To withdraw your planning permission or not?
Waiting patiently on your answer from the planning office can be a stressful time. Your 7 weeks in and then you get that dreaded telephone call from your Planning Authority advising you to withdraw you application because they are going to refuse because they are not happy with a particular section of your design. THE LAST THING you want to do is to withdraw it as, it still means another application (8 week process), plus the time it takes you to amend your drawings. So allow 10 weeks to get back to this point and the officer delegated to your case has forgotten your conversation, the conversation that you remember word by word, because of the effect it has on your life. If you withdraw your application, then they do not have to do a report, stating the reasons that they are not happy. It is better for you to say that you are not withdrawing. Then you have the officers report stating what he is not happy with. It is a lot easier to then resubmit your new drawing with the amendments requested by the planning officer. This way you have a better case next time around because you can prove you have addressed all his concerns. It is a lot easier than trying to fight them, regurgitating the telephone conversation that you had with the officer 10 weeks ago. Also you will find that officers move on to another authority frequently and you could have a different officer on your next application. At least you have a paper trail form the previous officer and to a certain degree, the planning office has told you this is what they want and it is harder for them to go back on what the office have said. Good luck to you all
Do I need planning permission?
The government would like you to believe that they have relaxed the planning permission laws and to their credit, they have a small bit. You are now allowed to do a loft conversion in you property, (providing you have the height in the loft), as long as it is within the roof space. What I mean is that if you have a hip roof (one that slopes in from the side), then you would need your loft conversion to start after that roof. This is the reason that you will see a lot of loft conversions with small dormer windows at the back. To be able to take away that sloping roof at the side and build your loft conversion from the outside wall, Then you need planning Permission. You are allowed to do a single storey rear extension to your property. On the most people do 3 metres at the rear. The government would like to tell you that you can go out 6 metres at the back, with certain restrictions… (A) Only with your neighbours agreement. Yes your neighbour did his extension 5 years ago and he was only allowed 3 metres. He is not annoyed that your extension could come out 6 metres and over shadow his house. Chances of him agreeing are quite thin. (B). Perfect if you live in a detached house with no one around you. But most of us don’t have that privilege. If you live in a terrace house, then be content that you are only getting 3 metres. If you live in a semi, then your chances are a little better, 70 / 30 against, chances are 3 is what you are getting to. If you would like to so a double storey at the back, then yes you need planning. And if you are luckily enough, or unfortunate enough (depends if you want to renovate), then you need planning for everything you would like to do. Even down to painting the outside of your house One close to my heart as I found this to my own detriment, when I started out doing renovations for myself.
What is planning permission?
Planning permission is solely the decision on what your property is going to look like from the outside. They do not care what it looks like on the inside and if things are done properly. They decide on the basis of what effect your design will have in the surrounding area. Does it fit in with what else is on the street. Your local council will tell you that it has to be in keeping with the surrounding area and not have an impact on the street view. Sounds simple enough, but really it comes down to the local inspector to rubber stamp it, but generally it is down to whether he likes it or not. If it is the case that he doesn’t like it then he will look at the regulations to see if there is anyway he can refuse. In a lot of cases, I have fought with the local council, that my design is in keeping with other properties surrounding mine. However the answer they give is “just because they have got it, doesn’t mean that you can have it”. where’s the sense in that! Right! It doesn’t make sense. My advice is … Before you send your application to planning, it is advisable that you call the local council, set up a meeting with a planning officer and show them what you are thinking. This way you will be informed to what parts they would not be happy with and can change them. They also have to write to you outlining what was discussed and the advice they gave you. The leaves you in a good position because you have written proof and the meeting will have to be registered on your application. However they will charge you £250.00 for this, but in the grand scheme of things, you will be spending thousands on your property and £250.00 is not a lot of money, in relation to them refusing your application and having to wait 8 – 10 weeks.