What is planning permission?
Planning permission is only needed when development occurs. This is defined as:
‘The carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations, which are in, on or under the land, or the making of any material change in the use of any buildings land.’ In other words, extensions and alterations and work to dwellings. It can also be changes to buildings such as the insertion of dorma windows.
However not all changes to a building need planning permission, typically this is, maintenance, improvements or other alterations inside the building and work which does not materially affect the way the outside of the building looks.
When do you need planning permission?
Every case is different, but usually the larger the build and the closer the changes to the road and to neighbours’ properties the more likely you are to need planning permission. If you live in a listed building, a conservation area, a National Park or an area of outstanding natural beauty restrictions are tighter so you are more likely to need planning permission. Changing the use of a building is also likely to need planning permission, for example a change from a pub to a private home.
Popular projects such as adding a conservatory or a loft conversion often fall within householders development rights, but be warned if you live in a listed building or a conservation area this might not be the case.
You can check out your local authority web site to find local policy on planning permissions and talk to a local planning officer. Typically people consult an architect or plan drawer. Consulting a builder providing ‘a whole service’ from initial idea, through plan drawing, to planning permission and completed build can make the whole build including applying for planning permission simpler, more efficient and more cost effective.