FAQ

  • 1.Planning Applications
    something that we suggest you reading… before giving us a shout

  • Do I need planning permission for my proposal?

    There are a number of factors to consider to determine whether your proposal requires planning permission. However, developments will require the consent of the local council in which case you will need Planning Permission or a certificate of lawfulness.

    Some examples where planning permission is required:

    • New Developments
    • Additions or extensions to a flat or other dwellings. Including flat conversions.
    • Separating your house to be used as separate room’s e.g studio flats, self-contained flats, bedsit or HMO. Even using a caravan on the property, however, in the case of lodger’s planning permission is not needed.
    • Separating or dividing the existing dwelling for business or commercial use eg. For a workshop or parking space for commercial use at your home.
    • Any proposals which is not line with the original planning permission for the house eg. Your house may have been built with a provision to stop people placing fencing in front gardens for aesthetic purposes.
    • Any work which can interfere with the view of road users. (usually from the streetscape)
    • Any work which would involve amendments to a trunk or classified road.

    Some areas where planning permissions would not be required are; any work internally, layouts and furnishings and fixtures, telephone connections, Alarm boxes with exceptions to building within a conservation area, listed building or a building of heritage significance/importance. In a nutshell, if it involves work that has any influence on the external look of your property, the chances are that you would need some kind of planning permission.

    we will be happy to guide you in letting you know which planning application you should go for.


  • Factors affecting planning permissions

    There are many factors that will affect whether or not you need to apply for planning permission or affect your chances of gaining planning approval.

    • Your Neighbours: Advising neighbours prior to planning application, as they are likely to be concerned about the proposal and the work it will entail, changes which may affect directly and indirectly to their property and standard of living.
    • Design: There is no right and wrong in design. Nevertheless, a well-designed building or extension is likely to be much more attractive to you and to your neighbours. More attractiveness, the higher the value of your property.
    • Nature and Wildlife: the proposal may have an effect on the local surrounds and wildlife. This factor will be studied and considered by your local council.
    • Environment and Health: Covers the health and safety aspects of people living and working in your area.
    • Trees: Trees protected by tree preservation orders mean that  planning permission is a must. We can help you check if your tree has a preservation order with a quick phone call.
    • Hedges: You do not normally need permission to plant a hedge in your garden, no restriction on how high the hedge can grow, but maintenance and responsibility if the hedge becomes a nuisance is with the owner.
    • Fencing: Walls and gates – You would need to apply for planning permission if you wish to erect/add to a fence, wall or gate. This again reiterates the point that  changes of the streetscape means planning approval is needed
    • Conservation Area: Full planning permission if any external amendments are required. There are many types of different Conservation orders, knowing these orders will help you win the application or the appeal process.
    • Listed Building: Full planning permission if any external amendments are required. There are different grades of listed buildings. Usually with thoughtful designs, the obstacles of listed buildings can be overcome.
    • Adverts and signs: You will need to apply for planning permission of the advertisement is bigger than 0.3 square metres, and also a must if the advert is for a non residential use.

  • What is a planning application?

    A planning application is details requested by local authorities for the owner of the land to gain Planning permission or planning consent in order to be allowed to build on land, or change the use of your land or your building. In simple terms it is a medium to check that your proposed development is suited to the site, street, and area. If we did not have this medium in place, we could find buildings like in other parts of the world where there is no uniformity in their designs, form or function. So it’s a way to keep your home in situ with the characteristics of your area.

    Local Planning Authorities are generally the local council borough and these LPAs will have guidelines and links on their websites to downloading an application form. They are usually receptive to pre-applications, but since three years ago, most of the London Boroughs have adopted a fee for their pre- application advise. Also most have given guidelines of approximately 6-8 weeks for their advise on the likelihood of the planning application being granted.


  • What are the different types of application that can be submitted?

    There are 9 types of planning applications local authorities recognise:

    •  Outline Application
    •  Approval of Reserved Matters
    •  Full Application
    •  Approval of Details
    •  Listed Building Consent
    •  Conservation Area Consent
    •  Advertisement Consent
    •  Certificate of Lawful Use or Development
    •  Works to Trees

  • What is Permitted Development (PD)?

