Planning Permission can be a daunting area. Planning your home extension needs a lot of thought – the design from a good architect and the right builder can take a while to get right – but it is worth the effort. This section will guide you through the various stages of the planning process and provide you with the advice that may be required for your home extension to begin. In most cases all stages have to be completed before any building work can start.
Why Planning Permission?
The system’s main aim is to protect the public interest with regards to the local environment. Developments by corporations and the public need to be allowed in some cases to ensure that towns prosper and grow. However, strict control of this development must be maintained to ensure that the character and amenity of the area is not adversely affected. Not all development needs planning permission – changes that do not affect the external appearance of a building do not require official permission. Also small changes to the outside of a building may not need permission. This ensures that house owners maintain a certain amount of freedom when making improvements to their property.
Before Starting on the Campaign
Before embarking on any form of extension to your property, speak to your neighbours. There are two main reasons for this: ensuring that disagreements do not occur between you and your neighbours with regards to such issues as loss of light, and also to ensure that your neighbours are agreeable to any access that may be required via their property during the building works.
If your planned extension does require planning permission, your neighbours will be informed by the council, and therefore it is advisable to give them prior notice.
Try looking at your local council’s website, some of them are very informative. Please visit our Council Links page for links to all Local Council websites.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
The first stage is to check whether or not you actually need planning permission. Read through the Is Planning Permission Needed? page for some general guidelines as given by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.
The How to Apply page takes you through the process of applying for planning permission, what plans are needed, the council process and what to do if planning permission is refused.
Building Regulations is an extra permission that you need that a lot of people don’t actually know about. Have a look at the Building Regulations page to see exactly what they are and how to get permission.
Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas
People who live in Listed Buildings or in areas of conservation often need extra permissions before building an extension. If you are one of these people, click on the Listed Buildings & Conservation Areas section to find out more.
Party Wall etc Act 1996
Are you affected by the Party Wall etc Act 1996? Find out the details and how to avoid any major problems with neighbours by visiting an article provided by Justin Burns BSc MRICS of Peter Barry.
Use an Architect
If you are considering producing the building plans yourself, take a look at the Using an Architect page before embarking on the project. You may change your mind.