Planning Permission can be a daunting area. This section will guide
you through the various stages of the process.
In most cases all stages have to be completed before any building
work can begin.
Why Planning Permission ?
The System's main aim is to protect the public
interest with regards to the local environment. Development by corporations
and the public need to be allowed in some cases to ensure that towns
prosper and grow. However, strict control of this development must
be maintained to ensure that the character and amenity of the area
is not adversely affected. Not all development needs planning permission
- changes that do not affect the external appearance of a building
do not require official permission. Also small changes
to the outside of a building may not need permission. This ensures
that house owners maintain a certain amount of freedom when making
improvements to their property.
On 21 May 2007, the Government published the Planning White Paper, Planning for a Sustainable Future which aims to reform the planning system. These reforms will have an affect on the town and country planning system. There is a Consultation period from 21 May 2007 to 17 August 2007.
The Government's Conclusion to the Consultation is that it wants householders to be able to create additional living space in lofts so long as the extensions do not have an undue impact on neighbours and the wider street scene.
The New Rules For Loft Conversions and Planning Permission
The Government intends to retain the current volume approach, allowing a loft extension of 40 cubic metres for terraced houses and 50 cubic metres for semi-detached and detached houses. On the side of the house facing the street, only skylights lying flat on the roof are allowed. However, at the back, a dormer extension will be allowed, as long as it's no higher than the existing roof and is set back at least 0.2m from the eaves. This is to maintain the visual appearance of a roof line. These came into effect from 1 October 2008.
Further Information can be found on www.planningportal.gov.uk .
Before Starting on the Campaign
Before embarking on any form of conversion to your property speak
to your neighbours. There are two main reasons for this: ensuring
that disagreements do not occur between you and your neighbours
with regards loss of light etc, and also to ensure that your neighbours
are agreeable to any access that may be required via their property
during the building works. If your planned extension does require
planning permission, your neighbours will be informed by the council,
and therefore it is advisable to give them prior notice.
Try looking at your local councils website, some of them are very
informative. Please visit our Council
Links page for links to all Local Council websites.
Do I Need Planning Permission
This will only be required if your loft conversion exceeds the specified limits and conditions stated above in the New Rules For Loft Conversions and Planning Permission.
Application" page takes you through the
process of applying for planning permission, what plans are needed,
the council process and what to do if planning permission is refused.
Building Regulations is an extra permission that you need that
a lot of people don't actually know about. Have a look at the "Building
page to see exactly what they are and how to get permission.
People who live in Listed Buildings or in areas of conservation
often need extra permissions before building an extension. If you
are one of these people, click on the "Listed
Buildings" section to find out more.
Use an Architect
If you are considering producing the building plans yourself, take
a look at the "Use
an Architect" page before
embarking on the project. You may change your mind.