Why do you need it?

Planning permission will be required if you are building a new development, if you are changing the use of a building, or are making substantial changes to your home.  The planning process is in place to make sure that inappropriate developments are not constructed.

Some minor works can be undertaken without planning permission and this is called Permitted Development.

Permitted Development

Permitted Development (PD) rights date back to the 1940’s. They were introduced to allow home owners to undertake minor alterations to their properties without the burden of planning permission.  Most houses have rights to make changes under PD but some houses will have had their PD rights removed.  The types of changes you can make will vary and will depend if your house has been extended previously, is within a conservation are, or with an area of outstanding natural beauty.


How much does a planning application cost?

Planning fees are the same across the country. If you are building an extension or making alterations to your home a planning fee will be payable to your local authority.  The fee for a householder application is currently £172.

If you are building a new home the planning fee is £385.


How is my application decided?

Usually a planning officer will have the authority to make a decision on a planning application.  They will assess your proposals against what they call material considerations.  These include;

Impact on neighbours such as overshadowing or overlooking, parking and access, proximity to trees, appearance, scale, noise, and the impact upon a conservation area or listed building.

How long will it take to get a decision?

Most planning applications are decided in 8 weeks.

What can I do if my application is refused?

If your planning application is refused you can make an appeal against the decision.  The appeal is made to the planning inspectorate, an independent body that review the application.  Around 40% of applications that have been refused by the local authority are approved at appeal.

What happens when I get my approval?

Sometimes when planning is granted the local authority request that a set of planning conditions are discharged prior to starting work. These can include the approval of materials and details.

How long does a planning permission remain valid?

Generally planning permission is valid for 3 years. You should commence building works within three years otherwise you would need to re-apply for planning permission.

Is it a minefield?

Townscape architects will professionally guide you through the planning process and offer planning advice, we will even prepare the entire planning application for you and will deal with the planning department for you keeping you updated at every step.  This will ensure the best chances of a successful outcome.

We have slots available for one of our Architects to discuss your requirements over a coffee with no obligation! Drop me an email or call

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