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Planning Permission: What is it and when do you need it?

If you’ve ever wondered what planning permission is – then this quick reference guide is all you need as it explains what it is, when you may need it vs. when may not – along with other essential information such as estimated application costs.

What is Planning Permission?

We can think of planning permission as the key which helps transform a piece of land into a feasible building plot, and that a formal process is now in place in order to prevent any illegal development.

Therefore, planning permission is a critical part of any new build or extension project, or for that matter, any home improvement projects planned for a listed piece of property.

The planning permission application and process itself revolves around the local building authority to approve your proposed plan for a building project – with the sole purpose of bringing the said project under the authority’s lens so that no inappropriate or unlawful development takes place.

So whenever there’s a new build, rebuild, extension or excessive modifications required to an existing property, planning permission comes into play.

How do I know I need planning permission?

Even though applying for planning permission can be a stressful and time-consuming process, often riddled with red tape and other complications, having it approved through a building company means not having to jump through any hoops yourself.

A builder can help you understand what the process involves, and what is likely to get approved or not approved.

So, this brings us to “when do I need planning permission?”

If your project has to do with any builds or rebuilds, then planning permission is almost always needed. In addition, larger outbuildings or, say, extensions, or even major rebuilding and remodelling projects where listed buildings are involved – also require planning permission.

But if you’re looking to carry out minor additions or improvements to existing property, then you can do so under Permitted Development.

How much does it cost?

The planning permission application fee can vary across different regions within the UK – although a full application for a new single dwelling costs £462 in England. If you’re a home improver in England who needs approval for an extension, that would cost you £206.

With that said, the actual aggregate cost of the application comes down to your plans and documents, as there are fees involved for preparing plans, drafting up documents and including any surveys, if required.

It must also be kept in mind that, in some cases, more than one planning permission application may need to be submitted in order to have the council’s approval. You may also need to make revisions as recommended, which means making amendments to the designer or architect fees.

Realistically, a budget of perhaps £2,000 should be set aside for getting your planning permission application approved.

Working with a builder

To make the application process straightforward with no unnecessary costs, it’s best to work with a planning permission consultant, and we’d be happy to offer further guidance.



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