You must ensure compliance regardless of whether you actually need to apply for planning permission and/or get building regulations approval or not for the particular work you want to carry out. Failure to do so may make you liable for remedial action which might stretch as far as demolition or restoration. In recent times, developers who bulldozed a pub, The Carlton Tavern in Maida Vale, West London were ordered to restore it brick by brick.
Who grants planning permission?Most new buildings or major changes to existing buildings or to the local environment need consent - known as planning permission. Your local planning authority, normally the planning department of your local council, is responsible for deciding whether a development - anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre - should go ahead.
What are "permitted development rights"?
It is worth bearing in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings.
In some areas of the country, known generally as 'designated areas', permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.
Broadly, you should always contact your local planning authority and discuss your proposal before any work begins. They will be able to inform you of any reason why the development may not be permitted and if you need to apply for planning permission for all or part of the work.
Permitted Development Rights Withdrawn
Article 4 directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. They are most common in conservation areas. You will probably know if your property is affected by such a direction, but you can check with the local planning authority if you are not sure.
NOTE: Houses created through permitted development rights to change use from shops, financial and professional services premises or agricultural buildings cannot use householder permitted development rights to improve, alter or extend homes: planning permission is required. You are advised to contact your local planning authority.
How do you apply for planning permission?
1 Research the local area – most councils are more than happy to have pre-application meetings to discuss your proposals. On occasion there may be a charge for this service (it varies from council to council). It is always worth looking at neighbouring properties to understand what has previously been approved.
You can also obtain essential local information about relevant matters like planning applications lodged in the local area by booking a local authority search or, for more detailed information, a Planning Report (Plan Search Plus).
2 Acquire detailed drawings (often called measured drawings) both of the how the relevant area you plan to develop looks at present and also how it will look when you have completed the project. You would normally get these drawings from RICS surveyors, structural engineers or architects.
You then submit your application online via the Government's Planning Portal.
You can expect to wait around 8 weeks to be notified if your plan has been approved or rejected. If you take the correct advice and plan well, you should find your project approved. In the event that it is rejected, there is an appeals procedure and details about this can also be accessed on the Planning Portal.
You must also, as stated, comply with building regulations – click to find out more.