How long will it take?

Planning any kind of building work is not a project that can be rushed. Time needs to be taken to consider all the options that may be possible in order to ensure that the scheme meets your requirements and conforms to planning policy guidelines. Once an application is submitted to the local planning authority they will process the application and a decision will be made after a period of eight weeks or so.

How much will it cost?

Costs can vary greatly depending upon many different factors such as size (obviously!), site conditions, facilities to be included and personal choices of finishes & fittings. When we have prepared drawings for planning submission we can work up a budget estimate to help you organise funding. Before drawings are prepared it is only possible to give an approximate cost per square metre based on average figures. The Council charges a fee for planning consent applications. There is also a fee payable for making a Building Control Application, a further fee becomes payable to the council once the work starts on site. The Council’s fees vary but on average amount to around £500.00.

When should I tell the neighbours and what if they object?

The planning process includes a consultation period when the Council writes to all interested parties, this includes your immediate neighbours all around the property advising them of your application and their right to make their views known. It is often best if you have approached them before they receive this letter, when you can explain your ideas to them in an informal atmosphere. If neighbours object to your proposal they can write to the Council and register their point of view. The council will assess the weight of the objection and local opinion and include this in their report to the planning committee.

How will the Council decide my application?

Many domestic extensions are granted permission under the ‘Delegated powers’ procedure when the planning officers meet on (generally) a weekly basis. If there are a number of objections or other issues relating to the proposal then the decision will be deferred to the Planning Sub-committee of the Council which generally meets once a month. This meeting will be open to the public and it is (usually) possible for applicants or objectors to speak for or against an application.

What if permission is refused?

You have the right to appeal against a refusal decision; this must be lodged within 6 months of the refusal. An Inspector will be appointed to review the case and will make a decision after considering written statements from both sides. This process can often take many months. You can also submit a revised application taking into account the reasons for refusal given, this may result in an approval and assuming you are willing or able to compromise can be a quicker process than a formal appeal.

So I’ve got my permission, what now?

After planning permission is granted we can prepare the building control application. This includes information explaining how the new work will perform structurally, thermally and in keeping out the weather. It also deals with details of drainage, ventilation, stairs, heating appliances, glazing and access for disabled persons. If the work includes forming any large span openings or other more complicated structural elements then we would normally introduce a Structural Engineer to design and calculate these details. His fee would be payable as a direct contract between you and the Engineer. Building control approval usually takes around 6 weeks to be approved by the Council. The Building Control Officer will also inspect the work once it starts on site.