Save Time, Make Money, and Protect Yourself: A Planning Permission Pep-talk.
To understand the importance of this article, remember those Empire State Buildings you clicked together with Lego as a five-year-old on you mother’s dining room table. Just as they were starting to take shape, your parents would come in, screech and sob at the mess and demand you put it away before their visitors arrived and saw the state. Crumbling your works of art apart again was soul-crushing, right? Now imagine those Lego masterpieces took a few weeks rather than a few hours. And cost a lot of money to build. And even more money to take apart again. You now have a realistic idea of how planning permission information can cause a tonne of aggravation when ignored.
Who Gives Permission, And Why Do I Need It?
Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) play Mom and Dad in this scenario, and will give approval on your Lego building before you start. To find your nearest LPA, visit Planning Portal, which will connect you with every local authority in England and Wales: www.planningportal.co.uk.
They will decide whether you have permission for your building projects after they have considered every branch of your development plan including:
- the size, layout, siting and external appearance of the building
- the infrastructure available (such as access roads and water supplies)
- landscaping needs
- what the development’s purpose will be
- effects on the surrounding community (such as traffic and the health of neighbours)
- effects on the surrounding environment.
Penalty – Typically, permission will take between 8-12 weeks to come through, so be patient. If you start a project that needed permission before you have attained it, you will be served with an ‘enforcement notice’ which orders you to reverse what you have done.
Don’t forget, even though obtaining planning permission may feel like an obstacle, it is also there to protect you. What if a neighbour was working on a building project that would interfere with your life at home? If their LPA decided the project in question would have too much of an impact on you, your neighbours may be told to forget their plans, hence saving you a lot of stress.
When Do You Need Permission?
Permission will be needed for:
- building something new
- making a major change to your building, such as an extension
- changing the use of your building.
Permission will NOT be needed for:
- projects covered by ‘permitted development rights’ (such as a conservatory)
- industrial premises and warehouses (though, within reason)
- outdoor signs or advertisements
- demolition (yet you may need an informal thumbs-up from your LPA)
- projects that have no effect on the environment or neighbours.
How It Helps to Sell Your Home.
Getting some ideas together for possible developments and gaining permission for them can only help when showing your property to potential buyers. For one thing, it will open their minds to long-term development possibilities and help them visualise what their new home could become.
It will be a serious investment; a submission cost for planning permission is up to £385, but it could then increase your sale price by 10%.
So, planning permission saves you from demolishing disallowed projects (and therefore saves you money), protects you from neighbour’s monstrosities, adds value onto the property if you are trying to sell it, and gives you a piece of mind. Only one question remains…why wouldn’t you?