What do I need to know about planning permission? 

Planning permission is a crucial part of the home extension process. If you are extending your property or changing the external look of the building, you will need to gain approval from your local council. This can be done in a variety of ways, but the two main avenues are planning permission or permitted development. We have an expert planning team here at Home Tales to guide you throughout the process.

What is permitted development? 

Permitted development is not so much asking permission, but it’s more of a notification to your local council to notify them of your intent to undertake works. The works have to be within the parameters of permitted development. The council will check the proposal and confirm if it does indeed fit within your permitted development rights. If it does they will issue you with a certificate which confirms the works are allowed.  

 Do I need the certificate?

If the work you are undertaking fits within permitted development, many builders will encourage you to begin before the permitted development certificate is confirmed. If the scheme complies, the certificate will be issued, right? Yes, in theory. It’s important to remember that permitted development does, at times, come down to interpretation, so it’s not always as clear cut as we would hope. For example, we undertook a loft conversion on an end of terrace property in Croydon. The allowance in permitted development for a loft conversion for a terraced house is 40 cubic meters, whereas the allowance for a semi-detached is 50 cubic meters. The end of terrace can be interpreted either as a terraced or a semi-detached house, so do you design for the 40 or 50 cubic allowance?

In addition to this, permitted development rights do fluctuate and change from time to time. Areas can be stripped of permitted development rights too. As a result, it’s better to have the certificate to confirm the works were checked by the property authority to avoid issues in the future. 

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is asking your local council for permission to carry out a modification or extension to your existing property. If you have a house, this will more than likely be via a householder application. If you have a flat it will be via a full planning permission application. A householder application is a bit more straight forward but both are fairly standard. The applications describe the proposal and give crucial information such as title number, boundary maps, existing and proposed floorplans and any associated documents. The additional documentation can be a CIL form, a fire safety statement, a flood risk assessment, a design and access statement (the list goes on). 

How does Home Tales help?

We offer a full planning service which guides you through everything. The first thing to do is to establish what your council is likely to accept on your property, as well as your objectives for the development. If you want to maximise space and go as large as possible, we would look for past planning applications that maximise space. The more precedent in the area the better argument we have to support your application. Once we have established the design, we prepare all of the documentation to submit to your local council. We then submit the application and oversee the planning process. This takes 8 weeks. We check-in with the case officer at various stages to ensure things are going smoothly.  Typically this is around week 2, 6 and 7. If the case officer has questions on the scheme or wants to request amendments, we manage the communication and adjust accordingly. 

What happens when the application goes to the council?

The objection of a planning application is to enable the council to understand the proposal and how it will affect the host property. It’s important that applications are clear, accurate and provide relevant information for the council to make a decision. Each application will be given to a case officer. They send out notifications to your neighbouring properties. Some councils do this with letter or by sticking a notice to a lamppost. The case officer will then either view site photographs or visit site to see how the proposal will impact the neighbours and host property. If they want a site visit we will communicate as necessary to book this in with you. The case officer will then write up a report which issues a recommendation, either allow or deny. A manager or team leader will then review this and approve their recommendation. 

What happens if my application is rejected?

Every rejected application gives feedback on the scheme and lists the fundamental reasons it was refused. This gives great feedback for adjusting the scheme and resubmitting to the council. If you apply via planning permission, the council will generally give you a ‘free go’ at resubmission assuming the amended scheme is similar to the one before. Another option is appealing the decision, to overturn the rejection and get an approval on the original proposal. 

If you want to discuss your project in more detail we would love to hear more. Call us on 0207 043 2378 or email us at hello@hometales.co.uk. You can book a consult on our live online diary here. 

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