If you are thinking of renovating or extending your property, you must have the necessary planning permission from your Local Authority to do so.
Planning permission: when is it needed?
Generally, planning permission is required if you want to build something new, make a major change to your property such as an extension or if you have a commercial property you will need planning permission for a change of use to the building.
There are some exceptions where small changes and additions can be made without the need for planning permission; this is called a permitted development right.
However, each Local Authority varies in what changes can be made without planning permission therefore you should contact your Local Authority to discuss your proposal before making any application. You can also apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for certainty that the changes you are making do not require full planning permission.
How do I apply for planning permission?
You can contact your Local Authority and can usually apply online. You will most likely be required to submit plans and a full application detailing your proposal.
When considering your proposal to build, the Local Authority will ask whether any of your neighbours object to the application. You should therefore inform your neighbours of your intentions and if granted planning permission, aim to avoid minimum disruption and disturbance during the building work
Are there any other requirements?
To comply with health and safety requirements when carrying out building work and to ensure the property is structurally sound, Building Regulation Approval will be required. If you employ a builder to carry out the work for you, this will normally be obtained by them, however you should confirm this with them before commencing work.
Building Regulations Approval is sometimes required for internal work. There is also the self-certification scheme for window replacement and boiler replacements.
What are the implications for failing to obtain planning permission?
Failing to obtain planning permission and can result in the council enforcing an order to undo the building work. Evidently, this costs time and money and can easily be avoided by obtaining the planning permission prior to commencement of the building work.
If you do not have planning permission, you may encounter problems when selling your property as the purchaser will need to see that the necessary permissions are obtained.
If you are unsure of whether you require planning permission to extend or change your property, seek advice from your Local Authority.
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If you are thinking of purchasing a property and you are aware of extensions and changes to the building, make sure that your solicitor is aware of these changes so that the necessary enquiries can be made to obtain the required permission.