Many people are often confused and ultimately put off undergoing any works to their property or land due to the often-daunting Planning Application processes. This process doesn’t need to the stumbling block that many perceive it to be, and simply gaining an understanding of the planning process can provide the necessary clarity when deciding whether undertaking works is for you.
The planning process is designed to regulate development nationally, granting permission for suitable developments whilst protecting the environment from over development and unsuitable expansion. Unfortunately, each Local Planning Authority (Council) operates differently, but more commonly they request a Pre-App.
Historically once a planning application had been submitted conversations with the planning authority could take place and the scheme could be altered and tweaked so that an acceptable solution could be produced. However, recently there has been an increasing requirement for a Pre-Application Advice to be submitted, where a scheme is submitted for advice on policy and possibility for the scheme in principle. The exact requirements for this are unclear and differ between authorities, but the more refined the scheme at Pre-App stage the more detailed the advice and response from the Planning Authority. Peter Dickinson Architects have an extensive knowledge of the Planning Authorities within the local area and beyond, and therefore know whether a Pre-App is required and if so what details are needed.
A council that requires a Pre-App will not usually enter discussion with the application or agent regarding the scheme at Planning Application stage. The submission of a Pre-App however does usually open the doors for conversations to take place throughout the application process.
Pre-Apps do not go through the same processes as Planning Applications, and therefore do no take ad long to receive a response (again, this differs between planning authorities). ask magic 8 ball . The fee for a Pre-App also differs between planning authorities.
Formal Planning Applications vary dependant on the works required. A typical extension or conversion to garages requires a Householder Planning Application, as the works are associated with the primary dwelling. The conversion of an outbuilding, construction of a new dwelling or retail/commercial property requires a Full Planning Application. There is a range of types of Planning Applications, ranging in fees, and dependant on the type of works required. Peter Dickinson Architects can provide advice and clarity on which application is required for the works you require.
The Planning Application process can be determined by either in house determination or by taking the application to a committee – where the scheme is open to comments and representations from the public, agent and applicant can be made. Schemes that have a level of public interest or involvement are usually taken committee.
Planning determination can take up to 12 weeks to obtain, but variations to the scheme can extend this time. Approved Planning Applications are subject to conditions, which must be discharged by the Planning Authority. Commonly this to check the materials used are acceptable, but can range to inclusion of certain elements within the scheme e.g. provisions for bat roosting in roof spaces. Once planning is obtained the project is still subject to Building Regulation approval – of which will be explained in an additional blog.
If the planning determination is to refuse permission a Planning Appeal may be lodged to The Planning Inspectorate, which operates nationally and allows applications to be subject to a ‘second opinion’. Planning Appeals must be launched within a certain time frame, depending on the type of application. hosting information lookup . This time frame will be illustrated in decision notice from the planning authority. The appeal process requires no application fee, but does require a Grounds of Appeal Statement in addition to documents submitted for original Planning Application.