Planning Permission: The Process

1. Do You Need It?

Firstly, find out if your grand design does require planning permission. To do this, either contact the planning department of your council, or use the online planning service at Planning Portal.

2. Ask A Planning Officer:

If you do need permission, ask your planning officer if they can see any obvious difficulties with your proposal, and any ways to make it more acceptable.  
See the following top tips when applying for permission:

  • Check out your local council's policies on their website.
  • Look at the schemes that have already been approved locally.
  • Make sure your proposal fits in with your area.
  • Think about how you would feel if your proposed work was built next door to you!

3. Draw Up Plans:

Many homeowners hand over the responsibility for obtaining planning permission to their architect or builder.  Find out more.

4. Fill In The Forms:

You will need to fill in the necessary forms, enclosing your fee (usually £135 in England), a plan of the site, and a copy of the drawings showing your proposed work.

5. Public Announcement

Your application will be put on the Planning Register at the council offices for public inspection. Your neighbours will be sent a letter, or a notice will be put up near your house, and perhaps one in your local paper.

6. Fingers Crossed:

Now all you can do is cross your fingers, and be nice to your neighbours. Expect to wait around eight weeks for a decision.

7. Acceptance or Refusal?

The council officers will then make their decision based on the impact that your ideas would have on the appearance and the safety of the surrounding area.
Only a small percentage) of applications are refused. Tony McDonald says: "Plans are usually rejected if they conflict with policy, over-scaled and un-neighbourly, or if they are badly designed."
You may have a fabulously individual plan, but it won't make life easy. Tony suggests checking out what is usually accepted on your local council's website. He advises, "less common structures can create problems."

8. Rethink Or Appeal?

If you are refused you can appeal against the decision, but it's probably simpler to talk to your planning officer, and find out whether there are any modifications that might make your proposal more acceptable.

9. Second Attempt:

You may be able to submit another application with modified plans free of charge within six months of the decision on your first application.

10. Start Work:

Within no time you can put all this behind you and start enjoying the rumble of cement mixers and the endless tea making.

11. Sell With Permission:

Then again, maybe not. If building work horrifies you and you plan to move anyway, having planning permission in place can be a good way to help sell your house.

Indeed, some estate agents say having permission in place for, say, an extension or a loft conversion, can add 10-15 per cent to the value.

Although experts in the property industry, developers will need to ask for planning permission regarding various changes to properties. This is especially true when requiring a new build property. If you need more information on property development, click here.

Wherever the development project is taking place, the local council will have to approve on any major changes.


UK Housing Trusts - What they do best

"Working with our residents and communities we offer a range of housing, property management, regeneration, community and support services."

Waiting lists are a part of Housing Trust life and being on a list is no guarantee of accomadation in the near future.
Once you apply, you'll be put on a waiting list and that could be it. Housing associations normally offer housing to people most suited to that particular property. You may have to wait a long time for a suitable property to become available. see Help and advice getting on the waiting lists.

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