    Under Permitted development you are able to undertake certain proposals without the need of planning permission. Saving time, money and headache. All you would need is outlined plans to be submitted to the council and within 42 days a full decision will be made.

    We found that this link may be helpful to our customers to help determine what type of application they need:

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/house


  • Does my proposal come within my permitted development right?

    We have drawn up a list of the top 20 things you could be doing to improve your home, see below to find out if your proposal come under Permitted Development (PD).

    1. INTERNAL REMODELLING

    You may want to make the kitchen and dining room open-plan, or just re-jig the internal layout to get the most out of the rooms you currently have? As long as the work does not heavy affect the external appearance of the building you are able to make any internal changes without the need of a full planning application, obviously Building regulations should be adhered to. If you need to find out more why not give us a call, we would be happy to tell you more!

    2. Windows & Doors

    In most cases, the requirement to apply for full planning permission is not needed when changing windows and doors — but you may need permission if conditions were attached to the original permission.

    • Double glazing can be installed under PD, providing the building is not listed.
    • For new or bigger windows or doors, you will need to follow Building Regulations guidance.
    • Bear in mind that bay windows are classed as extensions.
    • Planning permission to insert a new window or door opening is not required as long as any upper floor windows on the side elevation are glazed with obscured glass (level 4 or 5 obscurity).
    • They must also be fixed into a non-opening frame (unless the opener is more than 1.7m above the floor of the room in which the window is installed).

    3. Using Attached Buildings, e.g. Garages

    Altering internal space within an existing part of the building, such as incorporating an integral garage, can been done under PD providing that the overall footprint of the building is not changed.

    4. Single Storey Extensions & Conservatories

    You can build various single storey extensions including conservatories without planning permission, providing the extension accords with the following:

    • The extension does not sit forward of the principal elevation.
    • Materials should be similar.
    • Where it is within 2m of any boundary, the eaves cannot be higher than 3m, and no more than 4m in height otherwise.
    • Rear extensions — no more than 4m in depth (detached house) or 3m in depth (semi-detached or terrace).
    • Side extensions — the width of the extension must not be greater than half the width of the original dwelling. Side extensions are not permitted on Article 1(5) Land (e.g. AONB, Conservation Areas).

    5. ROOFLIGHTS

    Alterations can be made to the roof of a dwelling under PD. However rooflights are not permitted under PD where they would extend forward of the roof plane on the elevation fronting a highway. But they are permitted providing they do not project more than 15cm from the roof slope. Rooflights are not permitted on a dwelling which is located in an Article 4 Direction Area. Two common examples are a Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    Rooflights are normally allowed to be installed under PD, however Rooflights are not permitted on a dwelling which is located in an Article 4 Direction Area. Two common examples are a Conservation Area or an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

    6. LOFT CONVERSIONS

    Loft conversions provide a great opportunity to create additional space and may not require planning permission. Permitted Development allows for the construction of dormer windows, which would provide additional headroom within a converted attic. However, they must not sit higher than the highest part of your existing roof, or extend forward of the roof plane on the principal elevation.

    There are also limitations on the cubic content allowed under PD but generally up to 40m³ is fine.

    Loft conversions are allowed under PD, including the construction of dormer windows, however windows should not project from the existing external face or project forward from the existing roof plain. There is also limitation on the cubic content allowed under PD which is generally up to 40m3.

    7. TWO STOREY EXTENSIONS

    A two storey extension can only be built under PD if it is at the rear of the dwelling (this includes the addition of a second storey onto an existing single storey part of the house). In addition, your two storey extension must not exceed 3m in depth or be within 7m of the rear boundary. Specific restrictions also apply to the glazed nature of windows in such extensions.

    8. WORK AT HOME

    If you are weighing up the options of working at home, but you don’t have the space to spare, an outbuilding may be the solution for you. This would give you the extra space you need and may also offer you a peaceful environment to concentrate in away from household distractions. However, if this is something you are considering for employees as well as yourself, there are certain regulations you would need to follow.

