Don’t be afraid of the Planning Process

I had a meeting with a client recently who wanted to extend their house at the rear to provide an additional family room.  The client was insistent that the new extension should finish no more than three metres from the back wall of the house.

I asked the client why he had opted for just three metres when clearly the extension needed to be much deeper to achieve his requirements.  The client then explained that at three metres they wouldn’t need to go through the ‘trauma’ of applying for Planning Permission because the extension would be ‘Permitted Development’.

It is surprisingly the case that people think that obtaining Planning Permission is an ordeal and difficult to secure.  This is not the case and a simple extension at the rear of the property is usually a straightforward process.

The process takes up to eight weeks and if the extension matches the existing building reasonably well approval should prevent no difficulties.  For a householder extension the statutory fee charged by the Local Authority is currently £195.00. To prepare drawings that the builder will ultimately use for construction, the architect will pass through a stage at which the drawings will be at a standard required for a Planning Approval.  This means that the cost of securing approval for the size of the extension you actually needs is not excessive.  Neither is it a complex process.

My advice is don’t be afraid of the planning process and don’t believe that gaining Planning Permission for a straightforward extension will be a massive undertaking.  It isn’t.  Extending your home is a big investment so why not extend it the way you want without compromising by sticking within ‘Permitted Development’.

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