The Planning Process – Our Quick Guide

Under the UK Town and County Planning system, planning permission is required for all development; development being defined as carrying out building, engineering, mining or other operations, over or under land. Development also covers a material change of use of any building or land.

Under the UK Town and County Planning system, planning permission is required for all development; development being defined as carrying out building, engineering, mining or other operations, over or under land. Development also covers a material change of use of any building or land.

In most projects, an application will need to be submitted to the Local Authority for planning permission. However, many types of development are granted a general planning permission and are considered ‘permitted development’, subject to compliance with specific conditions.

This brief, simplistic guide will provide you with an overview of the planning stages and how they will impact on your project.

Stage 1 – Pre-planning advice

Informal advice is not as readily available as it once was, therefore, for a small fee of around £35, you may wish to submit a pre-planning application to the local authority, prior to submitting a full planning application for your project.

The main benefit of this is that the planning department will be able to advise you on whether your proposal is likely to be approved or not, whilst recommending changes to ensure that your planning application has the best chance of success.

We would recommend submitting a pre-planning application if your project is out of the ordinary and gaining permission is deemed risky. Yet, most domestic extension projects don’t fall within this category, therefore, the majority of our clients choose not to submit a pre-planning application.

Stage 2 – Application and Validation

The vast majority of planning applications are now submitted via the Planning Portal, where you are advised of the documents that you will need to submit and what fees will be applicable.

Once the application has been submitted and the correct fee has been paid (£172 for a domestic household application), the council then have 10-working days to validate your application. During this period the application is checked and any additional information requested.

Once validated, you will receive a letter outlining a decision deadline, which is 8-weeks from the date of validation.

As part of ABTO’s fee, we submit your application on your behalf and act as your planning ‘agent’ for the duration of the process, meaning any questions are directed to ourselves. You will still be required to cover the application fee.

Stage 3 – Consultation and Publicity Period

During this period, consultation letters are sent to your neighbours and, where applicable, various bodies to obtain their expert view.

Your proposed plans are uploaded onto the planning portal for anyone to view and applications, where required, are placed in the local paper. A notice is also displayed in a prominent location near the site.

The consultation period is 21 days from the date of publishing, during which, members of the public can submit written comments about the proposed development.

Stage 4 – Site visit and assessment

The planning case officer inspects the subject site and assesses the application. They will take into account planning policies, consultation responses and public representations.

Stage 5 – Recommendation

The case officer will issue their ‘officers report’, which highlights their recommendation. This will be issued to the body authorised the make a decision.

Stage 6 – Decision

In most householder applications, senior officers who have delegated authority from the Planning Committee will normally make the decision under what’s known as ‘delegated powers’.

About 95% of householder application are decided this way.

You will then receive a letter confirming whether the application has been approved or refused.

Approved applications will have conditions attached that must be complied with.

What happens if my application is refused?

If an application has been refused then the Local Authority have an obligation to state the reasons why.

You then have to option of submitting a modified plan within 12-months of the original decision, which is free of charge.

If you do not want to modify your plans, then you can lodge an appeal within 6-months of the decision date (12 weeks for householder appeals).

The appeal process can be a long, costly process, and it is worth noting that the majority of appeals are un-successful.

What else do I need to know?

  • As we mentioned previously, a lot of domestic development projects fall within Permitted Development. Formal confirmation that your project falls within PD can be obtained by the submission of an application for a Lawful Development Certificate, which costs £82. This document is legally binding and can be produced to prove that your development is lawful.

 

  • If your property falls within a Conservation Area then you will need to compile and submit with your application a Design and Access statement, along with a Heritage Statement.

 

  • Check whether any trees that may be affected by the development have Tree Preservation Orders (TPO’s) on them, as permission will be needed to prune or fell them. Most trees are protected in Conservation Areas.

 

  • Is your building listed? If so, Listed Building consent is required to demolish, alter, or extend any internal or external aspect of the building. It is a criminal offence to carry out work without the required consent.

If you require any assistance with your project, then please get in touch for a free consultation.

info@abtoconsultants.co.uk

0191 290 3742

 

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