    9. SHEDS & OUTBUILDINGS

    Where you have a larger plot, there may be opportunities to build multiple outbuildings under PD, providing the total area covered by such buildings/enclosures does not exceed 50% of the total area of the curtilage. This 50% should take into account any extensions, but not the area covered by the main house.

    Outbuildings cannot sit forward of the principal elevation, and there are height restrictions depending on the type of roof (4m for dual pitch roofs, 3m for other roofs, and 2.5m when the building is within 2m of the boundary). Outbuildings may only be single storey, with the maximum eaves height remaining at 2.5m.

    A key factor to bear in mind when considering what you want to achieve from an outbuilding is that the use should be ‘incidental’ to that of the dwelling, e.g. gym, garage, store. Outbuildings under PD cannot be used for residential accommodation, e.g. bedrooms.

    10. CONVERTING TWO HOMES INTO ONE

    When you need more space and you are weighing up the options of whether to significantly extend your home or move house, it may also be worth considering the benefits of converting two houses such as a pair of semis into one, or two flats into one property. This can usually be done under PD, and would save you moving out of an area you love. However, if you were considering the option of dividing a property into two dwellings, unfortunately the same rules do not apply and you would need to apply for planning permission.

    11. PORCHES

    Whilst many of the schemes described so far have not allowed for the development of any extensions forward of the principal elevation, you can build a porch on the front of your property without obtaining planning permission, as long as you follow certain rules:

    • No part of the porch can be taller than 3m
    • It cannot be within 2m of any boundary adjacent to a highway
    • The ground area (measured externally) does not exceed 3m²

    12. GATES, WALLS & FENCES

    It’s worth knowing that Permitted Development facilitates the erection, construction, maintenance, improvement or alteration to a gate, fence, wall or other means of enclosure, providing such work accords with the following limitations:

    • The height would not exceed 1m when adjacent to a highway
    • The height would not exceed 2m for any other gate, fence etc
    • Such development is not permitted under PD around a listed building

    13. DECKING

    Whilst a raised platform (a platform with a height greater than 300mm) would require planning permission, garden decking and other such similar structures which are of a height below this limit can be built without planning permission, providing they accord with certain criteria (available at planningportal).

    14. SWIMMING POOLS

    When looking to enhance the enjoyment of your garden, what better way than to build a swimming pool for the whole family to enjoy? Under Permitted Development rights you can build a pool within your garden, provided that the total area covered by the pool does not exceed 50% of the area of the garden curtilage.

    15. SOME NEW ACCESSES

    Planning permission is not required when creating a new vehicular access onto an unclassified road. However, permission is needed for accesses onto classified roads. For a new access onto a classified road, you will need to ensure sufficient visibility when leaving the site, as well as enough turning space to allow you to enter and exit in a forward gear.

    16. CLADDING

    Cladding (stone, pebble dash, render, timber, etc.) is not permitted under PD on any dwelling house located on Article 1(5) land (in special areas, e.g. an AONB). Yet, on other buildings not affected by an Article 1(5) land, cladding changes may fall under Permitted Development.

    17. SOLAR PANELS

    Solar panels can also be developed under PD, providing they do not protrude more than 200mm beyond the plane of the wall or roof, and that the highest part of the panel is not higher than the highest part of the roof (excluding the chimney). Limitations apply in Conservation Areas and on listed buildings. Free-standing panels can also be developed, but are limited in size and proximity to the boundary.

    18. BASEMENTS

    If your property does not provide you with sufficient opportunities to develop extensions to your home above ground, have you ever considered building a basement? This would provide you with extra internal space, without reducing the size of your garden. In a recent appeal decision, it was considered that basements could be PD under Class A of the General Permitted Development Order (GPDO). However, PD does not allow for engineering works.

    19. PARKING

    Class F of the GPDO refers to the provision of hard surfaces, such as parking areas. These are also permitted under PD providing that any hard surface situated between the principal elevation of a dwelling and the highway, or any surface which would exceed 5m², is made of porous materials, or provision is made to direct run-off water from the surface into a permeable/porous area within the property curtilage… not onto the highway!

