If you are considering making any alterations to your property, you need to be sure they comply with the relevant planning rules. Should you fail to do so, you could run into a number of difficulties. At best you will have to apply for a retrospective application, or at worst you could be made to demolish any construction work carried out. Either way, this could prove very costly – both in terms of time and money.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
As a home owner, you are responsible for adhering to the local authority’s planning regulations. So if you are proposing carrying out any building work to your home, it is vital you find out whether or not you need planning permission – otherwise you will be the one held accountable.
To discover if you need planning permission, contact your local authority via the government’s planning portal website. You should not assume that just because the changes cannot be seen from outside the building (such as an extension or conservatory) that you do not need consent. Indeed, work such as cellar and loft conversions may also need authorisation.
However, minor internal alterations do not always need permission. This is because there are ‘permitted development rights’ in place that allow you to carry out small-scale work on your house without the need for official approval. Even so, there are times in which these rights do not apply: for example, flats often have different rules, while houses in areas of outstanding natural beauty, conservation areas or listed buildings will have certain restrictions imposed upon them.
Furthermore, even if you do not need planning permission there will be other factors you need to give consideration to, such as building regulations and complying with the Party Wall Act.
Applying For Planning Permission.
If you are unsure if you need to make an application, discuss your proposals with you Local Planning Authority. It is better not to presume that because your neighbour has a loft conversion you need not need planning permission. Indeed, it is highly possible the rules have changed over time.
Should you find that you do need planning permission, you will need to make an application to the Local Planning Authority. Depending upon the complexity of the project, this should be processed within 3-10 days. They will then do one of three things:-
1. Give consent to your planning application;
2. Give consent to your planning application, but only if you adhere to certain conditions and restrictions (eg. a wall may only be a certain height);
3. Refuse your application.
In the scenario that you are refused planning permission, you then have 12 months to modify your plans and make another application. Should this fail, you may wish to appeal. This takes the issue out of the Local Planning Authority’s hands and places the decision with the Planning Inspectorate. This often takes several months, and is usually considered a last resort.
A planning is breach is when:
* Construction work is carried out even though planning permission has been refused or not been sought at all;
* You have broken the conditions that formed the basis of consent being given.
In the event of a planning breach, your Local Planning Authority may demand you make a retrospective application. This will either be granted and you can continue with construction, or you will be served an ‘enforcement notice’. This will force you to dismantle the work that has already been completed.I strongly suggest you to visit planning permission reading to learn more about this.
Get Legal Advice.
Many people run into trouble with the Local Planning Authorities for a number of reasons. Whether you have been denied planning permission, are having difficulties with an appeal or have been served an enforcement notice, a solicitor specialising in construction law can advise you on your legal position.