What is Planning Permission?

In order to construct any new building or make an extensive change to the structure of a pre- existing building in the UK, planning permission must be obtained from the local Planning Authority. The purpose of planning permission is to effectively vet any potential construction for areas such as aesthetic suitability and safety requirements. The planning authority has an obligation towards the local community to make sure that any potential buildings deliver in both these areas. As Fairtech is an Architects Warrington, we know the importance of adhering to the local planning authorities’ requirements as they have the final say in the go ahead of any project.

When Do I Need Planning Permission?

If your intended project involves the creation of a new building (through building from scratch or a sub division) need planning permission. Adding outbuildings or building extensions may require planning permission, this is all dependant on the project’s size and the level of permitted development rights attained by the property. It is always best to check with your local authority or someone such as Fairtech who through being Architects Warrington are well experienced in obtaining planning permission.

What are Permitted Development rights?

Outlined in the ‘Town and Planning Act 1st July 1948’, minor improvements to homes such as loft conversions and extensions within reason are permitted. The reason these minor improvements are permitted is to avoid clogging up the application system with minor requests.

What is the Cost of an Application?

The current cost for a full application stands at £385 for a new single dwelling in England. The fee does vary in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. For improvements to a home, the application currently sits at £172. As well as this, small planning condition fees will be required prior to development. Without these fees being paid, development cannot legally go ahead. It is always best to make sure all of these fees are settled before contacting Architects Warrington for design purposes.

What Aspects are Considered during the Application Process?

The decision as to whether or not grant planning permissions is based on several different conditions that are susceptible to change.

Included Conditions
  • Infringement of privacy
  • Blocking or losing natural light
  • Parking
  • Road safety
  • Traffic
  • Noise pollution
  • Listed building and conservation area status
  • Nature conservation
  • Disabled access
  • Building layout
  • Government policy
  • Previous planning decisions
  • Proposals in the development plan
  • Layout of the building
  • Materials used

Members of the neighbouring community are invited to comment on the build, they are given the opportunity to object. Only objections relating to these specific conditions are taken into account.

What if my Application is Refused?

In England the application rate currently holds a 75 percent success rate. Even if your application is refused, you have the opportunity to address the problems with your application for resubmitting. An appeal can also be lodged to the planning inspectorate.

Around percent of refusals are later approved.

What Happens if I Build Without Permission?

Fairtech being experienced Architects Warrington, feel obligated to advise you not to do this. Whilst it is not explicitly illegal to begin development without obtaining permission, it is still not lawful. This means that the Local Planning Authority can take action to have your construction halted, altered or even demolished.

A lot of people hear stories of how developers managed to hide their building for more than ten years at which point it becomes lawful. Although this is true, it is highly rare and really not worth the risk as this kind of construction rarely goes unnoticed.

Making changes to a listed building without obtaining permission is actually a criminal offence. This can lead to prosecution and a variety of different sentencing.

It is always best to get permission before doing anything.

What Else Do You Need to Know About Planning Permission?
  • An application can be made against any piece of land within the UK (you don’t even need to own it).
  • You must start building within 3 years of obtaining permission or run the risk of needing to reapply.
  • An infinite number of applications can be made against any site. As long as the application is current it can be used.

We hope that our advice regarding the importance of obtaining planning permission has helped you better understand the process involved. Should you need help or further advice regarding planning permission, or any aspect of home improvement, Fairtech is here to help.

As an Architects Warrington, our dedicated team has a wealth of knowledge regarding every aspect of building design including the logistics of obtaining planning permission. Feel free to fill out our contact form or give us a call at 0151 321 1986. One of our expert team will be happy to discuss your project and provide you with an obligation free quote.