    20. USING AGRICULTURAL LAND

    You need planning permission to incorporate agricultural land into your garden. In some cases this is possible, but it depends on the site and the local area. However, you are perfectly entitled to use agricultural land for growing vegetables or planting trees. The key is that the land should not become domesticated and that a barrier, e.g. a fence, should remain between it and the garden.


  • Which Category Class does your proposal come under?

    Developments are split into classes for the purposed of identifying which type of building permission is required.

    Class A

    A1 Shops

    Shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops and funeral directors Change not permitted

    A2 Financial and professional services

    Banks, building societies, estate and employment agencies, professional and financial services and betting offices A1 (Ground Floor display window)

    A3 Restaurants and cafés

    For the sale of food and drink for consumption on the premises – restaurants, snack bars and cafes. A1 or A2

    A4 Drinking establishments Public houses,

    wine bars or other drinking establishments (but not a night clubs). A1, A2 or A3

    A5 Hot food takeaways

    For the sale of hot food for consumption off the premises A1, A2 or A3

    Class B

    B1 Business Offices, research and development, light industry appropriate in a residential area. B8 (However size must not exceed 235 sq.m/2350 sq ft.)

    B2 General industrial General Industry: Use for the carrying out of an industrial process other than one falling in class B1. B1 or B8 (B8 limited to 235 sq. m/ 2350 sq ft.)

    B3-B7 Special Industrial Groups

    B8 Storage or distribution This class includes open air storage B1 (where no more than 235 sq. m/2350 sq ft)

    Use classes Order 2006 Use/Description of Development Permitted Change

     

    Class C

    C1 Hotels Hotels, boarding and guest houses where no significant element of care is provided Change not permitted

    C2 Residential institutions Residential care homes, hospitals, nursing homes, boarding schools, residential colleges and training centres. Change not permitted

    C2A Secure Residential Institution Use for a provision of secure residential accommodation, including use as a prison, young offenders institution, detention centre, secure training centre, custody centre, short term holding centre, secure hospital, secure local authority accommodation or use as a military barracks. Change not permitted

    C3 Dwelling houses Family houses, or houses occupied by up to six residents living together as a single household, including a household where care is provided for residents. Change not permitted

    Use classes Order 2006 Use/Description of Development Permitted Change

     

    Class D

    D1 Non-residential institutions Clinics, health centres, crèches, day nurseries, day centres, schools, art galleries, museums, libraries, halls, places of worship, church halls, law court. Non residential education and training centres. Change not permitted

    D2 Assembly and leisure Cinemas, music and concert halls, bingo and dance halls (but not night clubs), swimming baths, skating rinks, gymnasiums or sports arenas (except for motor sports, or where firearms are used). Change not permitted

    Sui Generis (of its own kind) Theatres, houses in multiple paying occupations, hostels providing no significant element of care, scrap yards. Petrol filling stations and shops selling and/or displaying motor vehicles. Retail warehouse clubs, nightclubs, launderettes, dry cleaners, taxi businesses, amusement centres. Change not permitted

    Casinos D2

    The above is intended as a general guide only. Reference must be made in the final instance to the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended the Use Classes (Amendment) Order 2005, and General Permitted Development (Amendment) Order 2005. Extension Architects does not accept liability for this information or for any errors or omissions.


  • What is Retrospective Planning Application and do I require one?

    If work has been completed without prior planning approval, the local authority may ask you to make a retrospective application.

    You can find out from the ‘Do I need planning permission’ page if the work that has been completed falls within the categories where planning permission is required, for you to access whether a retrospective application is needed or not.

    Although planning permission is essential many start their project early for a number of reasons and it a common occurrence. It may be due to materials arriving early, contracts with labourers signed or you simply wasn’t aware whether or not you needed planning permission.

