Before undertaking renovations and/or building work, it is vital to ascertain whether your project requires statutory approval. The majority of work will require planning permission. It is essential to establish the requirements at project outset. This will avoid complications and delays for construction. Below are key points of consideration.
Understanding the category and location of your existing or proposed building
If you have a listed building or the building is located within a conservation area or an area of special interest, research will be required to understand what will be acceptable to the Local Planning Authority/English Heritage.
Changes you plan to make
In most cases, changes like window replacements, internal alterations and redecorating rooms will require no permission. However if you plan to extend the building, widen doorways, introduce air conditioning, or increase parking, planning permission may be required.
Understanding national and local requirements
Before your project starts we liaise with the Local Planning Authority and other statutory consultees to understand local policies and any specific requirements which may affect your refurbishment or new build.
Gaining statutory approval can be complex and our team is on hand to guide you through the process.
Support in obtaining statutory permissions
Obtaining approval from the Local Planning Authority can be a lengthy and frustrating process if not handled correctly. Planning guidelines, both locally and from central government, are updated and revised regularly. Our team provides expert advice to avoid wasting time and money to gain approval for your development.
Government guidelines stipulate that minor planning applications should be determined within eight weeks of registration. Registration can be delayed if the application is deemed incomplete. Major developments have a longer timescale for determination.
On registration, the proposal is sent to all statutory consultees, including the town/parish councils, where applicable, and the local highway authority. Neighbouring properties are also consulted at this stage; procedures vary from authority to authority.
Pre-consultation and liaison with all parties at pre-application stage is essential to ensure the smooth transition of the application through the system.
Our team has many years’ experience and expertise in dealing with local authorities; resolving difficulties before they become problems and moving the process forward to a positive conclusion.
Change of Use
Individual planning authorities will have different requirements, liaison with the Local Planning Authority at an early stage to understand their specific requirements and policies is essential.
For example, if the building you have identified is within a primary shopping location, the local authority may only allow for a percentage of buildings to be allocated for non-retail use. In this instance, a detailed study of the area will be necessary to provide justification for the Change of Use.
As another example, if the building is classified as B1 (Business) use, the Local Authority may take a view that the loss of designated employment space will have a detrimental effect on the locality and recommend refusal of the application without justification for the Change of Use.
Full Planning Approval
Whether your proposal is for a new build or an extension, detailed plans will have to be produced showing structure/building methods, elevations, landscaping, drainage etc.
As with other forms of planning submissions, a Design Access Statement will have to be produced and there are also other documents which may be required depending on the location of the site. These could include Flood Risk Assessment, Environmental Impact Statements and Sequential Tests. The Local Planning Authority may also require legal obligations and additional fees in the form of Section 106 agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy depending on the proposal.
Listed Building/Conservation Consent
Listed buildings and buildings in a conservation area can present challenges and have to be sensitively considered, liaising with the local authorities’ Listed Buildings/Conservation officer.
It should be noted that it cannot be assumed that with Grade II buildings you can make alterations without needing planning permission. In most cases a survey of the historical fabric of the building has to be carried out detailing the structure and existing materials.
Depending on the location of your building, even the brass plaque by your front door may need advertisement consent. Each application is looked at on its own merit and discussed with the Local Planning Authority to deem what their exact requirements are.
This may all sound very confusing but we support our clients through the process. We are able to provide a comprehensive service that leaves you free to conduct your business whilst we deal with the paperwork, affording you minimum disruption.