Planning permission is the authority and permission from a Local Planning Authority (LPA) that is needed for any qualifying property in order for works to be commenced. Planning permission applies to some properties and building projects more than others. Common examples of projects that need permission include:

  • Loft Extensions
  • House Extensions
  • Change of Use (e.g. changing a property into a multi-occupancy)
  • New Builds

When it comes to property development, refurbishments and any work carried out, no matter the purpose or nature of the property in question, getting the right permission from your LPA is one of the first steps in the process of works carried out. In a similar way to acoustic testing services such as air tightness testing and sound insulation testing, planning permission is a legal requirement and failure to comply can lead to harsh penalties.

Getting Planning Permission

To receive planning permission for any works is straightforward. You will need to apply for permission via your LPA’s online Portal system. From there and once you have provided all the details required, your application will be processed and either accepted or rejected. Before applying however, you should first check whether or not your property actually needs to apply for permission at all.

You should also check whether you should seek approval from Building Control with regards to adhering to UK Building Regulations. This can all be established by speaking to a Local Planning Officer who will be best placed to advise you.

It is also worthwhile to speak to a Planning Officer before you apply via the online Portal as they will be able to advise you and even sometime provide you with an assessment in regards to any local or national requirements you need to consider before you fill in your application, however they are very likely to charge for a formal assessment.

How Much Does it Cost to Apply for Planning Permission?

To apply for planning permission, you should always submit your application via the online Portal for your LPA. There, you will be able to see any charges and what you should expect to pay. In many cases, your tradesperson of choice for the works you wish to carry out will be able to assist you in the process.

Some buildings, such as listed buildings can be granted permission free of charge but this will need to be clarified with your LPA. Furthermore, if the property is a new build, for example where self-build finance has been applied for, it is important that planning permission has been applied for at the first opportunity.

What Factors Affect Planning Applications?

Whilst the process of applying for relevant permission is straightforward and easy to complete, there are a few factors that may affect your application and whether or not it is accepted and approved or rejected. These may include:

Neighbours – If the works to be carried out and/ or the completed project will or are likely to negatively affect neighbours, for example, having the potential to damage their property, the application is more likely to get rejected. For some potential effects such as noise during the works, it may well be worth speaking to the neighbours to come to an arrangement.

Design and Build – The overall design and build of the project, for example an extension will need to be taken into account. This is to make sure it is safe and in everyone’s best interests.

Environment – The impact and potential impacts of any works and their finished article on the environment will be assessed by your LPA. If works will negatively impact the environment and surrounding areas, you are likely to receive a rejection for any permission.

Do all Properties Require Permission?

Not all properties and projects require permission, but it is of paramount importance that you understand whether your property needs to apply for permission or not. It is the responsibility of the property owner to ensure they have the correct permission and that they do not overstep the mark and venture out of any criteria set by the LPA.

Each application for planning permission is looked at carefully and is assessed on a case by case basis and no two applications or cases are the same.

What is an Enforcement Notice?

Those who transgress the rules applied through their LPA’s granting or declining of an application will usually be served initially with an Enforcement Notice demanding the works are reverted or taken down altogether.

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