Planning Permission

Planning consent is usually required for most types of domestic works that entail changing the form or status of the current building. Some small extensions can be carried out under what's known as "Permitted Development" (PD). However, it is never safe to assume that PD rules apply and you should always seek written confirmation from your local planning authority prior to starting works on site. In some cases (particularly rural locations) A Local Authority may sometimes require specialist-qualified consultants' reports to support and therefore validate some planning applications in addition to architectural drawings. For example, they may require detailed reports on impact concerning trees and wildlife (in particular endangered species of bats), or flood risk assessments if your property is situated on a flood plain. Failure to provide auxiliary information may result in the application not being validated or at worst, a refusal. If you own a listed building, no work can be carried out to any fabrics internal or external, without the collaboration and written consent of the local authority. In all cases planning permission and associated drawings and details address only overall appearance and environmental impact. Planning consent in no way covers the technical aspects of construction, this comes under the jurisdiction of local authority building control (or other approved inspectorate) who ensure compliance with the Building Regulations.

Building Regulations

Most types of construction work within an existing property are subject to current building regulations. If the size of the project is small, the work can be covered under a what's called a "Building Notice". A building notice is where no detailed architectural plans are provided and the builder agrees the construction details on site with the building inspector. However, this procedure is sometimes risky due to lack of prior information resulting sometimes in disagreements and expensive site alterations. The building notice route is usually only applied to very small projects like porches etc. larger projects are best approached using the "Full Plans Submission" procedure. This is where the architectural agent provides detailed drawings, which are checked by the building inspector and stamped approved and issued to the builder before work commences on site. This reduces the risk of ambiguity. In all cases the local authority will require at least 48 hours writen notice prior to works commencing on site. In addition to architectural plans and details, other supporting design information is usually required, which can be provided by our associate consultants. Most projects will require the services of a structural engineer. Some projects will require the services of an accredited energy assessor if the glazed area exceeds 25% of the new floor area. See Associated Service Providers for contact details of associated external consultants. Please note this is an advisory precis only. For full information on Planning & Building Regulations visit the government website at:







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