Q: I'm thinking of having an extension built on my property, do i need planning permission?
A: The answer to this question is not a straight forward one, and there are many factors to consider, such as how close the proposed extension is to the neighbouring property, its proposed design, height and size, and various other elements, so it is always advised that you contact your local council planning authority for clarification. However, the general rule is that you do not necessarily need to go through the full planning application route, but rather under what is referred to as a building notice, provided that:-
The ground area of the extension is no more than half of the original house
any part of the extension is not higher than the original roof, and the eaves height is no more than 3 metres
The materials used on the exterior are of similar appearance to the existing house
Any part of the extension does not extend beyond any wall facing a road
A side extension does not exceed 4 metres in height, or be wider than half the width of the original house
For a single storey rear extension, it does extend more than 4 metres from the rear wall of the house on a detached property, and no more than 3 metres for non detached
For multiple storey extensions, it does not exceed more than 3 metres from the rear of the house
As mentioned previously, these are only a few of the main factors in determining if a planning application is needed, and it is always advised to make a preliminary phone call to your local authority to confirm.
Q: I am thinking of building a conservatory, do i need planning permission?
A: It is a common misconception that you do not need to inform your local authority if you are building a conservatory, and whilst this is often the case, the official legislation states that 'a conservatory attached to the house will be treated as an extension and therefore will need to comply with section 1a(rules for permitted developments)', in other words it is subject to the same conditions as extensions when determining if planning permission is required. It is also important to remember that if your property has shared access drains running under the proposed conservatory, a build over permit will need to be sought from your local water authority.
Q: I do not require full planning permission, can i just get on with my build without notifying my local authority?
A: In short, no, for major works such as extensions, even if they fall within the permitted development criteria, you will still need to apply for building regulations approval, through what is commonly referred to as a building notice. There are fees involved in this application, but is a lot more straight forward a process than a full planning application, and does not require plans to be submitted. This application process should take no longer than a few weeks. Although plans are not required to be submitted for a building notice, our advice is always to have architects plans drawn up for any major work to your home, this ensures you will be complying with building regulations within your initial budgets, and that building contractors can accurately quote the work required, without any nasty surprises further down the line.