Planning Permission

We do not produce planning drawings. These are usually provided by an architect or architectural technologist. We can provide details of our associates who provide such a service upon request. Please contact us.

We are often asked to provide pre-planning guidance on what is possible in structural terms on a particular site or existing building. This forms a strong part of our professional consultancy service.

P1020326Planning permission is required only when you propose to build outside the limits of your permitted development rights. See permitted development section for more information. Generally you need planning permission when the projection of an extension at the rear of your property is over 3m for a semi-detached property, and if over 4m in the case of a detached property. When building an extension on the side of your property where there is also a road running to the side planning permission will be required, however some extensions on the side where there is not a road parallel are permitted development. Planning is sometimes required for conversion work, such as loft and garage conversions. 2 storey extensions mostly require planning with few exceptions, as do extensions to the front of the property with the exception of small porches.

The local authority is tasked with controlling what can be built. Without these controls in place we would live in a very random place where extensions have been constructed without due consideration to neighbours or the look of the property.

A good architect can work with your ideas and make them a reality with our practical input without too much compromise. We always liaise with the local authority on your behalf to ensure they have interpreted the design correctly and often provide a written design statement to go with the application. On larger projects it is advisable to meet with the planning department before drawings are produced, this is known as pre-application advice. From a meeting like this an architect can ascertain what the planners are looking for so as to maximise the success of the application.

It is critical prior to putting a design on paper that the proposal can actually be built. This is where we come in to ensure that all potential wrinkles are ironed out in a design before our clients spend considerable money on something that practically cannot be constructed. We are creative thinking engineers and will always do our best to achieve your goals.

Permitted Development

Permitted development rights are there for home owners to build extensions and form certain conversion work without the need to apply for full planning permission. The reason these rights exist is so that smaller projects that don’t form too much impact on the neighbours or the local environment can proceed quicker and without blocking the planning system with what would be forgone conclusion.

As a basic guide, if you wish to build a single storey extension on the back of your property and the property is semi-detached or in a terrace, you can go out up to 3m. If your property is detached then you can go out up to 4m from the rear house wall. Certain height and design issues also limit what can be designed. For single storey side extensions you can go up to 50% of the original house width, providing that there is not a road or public highway adjacent to the extension. For more information and a full list of when and where planning is required I would recommend using the Planning Portal website

Loft and garage conversions often don’t require planning permission, providing that certain restrictions have not been laid down by the local authority at the time when the property was originally built, otherwise known as permitted development rights withdrawal or restrictive covenants, so this tends to affect newer properties more than older ones. There are also blanket restrictions for conservation areas and other protected areas which must be identified prior to an application.

Even if you are sure that planning permission is not required I would always advise a process called a certificate of lawful development. This application obtains from the council, in writing that the proposal doesn’t need planning permission, which can become very important when trying to sell your property in the future. During our initial site meeting I should be able to advise the best route for your proposal.