    Upon reviewing retrospective applications the council will look at the follow factors:

    • The size of your project and whether or not it involves a loss of privacy between you and your neighbours
    • Potential noise and/or traffic pollution.
    • Parking issues
    • Loss of disabled access at street level.
    • Whether or not the project constitutes a violation of conservation and/or listed building guidelines.
    • Whether the aesthetic design and exterior appearance blends neatly with the local environment (including what kind of materials you use).
    • The duration of the project (including an overall timeline).

  • How to apply for a Retrospective Application?

    If your project falls within the retrospective development criteria, you will need to apply for retrospective planning consent. This constitutes of a full planning application which requires complete drawings and other information depending on the type and location of the development.

    This application can be made much the same way as normal planning application and submitted via the planning portal or directly to your local authority.


  • How much does it cost to submit a planning application to the council?

    Fees associated with planning applications are dependent on the type and scale of the development.

    Typical Costs of Applications:

    • Regular Residential Planning Application £172
    • Change of use; £385
    • New dwelling : £385
    • Permitted Development: £86

    We recommend that you calculate the exact fee for your application, Click on the link below,

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/PpApplications/genpub/en/StandaloneFeeCalculator


  • I’m demolishing my house, do I need Planning permission?

    Most cases require you to apply for planning permission to knock down a building, with the exception of instances where the council has issued an article 4 direction restricting the permitted development rights which apply to demolition.

    Damaged buildings, by fire, storm etc, are not automatically granted planning permission of the replacement structure, where demolition of any kind is being proposed, the council may request details of how you intend to carry out demolition and restoration procedures afterwards.

    In these case it is suggested that an agent or owner of the land completes the prior approval application, which will outline measures and limitations of the site and application which should abided to for a successful planning application.


  • I’m building an outbuilding or annex or Shed, do I need Planning permission?

    Outbuildings are considered to be within permitted development criteria on most cases. And are considered to be categories with other ancillary garden buildings such as:

    •  Shed
    •  Greenhouse
    •  Garage
    •  Swimming pool
    •  Pond
    •  Sauna cabin
    •  Kennel
    •  Enclosure (including tennis court)

    It’s a great way of adding extra space which is separate from the rest of the house, normally granted via permitted development, subject to the following limitations and conditions:

    • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
    • Outbuildings and garages to be single storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
    • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
    • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.
    • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
    • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from house to be limited to 10 square metres.
    • On designated land* buildings, enclosures, containers and pools at the side of properties will require planning permission.
    • Within the curtilage of listed buildings any outbuilding will require planning permission.

  • I want to excavate/dig to create a basement level, do I need Planning permission?

    Basements and Cellars

    We know that in London the value of land p/sqm is increasing day by day, and squeezing as much floor space out of your property will result in the best gain for you. So if you can’t go upwards, why not go down?

    Over the past year or so, we have found that this type of extension is becoming more and more common, which is why we feel that we are leading the way in terms of our planning services for this type of application, with our tailored package specifically for basement extensions, see our pricing pages for more details.

    Basement extensions is probably the most expensive way to add floor space to your home, excavation can cause the opposite of underpinning – undermining to your own and neighbouring property’s foundations, so it is imperative that you us experts like Extension Architects that have dealt with these types of scenarios before, to draw up details construction plans so your contractor can successfully complete the build.

    Planning permission is most certainly needed, and depending on the council a Non generic basement construction method statement, Daylight Survey and Parking Survey are all required, all of which Extension Architects are experienced in dealing with.


  • My house is in a conservation Area, can you still help? If so what are the differences to a normal planning application

    What is a conservation area?

     

    There are designated conservation areas thought the UK, which the local authorities assign, they comprise of areas which are normally of special architectural or historic interest, the main criteria is outlined below:

    • the way roads, paths and boundaries are laid out
    • characteristic building and paving materials
    • the way buildings are used
    • public and private spaces, such as gardens, parks and greens
    • trees and street furniture

    Planning and development in conservation areas is defiantly allowed and Extension Architects have vast experience with dealing with these types of properties, we know that planning drawing for properties in these areas are restricted to more parameters, so the Local Authorities have more control to developments and demolition works to protect/improve the character/appurtenance of the surrounding area.

