Planning Permission

If everyone could build on their land at will, or use it in any way they wanted with no checks, there would be total chaos. Luckily the planning system is designed to stop this from happening and to make sure that all building work is carried out in the best interests of the local area.

What is planning permission?

The building of a new property – or making large changes to an existing one – usually requires consent from your local planning authority. This is called planning permission.

When do I need planning permission?

Usually if you’re building a property from scratch or substantially renovating or subdividing an existing one.

The addition of outbuildings or extensions will also need planning permission, depending on the size of your project. Smaller improvements and renovations can normally be completed under your Permitted Development Rights.

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted Development allows for smaller projects and minor improvements, like small extensions and conservatories, and loft or basement conversions.

The amount of work that can be carried out under Permitted Development depends on several factors including:

  • Whether you live in an area of outstanding natural beauty or are in a conservation area
  • Whether the building is listed
  • What work has already been carried out on the property

What happens if I have building work done without planning approval?

Frankly it isn’t worth the risk. If you fail to get proper planning consent for your project, then the local planning authority is within its rights to make you have the work altered or demolished entirely – a massive waste of time and money.

It is possible to make a planning application retrospectively, and if it’s refused you can appeal the decision. Losing, however, is extremely costly.

Changing or developing a listed building without prior permission is a criminal offence again is something we strongly discourage. In extreme cases you can end up with a huge (unlimited) fine or even find yourself in prison so it’s vital to receive the correct planning approval first.

Where can I go for more information about planning permission?

The whole issue of planning permission can be a little daunting but here at R&B Builders we have years of experience so are happy to answer any questions you may have.

It’s also well worth visiting the UK government’s planning portal (link) website for everything you could ever need to know about planning permission and how to apply.

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