What happens if I don’t get planning permission?

The planning stage of a renovation can be confusing, and we often get asked a lot of questions. What is planning permission? Simply put planning permission is consent obtained from your local authority when making changes to your property or land. Decisions around if planning applications are granted or rejected follow guidelines known as the National Planning Policy Framework and are intended to stop people from building inappropriate structures that may affect your neighbours or surrounding environment. Do I need planning permission? Some building work won’t require planning permission as it may fall under the scope of ‘Permitted Development’ which you can learn more about here: Planning VS Permitted Development.

A big question we’re often asked is ‘what happens if I don’t get planning permission? ‘This question is something we hear in two situations, when planning permission is denied or when a homeowner chooses not to seek planning permission at all. In these instances there are a few different possible outcomes that our planning experts can help you navigate.

What happens if planning permission is denied? The good news is this is a rare event when working with our team who use their knowledge of planning policy and experience with local authorities across London and the South Coast (Adur & Worthing and Brighton & Hove) to submit schemes that are rarely contested. However, if an application is rejected it will receive feedback on why this decision was made and will usually offer the chance to resubmit with amendments. Alternatively, there is the possibility to appeal the decision which may see it overturned and allow you to proceed with the original proposal. In both cases our team can guide you through the process and liaise with the council on your behalf throughout. To find out more you can read our blog What Happens If My Planning Application Is Rejected?

On occasion homeowners will ask us ‘can I build without planning permission?’ particularly when they believe the process will be costly, difficult or cause a significant delay in starting works. When it comes to complexity of planning applications, this is something that Home Tales can guide you through. Our team will prepare your planning set including all information and technical drawings needed and will check in regularly with your planning officer to ensure that everything is running smoothly and to its expected timeframe – we always recommend leaving ample time to start the design and planning process of a renovation allowing 8 weeks for a planning decision.

When it comes to the cost of a planning application it’s important to be aware of what penalties you could incur if you proceed with building without the necessary permission. When you fail to obtain the necessary planning permission, or your build doesn’t comply with what has been granted this is known as a planning breach. Although a planning breach is not something that is technically illegal, it is not something we would ever recommend as you will have to make a retrospective application to your local authority. The risk here is if that application is rejected or your breach involves a previously rejected application, the council will issue an enforcement order which requires you to the return the property to how it was before you commenced with the building work. Disobeying or disregarding an enforcement order is illegal and although you can appeal against both (the refusal of permission and the enforcement notice) if the verdict comes out against you and you still refuse to comply you may be prosecuted.

We will always advise that you seek planning permission prior to starting your build but this gives you the perfect opportunity to take care of other aspects of the project such as the party wall process – which you can understand more about here: The Party Wall Process. You may also want to use the time to think about ground clearance and if any trees or flowers in your garden will need to be relocated before your build. It’s also worth thinking about site access to your property, where materials will be stored during the build and finalising any plans around your living arrangements whilst the build is taking place. In the meantime, the team at Home Tales overseeing your planning application will keep you updated regularly with any development and keep in contact with your planning officer to ensure that they have everything needed to progress the application as quick as possible.

If you have any questions about planning permission, you can contact our team on 0207 043 2378 or email us at hello@hometales.co.uk. To discuss your project in more detail you can also book a free, no obligation consultation with a design and planning expert via our live diary here. Don’t forget to stay up to date with us on Instagram at @hometales_design for the latest news, offers and regular tips from our team!

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