Irfan Akram Architecture & Design

Planning FAQs

How long does planning application process take?

Normally, the Local Authority has 8 weeks in which to determine your householder planning application. If the Local Authority is unable to determine the application within this timeframe, you should receive written confirmation that the Local Authority intends to extend the period of determination. If the Local Authority fails to do so, you can appeal on the grounds of non-determination. However appeals take time (normally between 5 and 8 months for written representation appeals) and it may prove advantageous to negotiate an agreement with the Local Authority.

What happens if my application is refused?

If your planning application is refused, despair not. You essentially have 2 courses of action available to you. The first approach is to ask your agent to negotiate an amendment with the Local Authority and arrive at a scheme that both you and the Local Authority are happy with. This will then mean that I will have to re-submit the amended planning proposal and await a decision by the Local Authority. In some instances, if the Local Authority fails to reach a decision, you can appeal on the grounds of non-determination.
The second course of action is to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. Only the person who made the application for planning permission can appeal. Essentially there are 3 appeal routes open to you but by far the most popular for householder applications is the written representations route. Whilst the written representation procedure is the most popular and “speedy” for householder appeals, you should appreciate that an appeal decision can still take between 5 and 8 months from registration to decision.
If you wish to appeal, you must do so within 6 months of the decision having been made by the Local Authority. If you fail to do this, it is likely that the appeal will not be valid.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

 In vulnerable areas, the local planning authority may introduce specific controls to help protect features of importance to the character or appearance of a conservation area by serving what is known as an Article 4 (2) Direction. This means that works identified in the Direction would constitute development and therefore permission involving an application would be required. For example, if you live in a conservation area in which an Article 4 (2) Direction applies, it may not be possible to replace doors and windows, roofing materials or indeed demolish without prior consent from the local planning authority; meaning you will have to apply for permission before you carry out any proposed works. If in doubt, please contact your local planning authority.

Do I need planning permission for a basement?

If you are converting an existing residential cellar or basement into habitable space, it will most likely not require planning permission.  However if you are excavating and creating a new basement, altering the exterior elevation and intend to use it as habitable space it will most likely require Full Planning Permission. This is because you will need to incorporate additional excavation beyond the original boundaries of the house to create light wells as required by building regulations.

Do I need planning permission for a conservatory?

Whether or not you require Planning Permission for an conservatory will mostly depend on whether your proposals fall within your permitted development rights. These allow you to build an conservatory without Planning Permission subject to meeting several conditions.
Under the present legislation you may not require planning permission providing you meet with the following conditions:

• No more than 50% of the land which surrounds the "original house"* can be developed. If you require a conservatory that covers more than 50% planning permission is required.
• If the proposed conservatory faces any road, planning permission will be required.
• Maximum depth for a conservatory on a detached property is 4000 mm
• Maximum depth for a conservatory on a semi-detached property is 3000 mm
• The maximum height of a conservatory is 4000 mm
• Conservatories built to the side elevation of a property a maximum of 4000 mm high and no more than 50% that of the original house
• At least 50% of area that will form the external boundary / edge of the conservatory must be glazed and 75% of the roof area to be covered with either glass or polycarbonate.(Building regulations)
• All conservatories must be separated from the house by an external quality door, patio door or French doors. (Building regulations)

Do I need planning permission for a fence, garden wall or gate?

For a fence/wall/gate, you will need planning permission if:
• It is greater than 1 metre in height adjacent to a highway used by motor vehicles. This also applies to any footpath associated with that highway.
• In any other case, it is greater than 2 metres in height.
• If your home is subject to an article 4 direction or to a planning condition.
• If your house is listed or within the curtilage of a listed building.
• The fence, wall or gate forms a boundary with a neighbouring listed building.

Do I need Planning Permission to replace or decorate the fascia or soffit boards on my house?

A fascia board is attached to the end of the rafters/truss at the eaves, where the guttering is attached for the roof rainwater drainage. These are also placed at the ends of gable roofs to cover the rafters/truss.
A soffit board is placed on the underside of the eaves where the roof overhangs the walls. This is where the ventilation holes are generally provided.  The maintenance of a fascia and soffit to include is replacement or decoration does not require planning permission.  However, if you live in a listed building or designated area (conservation area, national park, and area of outstanding natural beauty) you should check with your local planning authority before carrying out any work.

Do I need Planning Permission to replace my existing windows?

Normally, you will not require planning permission to replace existing windows. However, this is not always the case. For example, if your house is Listed, is located on Designated Land* or is the subject of an Article 4 Direction, you may well require planning permission or indeed listed building consent. Therefore, we recommend that before you carry out any works, you first check with your local planning department.

Do I need Planning Permission to insert a new window or door opening?

Planning Permission is not required to insert a new window or door opening providing any upper floor window in the wall or roof slope forming a side elevation of the dwelling are glazed with obscured-glass (level 4-5 obscurity) and are fixed into a non-opening frame (unless the opener is more than 1.7m above the floor of the room in which the window is installed).  Please note that if your Permitted Development Rights have been removed, then you may require Planning Permission.

Do I need Planning Permission to convert my house into flats?

You will need planning permission to divide your house into self-contained flats or bedsits.

 

Do I need Planning Permission to remove an internal wall?

Planning Permission is not normally required for internal alterations including building or removing an internal wall. If you live in a listed building, you will need listed building consent for any significant works either internal or external.

 

Do I need Planning Permission for an outbuilding?

Whether or not you require Planning Permission for an outbuilding or summer house will mostly depend on whether your proposals fall within your permitted development rights.  These allow you to build an outbuilding on your property without Planning Permission subject to meeting several conditions.  Other factors that may affect whether you need planning permission for an outbuilding are if the property is a flat or Maisonette, a Listed Building or located in a conservation Area.