     

    What are the main difference to a normal Planning Application?

    In addition to the normal documents required for planning permission, we would compulsory need to submit the following:

     

    • Design and Access Statements
    • Building elevations/floor plans in relation to neighbours

  • My house is a listed building, can you still help? If so what are the differences to a normal planning application?

    Listed Buildings

    What is a listed building?

    listed building, in the United Kingdom, is a building that has been placed on the Statutory List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. It is a widely used status, applied to around half a million buildings in the UK.

    A listed building may not be demolished, extended, or altered without special permission from the local planning authority, which typically consults the relevant central government agency, particularly for significant alterations to the more notable listed buildings. Exemption from secular listed building control is provided for some buildings in current use for worship, but only in cases where the relevant religious organisation operates its own equivalent permissions procedure. Owners of listed buildings are, in some circumstances, compelled to repair and maintain them and can face criminal prosecution if they fail to do so or if they perform unauthorised alterations.

    Listed buildings are classified into grades as follows:
    • Grade I – buildings of exceptional interest (approximately 2% of all listed buildings)
    • Grade II* – particularly important and more than special interest (approximately 4%)
    • Grade II – buildings of special interest, warranting every effort being made to preserve them (94%)

    What are the main difference to a normal Planning Application?

    You would need to apply for listed building consent in this instance. The main differences between this and a normal planning application is state below as compulsory:

    • Design and Access Statements
    • Building elevations/floor plans in relation to neighbours
    • Heritage Statement

  • I want to put in an application for a roof terrace, what are my chances of getting approval

    We are finding that more and more of our customers are enquiring about roof conversions, not only for additional internal floor space but to use as a terrace! Because of this demand, there is more precedence to the councils can relate to for granting permission for a roof terrace in and around London in your area.

    Once a planning application is submitted for a roof terrace, the council will look favourably on the application if it has;

    • Limited overlooking to neighbours

    Building a high wall around the perimeter of the terrace or a lower wall offset away from the edge.

    • Overshadowing of neighbours

    Use of materials that allow light to passed thought to neighbouring properties such as frost glass or wooden trellises.

    • Local and surrounding precedence of similar work.

    If a neighbouring property or a nearby property has had roof Terrence application approved, this would look very favourable to your application, be sure to mention on your application!

  • 2.Our design work

  • Can I use you to design my space, but ask another builder to procure the building works?

    Of course you can, our design and home improvement or new build services can be used in isolation. However, without wanting to sound biased, we do recommend using us for the building stage as well. Having created the design, we have a vast amount more knowledge from day one of the build than any other builder. This means that we can quantify the risks and required work much more precisely into a fixed quote and not have to ask you for money money at a later stage because we ‘forgot’ to include a part of the design. The fact that we can visualise the end result much better, also vastly increases the chances of the design being built in the manner that you intend.


  • Will you start any building work before the design is fully complete?

    In most circumstances we will not begin any building work until the design is complete. However, where only minor details are outstanding and they are up to you to decide upon, we are happy to commence the building work and define the final parts of the design further down the line. The decision is always yours whether to start the building work prior to fully completing a design.

  • 3.Our building work

  • Can you arrange my planning application?

    Yes, this falls under our Design service.


  • What happens if I change my mind about an element of the design once the building work has started?

    We will document the change and provide you with the cost and time impact (if any) for carrying out the change. Whilst some changes result in an increase in cost, others can result in a decrease from the original quote. You will then have to decide whether to proceed with the change by signing a ‘Change Request Form’, or decline the change.


  • What happens once you complete a project, I pay you, and a couple of days later I find a defect with the building work?

    We set very high standards for ourselves to as much as possible, reduce the risk of defects from appearing at the end of each project. However, should you find an issue after we have left, we will of course return to put it right. Throughout each project, we also make sure that you are comfortable in the knowledge that all of the work will be completed to your expectations by asking you to retain a portion of every invoice and only pay us this sum after we have completed the work, including any defects you may locate after we have left the site.




If you need any help, assistance or quotes call us on 07923 104 425, email: info@remars-builders.com