What do I need planning permission for and how do I get it?
PUBLISHED: 10:49 27 July 2020
Obtaining planning permission is a vital part of any major home improvement, self-build project or larger development proposal, but it can be a time-consuming and daunting process without specialist expertise.
Rachael Evans, a chartered planning consultant from ABL Planning and Development in Northwich, shares her advice on what steps to take when thinking about your development project, submitting a planning application and what you can expect.
Q: How do I know if I require planning permission?
Our advice would be to engage with either your local planning authority or an independent planning consultant in the first instance. It depends on what development works are to be undertaken and where as to whether planning permission is likely to be required or not. Not all works necessarily require planning permission and may be able to be carried out under permitted development.
Q: How do I apply for planning permission?
Electronic applications via the online Planning Portal are encouraged. When submitting planning applications, you’ll need to ensure that it meets the national validation requirements and local requirements of the relevant local planning authority.
Depending on the nature of the project, it may be necessary for other professionals to prepare reports and drawings as part of the application. As an example, you may want to build a detached garage in the curtilage of your dwelling which happens to be Grade II listed. In this instance, advice may be sought from a heritage consultant on the potential impact of the proposal on the heritage asset.
Q: What happens next?
Once the application has been submitted and validated by the council, a number of people will be notified about the application. They will include – but not be limited to – immediate neighbours, the parish or town council and ward councillors. Depending on the application, there may also be a site notice posted near to the application site.
It is not uncommon for local planning officers to liaise with an applicant or their planning consultant during the determination process, particularly if there are concerns over the proposals. You may need to make several revisions to your application before receiving a positive recommendation from the local planning authority.
A successful decision notice will come with certain planning conditions which need to be adhered to in order to ensure a lawful development.
Q: What happens if the application is refused?
A refused application can be frustrating, but there is the option to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. However, it is important to note the different timescales for appeals. A householder application has only 12 weeks from the date of the refusal to make the appeal with minor and major applications having six months.
A planning consultant can submit and manage the appeal on your behalf, manage technical experts and provide stand-alone appeal statements to give your appeal the best chance of success.
Q: Do I need a planning consultant?
Investing in a chartered planning consultant can save you time and money in the long run. We are experts on the planning process and can advise you on potential constraints to your proposal to increase its chance of success. As well as having a wealth of knowledge and experience, we have an extensive network of contacts who can assist with your projects.
Q: How can you help?
Operating across England and Wales, ABL Planning and Development are regulated by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) and operate within a professional code of conduct to give honest and impartial advice. With more than 10 years of experience in the public and private sectors, we can assist with a variety of planning needs wherever you are on your journey.