What is planning permission?
Planning permission is the approval you need to get to carry out building works, including demolitions and expansions. It’s usually required when homeowners want to build something new, make a major change to their home, or change the use of their building.
Most planning applications for a proposed development are submitted online, through the Planning Portal website. Through this portal, you can apply to every single local planning authority in England. Keep in mind that planning permission requirements vary in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.
Some planning applications will cost a planning fee, which you can calculate using this fee calculator. There is an additional £26.83 service charge for applications that cost more than £60.
If you don’t want to apply for it yourself, your architect, builder, or solicitor can do it for you, as long as all the owners or leaseholders are told about the application beforehand.
The Planning Portal website highly encourages that you contact a planning officer before applying for planning permission. They will be able to advise you on the type of consent you need, and whether there are any local constraints in your area that could affect your application.
For more information about the legislation involved in applications for planning permission, read the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.
To avoid an invalid application, it’s important that you apply for the right type of planning permission. You’re most likely to need householder planning application:
Householder planning consent
Householder planning consent is the most common planning permission used by homeowners who want to complete work on their home. Not including flats, it’s used to process applications to alter or enlarge single homes, and includes all building works that fall within the boundaries of your home and garden.
Some of the most common householder planning permission applications include:
- Loft conversions
- Dormer windows
- Swimming pools
- Walls and fences
- Satellite dishes
You will often need to submit some documents with your application. Most commonly, these include a site plan and a location plan, but what you’ll need will vary depending on your project.
Sometimes, you might also be charged a Community Infrastructure Levy. For instance, if you were building a conservatory, adding over 100 square metres of floor space would make your project liable to an infrastructure levy charge.
You can expect decisions on your householder planning application to take up to eight weeks.
A standard householder application for work on a single house costs £206.
A householder application won’t always be the right fit, especially if your project is for:
- A new building or commercial project
- A flat
- To do with major structural alterations
- Applications to change the number of dwellings
In these cases, you’re more likely to need full planning consent.
If you want to get a better understanding of whether or not your development project will be lawful, in terms of its scale and nature, then you might want to apply for outline consent.
You can apply for all of these through the online Planning Portal system. A few types of applications, including hybrid applications, cannot be applied for online.
You will receive a letter informing you of whether your application was granted or refused.
By law, your planning permission will expire after a certain amount of time. In general, you usually have three years from the date your permission was granted to start the development. If by then you haven’t started building works, you will probably need to reapply for planning permission.
Once you’ve gotten your planning permission, you’ll be able to start building works. You can hire skilled labour to help you complete your project here.
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