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The Definitive Guide To Planning Permission

When do you need planning permission?

If you’re currently renovating or you’re otherwise involved in the construction industry, you might well be aware that you may need to obtain planning permission.

In the following guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know about this crucial step for any project – including the responsibilities that come hand-in-hand with having permission granted.

What is planning permission?

Any contractor, landlord or home renovator must apply for planning permission before building a new property or making external changes to an existing one, like extending it.

You might also need it if you’re changing the intended use of a property – for example, if you’re converting an office building into a block of flats.

Sometimes, it might even be necessary to have permission granted for additional decorative features, walls, signs and hanging features on shop fronts.

What else do you need alongside planning permission?

Planning permission is the sure start of any construction project, but there’s still a lot more to organise. If you’re running your own construction business, you’ll be the one responsible for making sure your plans are undertaken successfully, sticking to both a budget and a timescale.

Along with obtaining specialist construction insurance to keep you covered throughout the duration of your project, we also recommend securing:

  • A detailed, legible roadmap of your entire project
  • Budget management, with regular checks
  • A realistic approach to bidding, contracts and proposals
  • Keeping track of expenses, payments and materials throughout

Why was my planning application refused?

We know it can be frustrating if you’ve had a planning application refused or overturned, especially if it’s been a long-term investment in the making. However, it’s important not to lose hope.

Just because your local authority refused to grant the application on this occasion, it doesn’t mean your plans have to go to waste. It’s worth re-evaluating the plans and decisions you’ve made and seeing if they can be applied differently, or in another location.

Some of the factors that contribute towards applications being rejected include:

  • An impact on natural surroundings, including trees
  • The use of hazardous materials in construction
  • Restricting road access
  • Work proposed on a listed building
  • Invalid location and site plans, drawn at the incorrect scale
  • Loss of privacy for residents
  • Loss of natural light
  • Overdevelopment

Why is planning permission so important?

Planning permission protects heritage, natural environments and the peaceful enjoyment of residents in different areas. If you start doing work without it you could be served an enforcement notice ordering you to undo the changes you’ve made, and it’s illegal to ignore it.

Even if you’re certain your planned works won’t affect anyone around you, it’s always worth checking with your local authority first.