Every new build and the majority of extensions will require planning permission from the relevant local authority. The application for planning permission differs significantly from area to area due to differing local development plans, local interpretation of the regulations and the significant degree of subjectivity involved in the process. Whilst National planning guidance will give you an indication of whether you need planning permission or not and which minor works you can carry out without permission, it is essential that you contact your local planning authority as early in the process as possible to obtain local guidance and advice. There are two levels of planning permission:
- Outline Planning Permission Outline planning permission (OPP) grants approval on the principle that the land can be developed. It is simply permission for the principle of development on a site. This means that the details of the size, dimensions, materials and access can be decided at a later date. If a plot is granted OPP, you will still need to make a supplementary application for full planning permission and no building work can be undertaken on OPP alone. OPP status is usually valid for three years at which point building will have to have started or re-application will need to be made.
- Detailed Planning Permission/Full Planning Permission Detailed planning permission (DPP) or full planning permission (FPP) deals with the actual design of the proposed dwelling. It outlines exactly what is going to be built including dimensions, room layouts and building materials. As soon as FPP is granted building work may commence. Sometimes conditions of approval will be attached and these must be complied with during the project. Detailed planning permission is valid for three years.
Pre-application advice When considering a planning application it is useful to have pre-application advice from the relevant planning officer. Up until quite recently this was almost common practice with an invitation to the planning officer to visit the site or to arrange a meeting at the planning office armed with the relevant documents. Advice was then sought in general terms as to what was acceptable with a view to minimizing unnecessary design costs and inappropriate submissions. Increasingly planners are reluctant to provide this service citing pressure of work and under-resourcing as the reason. Some have even started charging for this service while others simply refuse to discuss any application without detailed drawings. Central Government policy has been to encourage pre-application meeting to speed up the process and many local authorities have this as a statement of aim within their charters so it is worth checking. The Planning Process – The process differs slightly depending on the Local Authority (LA), but largely it is as follows:
- Once the drawings are submitted together with the statutory fee, the application is checked to see if it is correct in detail. If any mistakes are immediately identified the application is usually returned for amendment.
- If accepted it is entered on a statutory register. At this point an 8 week period begins in which the application should be considered.
- If the application is non-contentious it will usually be allocated to a planning officer for their recommendation. If thought to be contentious it will go before the full planning committee.
- A public consultation exercise will then take place, the extent of which will depend on the impact of the development and the type of area, but it always includes the immediate neighbours. This process normally last 3 weeks.
- Following the public consultation, the planning officer will assess the development against the Local Authority’s policies and will either make a decision under delegated powers in non-contentious developments or produce a recommendation for the committee.
Should your application be refused you will either need to resubmit an amended set of plans or appeal to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). You can re-submit without any further payment for a period of 12 months. For further planning advice for your proposed project please contact Benjamin Allen Bespoke Homes.