. You are advised to contact your local planning authority.

The rules governing the size of new additions you can make to your property without going through Planning Process were modified significantly in 2020. As a result making an application under Permitted Development can be a far simpler process.
  • No Planning Permission is required.
  • Extend the rear of your property by 6 or 8 metres.
  • No council fees are payable for the application.
  • Accepted on the basis that neither your neighbours object.
What is the Larger Home Extension Scheme
Since the 9th of May 2013, Planning permission has not been required for a single storey rear extension up to 6 metres for terraced and semi detached houses and 8 metres for detached houses. The legislation has been extended to May 2019 and allows homeowners to increase their living accommodation without the need to go through a full planning application process. However, homeowners cannot just go ahead and build such extensions and still require architectural plans of the proposed project for the council.

Limits and Conditions
The development must however comply with all other relevant limitations and conditions that apply to other rear extensions allowed under permitted development, for example:
  • No more than half the area of land around the ''original house'' should be covered by additions or other buildings. ''Original house'' means as it was originally built or as it stood on 1 July 1948.
  • The maximum depth of the single storey rear extension is 6 metres for an attached house and 8 metres for a detached house. Measurements should be taken from the rear elevation of the house as originally built or as it stood on 1 July 1948.
  • The maximum height* of the single storey rear extension is 4 metres.
  • The maximum eaves height* should be 3 metres if the extension is within 2 metres of any boundary.
  • Materials used in the construction of the extension should be similar in appearance to those used for the existing house.
  • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms are permitted.
  • No chimneys, flues or soil and vent pipes or microwave antennae are permitted.
For detailed guidance of limitations and conditions, visit the planning portal.

What is the Process 1. Larger home extensions must go through the following process:
A written description of the proposal, which includes the length that the extension extends beyond the rear wall of the original house, the height at the eaves and the height at the highest point of the extension:
  • A site location plan, showing at least two named roads;
  • A block plan of the existing house and proposed extension, showing distances to boundaries.
  • Scaled plans (at 1:50 or 1:100) including existing and proposed floor plans and elevations, indicating the position of any doors or windows and a roof plan.
  • Addresses of any adjoining properties, including at the rear.
2. A homeowner wishing to build a larger single storey rear extension must notify the local planning authority (council) and provide;
  • An application form and checklist (no fee is required).
  • The local planning authority may ask for further information if required, to make a decision on the application.
3. The council will notify the adjoining owners or occupiers of the development and will set out when the application was received and when the 42 determination period ends. It will also outline the timeline for neighbours to set out their objections.

4. If any adjoining neighbour raises an objection within the defined period, the council will take into account the objections outlined.

5.The development may go ahead if no objections are received from adjoining neighbours within the 21 day period and the development complies with all relevant criteria. If objections have been submitted , the council will consider whether the effect on the amenity of the adjoining properties is acceptable.

6. The council may refuse the application if the proposal does not comply with the limitations and conditions that apply under permitted development or if you have supplied insufficient evidence for for the council to establish if the proposal complies with the stated limitations and conditions.

7. The council must notify the developer of its decision within the 42 day determination period.

8. The council may grant planning permission unconditionally or with conditions relating to the impact of the proposed extension on the proposed extension on the amenity of any adjoining premises.

9. If approval is refused, the householder may appeal.

  • This scheme does not apply to dwellings in conservation areas, flats or maisonettes.
  • The history of your property should be checked to determine whether your permitted development rights have been removed by your local council. If they have this guidance will not apply to you.
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