What is Planning Permission?
Planning Permission is when consent is given to an individual, by the local planning authorities in order to carry out a particular building operation. Subject to varying circumstances, Planning Permission will either be granted or denied. Obtaining Planning Permission is also the sole responsibility of the individual seeking it. Planning Permission must be given, before any work should commence.
The infrastructure; in which, Planning Permission can be obtained, is normally delegated to the local planning authorities, by the UK Government. Oftentimes, the main point of call will be the planning department of the local council, from where you currently reside. So, if you should make an enquiry, contacting the local planning authority, will be the required step of action to take.
Failure to obtain Planning Permission, and/or remain compliant, with the stipulations of a Planning Permission, will result in committing a “planning breach”. Planning breaches are not inherently illegal, as the local planning authorities, will permit a retrospective planning application, for all works carried out, where no Planning Permission has been applied for and/or granted.
Having said this, the local council for instance, can issue an enforcement notice. In particular, this would be the case if the planning breach involves a development project that was once rejected previously. Also, an enforcement issue, can be issued if a retrospective planning application, is denied. The purpose of an enforcement notice is to allow for all development work to cease and be reverted back to its original state.
Local planning authorities, tend to issue enforcement notices, if they consider the building work that is being done, or completed, to have a detrimental effect to the neighbourhood. It then becomes illegal to ignore or disobey an enforcement notice, unless it has been successfully appealed against.
When do I need it?
In order to truly determine if your building project requires Planning Permission, then it would be wise to consult the local planning authorities.
However; it is a good rule of thumb, to consider these points.
Planning Permission becomes necessary if you should want to:
– Build something new from scratch.
– Make a significant alteration to a property, e.g. an extension.
– Change the function or use of a property, e.g. changing a residential property into a retail outlet.
What is interesting to also note is that certain building operations, do not require Planning Permission. This would otherwise be known as “Permitted Development Rights”.
Development projects that require permitted development rights also include:
– Industrial buildings, such as warehouses. (Please also note, there may be some limitations to this).
– Installing outdoor advertisements and signs. (It is important to note, that there are special rules in effect for this).
– Demolition work. (This doesn’t require Planning Permission, as such. But, you will still need to gain authorisation, from the local planning authorities, in order to carry out any demolition work).
Within England, if a particular building project can be proven to benefit the local community, and the local community also support this building project, then you may not need to apply for Planning Permission. Through various schemes, such as Neighbourhood Planning, local communities are able to authorise planning permission (under certain circumstances).
What is the process for getting Planning Permission?
The process for getting Planning Permission is quite linear. Firstly, a planning application is submitted to the local planning authority. The planning application itself comprises of these elements:
– Application forms (you will need to submit five copies of these).
– An ownership certificate – signed.
– Plans (Block Plan, Site Plan, and Elevations of both existing and intended sites).
– Design and Access Statement.
– Fees (To be paid in full).
The costs for making an application for Planning Permission, varies, depending where in the UK, you are based. According to Homebuilding & Renovating, it costs “£462 for a full application for a new single dwelling in England. For home improvers, an application in England for an extension currently costs £206, whereas in Wales the cost of a typical householder application is currently £190.”
Please also be advised, that the main costs, stem from the design fees; which, usually include, the preparation of plans and documents, for submission and ecological surveys. To carry out a particular building operation, it may take multiple planning applications, in order to be granted Planning Permission from the local council. This may be due to making necessary amendments to a planning application, in order to reach an agreement with the local planning authorities. This will also, likely incur further architect/design costs. Realistically, it would be best to budget for at least £2000-£2500, for obtaining Planning Permission.
Next, the planning authority will publicise the planning application. This is done in various ways, but a common method, is when a sign is posted at the address of the development, where, neighbours, who may be affected by the building work are invited to view and comment on the work being carried out. This is also known as “the public consultation process”; which, takes anywhere from three to eight weeks. The local planning authorities will also make the required consultations with the local Highways department and Environment Agency, where it is necessary.
Planning Permission tends to last for three years, from the date that consent is given to commence building. The verdict of a planning application is usually given after approximately eight weeks. However; more complicated projects, may take much longer.
The following Data Chart is taken from a ‘Statistical Release’ (Published on 25 March 2020) of Planning Applications in England: October to December 2019, by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government.
If a planning application is rejected, you may also resubmit another, subject to amending previous plans. However; if an agreement cannot be reached, you are allowed to make a formal appeal against, the local authority’s decision. Please note that it can take several months for the local planning authorities to make a decision on an appeal.
On Homebuilding & Renovating’s website, it states that “In England around 75% of applications are granted. If your application is rejected, you can either amend and resubmit having dealt with the reasons for refusal, or you can make an appeal to the planning inspectorate.
Around 40% of householder applications that are refused are later granted at appeal.”
References & Topic Research (Bibliography)