Peculiar things that could affect your planning application

We believe home renovation companies in London should have ample knowledge of the planning matters within a city. Our amazing team will ensure the process of your home extension project runs smoothly, whilst maintaining a clear line of communication at all times. When undertaking a minor home improvement project, we have found a few peculiar factors that may arise and affect the strength of your planning application. In this post, we cover a few of these obstacles that you may not know about, as they only come up on the rare occasion.

Flood risk

Particularly in London, planning authorities must consider the risk level of flooding for proposed works, as it is a real threat to residential properties. If applicable, they must know how likely it is a future flooding would affect the property, whether it increases risk elsewhere, and if there are any alternatives to mitigate these risks.

If you are just planning to extend your property, generally you will not need a Flood Risk Assessment (FRA) as it counts as a minor project. However, if your proposal requires planning permission and is within Flood Risk Zone 2, 3a, or 3b, it is likely you will need to submit the additional information. A property in Flood Zone 1 would have a low probability of flooding, whilst Flood Zone 3 would have a high probability. If you fail to provide the correct forms for your proposal, your application will likely be delayed, or worse yet, refused. The majority of refusals for minor developments in flood risk zones are simply because an FRA was not provided. At Home Tales, we will make sure all relevant documents are reviewed and submitted to prevent this issue.

Article 4 Direction

Oftentimes the proposal of a loft conversion or any other minor works will not require planning permission, as they will fall under Permitted Development (PD) rights. These rights allow a homeowner to automatically receive planning permission for such works, or to seek prior approval from the local authority. However, the Article 4 Direction completely negates these rights.

In some areas, the local authority has removed PD rights by implementing an Article 4 Direction. This is commonly used to preserve the character and appearance of Conservation Areas, whilst obtaining tighter control over future developments. In other cases, an Article 4 Direction can be put in place to allow the local authority control over smaller works, such as fencing or outbuildings, in visually sensitive locations.

Relationship with neighbour

Homeowners have the right to carry out works on or near a Party Wall, which is the wall you share with your neighbour. Due to potential disturbances, neighbours must be informed in advance, prior to the build process of these works. You are required to obtain a written agreement from your neighbour via a Party Wall notice.

In an ideal world, everyone would get along with their neighbours. However, some homeowners have the misfortune of nightmare neighbours that they don’t get along with. Although these neighbours legally cannot stop you from carrying out your works, they can definitely delay them. If your neighbour does not respond to the Party Wall notice within 2 weeks, a dispute resolution process must be started. If they respond with a counter-notice with conditions of times you can build along with other demands, that’s great, but this can prolong the overall build.

Areas of Archaeological Importance

An Area of Archaeological Importance is defined as an area that contains material which would help inform our understanding of past societies. Some of these sites include monuments, which are immoveable objects i.e., a docked ship. The chance of your property sitting on one of these sites is far and few between, but this chance increases if you are living in East London (towards the mouth of the Thames).

It is likely your planning application within this rare site may be refused outright, following an Archaeological Assessment. For example, your new rear roof extension might obstruct essential views of a prominent monument. However, if you discuss your plans with your local authority prior to submitting an application, they can provide a better understanding on whether your application will be refused. If so, you can avoid the expenses. On the other hand, resubmitting a more favourable proposal design that takes better account of the area could get you the planning permission for your extension. This will take a lot of time and effort from all parties; therefore, it would require a lot of dedication from the homeowner. Once an application is refused, local authorities tend to look at the proposal unfavourably, making it more difficult to get approval in the future.

If you would like to discuss any of your home improvement projects further and avoid the planning obstacles such as those mentioned above, our friendly team of professionals would love to hear from you. You can call us on 02070432378 or email us at Alternatively, book a free telephone consultation here, for a time that best suits you.

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