How to Apply for Council Planning Permission

How to Apply for Council Planning Permission in the UK

One day, you may feel like building an extension to your house. Maybe you need a few extra rooms for work or play. Maybe, if you have the land, you’d like to build a new house from scratch. Perhaps you already own a building, and you want to change its purpose to use it for something else and converting it structurally will require extensive work.

In all three instances, you’re most likely going to need planning permission.

Yes, we all know bureaucracy can be time-consuming and annoying. It is also essential.

How do you go about doing it? Before you set about making an application, you must first be absolutely certain that your development requires permission. Only certain projects require it, so make sure you don’t waste time applying when you don’t need to. It will be worth your while to speak to your local council’s planning department. They will be able to inform you of how likely your application is to be accepted and suggest changes you could make to improve your odds.

Your next step will be to complete an application for planning permission. This will be done with your local planning authority and will most likely take place online via Planning Portal. You will need to supply certain documents during your application. These will include a plan of the site and location, evidence of ownership of the land or property, an agricultural holdings certificate and the required fee for the application. The amount of the fee will depend on the details of your application. A fee calculator is provided on Planning Portal in case you want to get an idea of how much you will pay.

The next phase is out of your hands. Your application will be assessed by the local planning authority. Conditions they will take into account when deciding whether to accept or reject your application include the anticipated noise level, loss of privacy, nature conservation, highway safety, any impact on nearby listed buildings and current government policy. If you live in England or Wales, your neighbours may be consulted regarding the plans and their feedback may be considered in line with these material conditions.

Ordinarily, your application will take around eight weeks for a decision to be made. If your application is especially complicated or large, you could wait for up to thirteen weeks before you hear back from the planning authority.

Once your application has been assessed, a decision will be made on whether it can go ahead. If the answer is yes, the developments you have outlined can proceed. If it’s no, it’s essential that you do not attempt to start the project. Should you go ahead anyway, you will eventually be served with an enforcement notice requiring you to pull down anything you have built so far.

It is worth remembering that certain projects that focus on internal re-development may not require planning permission. These include converting a garage into a room, refurbishing a bathroom or kitchen and building a conservatory smaller than ten metres. If in doubt, always check with your local council’s planning department.


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