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Planning Permission in the UK: The sweet and the short of it

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Carre de Sol, Palma Eclectic style living room by 4D Studio Architects and Interior Designers Eclectic
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Based in London, 4D Studio Architects and Interior Designers is known as a specialist in the architectural / interior design industries. Upmarket residential structures might be the firm’s main mission, yet clients can also make use of 4D Studio’s various other services such as interior design, implementing new builds, kick-starting renovations and extensions, and much more. 

But this wealth of available services is pretty much useless if you don’t have the authority to continue with your building project. We are, of course, talking about Planning Permission. So, let’s delve a bit deeper before your planned project costs you unnecessary time and money. 

1. What is Planning Permission?

To put it in simple terms, Planning Permission is asking for the right to do some building work on a property. The UK Parliament has passed on the main responsibility for planning to local planning authorities. This is usually the planning department of your local council, which makes them the first point of contact in case you have any questions about a project. 

Keep in mind that the onus is on you, the client, to seek Planning Permission. If it’s needed, it should be provided before any building work starts. 

2. When you will need Planning Permission

Although there are various sub-categories here, you will probably require Planning Permission if you want to:

• Build something from scratch

• Implement big changes to your building (like adding an extension)

• Alter the use of a building (i.e. change it from a living room into a kitchen). 

Contact your local planning authority as soon as possible to determine if your dream design requires Planning Permission!

3. When you will NOT need Planning Permission

‘Permitted Development Rights’ is when certain building projects do not require Planning Permission. Permitted developments rights are usually given to building projects that include:

• Industrial premises and warehouses (take note this is privy to certain limits and conditions)

• Some outdoor signs and advertisements (special rules apply here as well)

• Demolition (approval to demolish is needed from your local planning authority).

Projects that don’t have any impact on neighbours or the environment usually don’t require Planning Permission. But again, we advise you to check with your local planning authority just in case. 

4. The cost of a Planning Permission application

Nothing in life is free. And even the cost of submitting a planning application can vary depending on where in the UK you find yourself. 

Currently, £462 is the cost for a new single dwelling’s full application in England. In the case of an extension in England, home improvers can expect to pay about £206. In Wales, it’ll be approximately £190 for a typical householder application. 

But remember that the real cost of obtaining Planning Permission lies in the preparation of the various plans and documents, as well as the relevant design fees. These need to be prepared and submitted along with any accompanying surveys (like ecological studies) which may be needed for approval. 

In addition, ensure that you always prepare more than one planning application. This is to help you reach an agreement with the council and aid in any possible revisions to your plans (which may or may not involve more designer fees).

At the end of the day, it’s advisable to set aside about £2,000 for the entire Planning Permission procedure. 

5. How long does Planning Permission last?

No Planning Permission is permanent. Unless it is stated otherwise on yours, Planning Permission gives you three years from the date full consent is given to start your building project. 

But no two architectural / design projects are the same. And depending on how soon your consent expires, it might be necessary to consider a different approach to get your project running. Should your deadline date not be very far off, it might be wise to reapply. This can ensure you have more time to properly proceed with your project as opposed to finishing off a shoddy design in a rush. 

Let’s kick up those relaxation levels with The lavish lake house of everybody’s dreams

What construction / design project are you currently dreaming of? And does it require Planning Permission?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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