#PlanningPermission – what do I need to know?

Obtaining planning permission can be be both frustrating and rewarding – and at the same time! This is one of our occasional articles designed to help you navigate through getting that essential planning consent!

The decision by a local planning authority (LPA) to approve or reject your planning application is based both on national guidance (National Planning Policy Framework) and the policies set out by each LPA in their “local plan” – which may be called something else, perhaps the “core strategy” or “urban plan”.

You may of course not need planning permission –  homeowners hoping to extend, convert a loft space, add an outbuilding or install solar panels may have Permitted Development (PD) rights, meaning a formal planning application is not needed. PD may also allow for the conversion of an agricultural building or former office building into a dwelling. If such works to an existing home do not fall under PD, then you’ll need to apply for planning permission. So do’nt forget to check about Permitted Development

Outline Planning Permission vs. Full Planning Permission

There are two categories of planning permission which relate to building a new home: outline and full planning permission.

Full planning permission is what it says on the tin – it allows development to take place. But a word of caution almost all planning permissions have ‘conditions’  the equivalent of the small print which needs to be read very carefully!- some conditions require furtehr information before you can start construction( pre-commencement), some require you to comply with the submitted plans and details ( compliance) and some require you to undertake certain measures in advance of occupying or using the building or land. So the  prior approval of external materials, submissive of a landscaping scheme are common conditions. The most important condition is the time condition, detailing the date by which a project must have started.All the conditions must be discharged (satisfied) otherwise the approval is invalidated.

Outline planning permission means that the principle of a development has been granted; it does not provide permission to start work. you will then need to follow it up with an application for ‘reserved matters’ – perhaps with the details of the size of the proposed house, its appearance, position, landscaping and access. All would  need to be submitted and approved before work can start.be careful to ensure that your reserved matters plans do not vary significantly from the original outline planning permission – or you’ll likely need to submit an application for full planning permission.

Before buying land with outline planning permission, examine the consent certificate and read all the conditions carefully – you may want to talk to a planning consultant to help you understand the language. The conditions help to understand the nature, scale and size of the house or development that you can build.  If you stick to the outline permission with your reserved matters application then you are pretty certain to get your full permission— but it is also true to say that other designs could be approved if you submit for a full planning permission.

Watch out for the next article which will take you through the process of getting drawings, plans prepared and how to submit the application

Confused or need a helping hand – feel free to contact us