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Frequently Asked Questions

Whether you are thinking about minor internal renovations or significant home improvements such as an extension or a loft conversion it will require detailed planning and consideration for it to be a success.

Before you think about proceeding you should consider the following:


Can I complete this on my own or will I need help from architectural and construction professionals?


If the answer to the above is yes, it is likely your project will require planning or building control consent. (See also do I need planning permission section 4). If the project is a minor one such as the removal of an internal wall to create an open plan kitchen diner perhaps you may not need planning permission but will still need to obtain building regulations consent. If in doubt, ask!


What is my budget?


This is an important consideration and one that often causes problems further down the line. While it is difficult to price a job accurately in the absence of detailed drawings you need to be realistic about your budget and what is achievable. The last thing you want is to get to a point where you have secured planning permission and building regulations approval for a scheme that you cannot afford. If this happens you will incur additional costs and delays in amending the scheme and possibly the planning and building regulations approvals. Be aware of your budget and be realistic. We can help you tailor a scheme to suit your budget.


How long will it take?


This is another important consideration and it does not come as a surprise that most people we talk to would like to start “in a couple of weeks”. Unfortunately, if you require planning permission and building regulations approval, you are looking at a minimum of 4 months from appointing an architectural professional to being in a position where you can make a start.


We have elaborated on this below by providing a typical program from appointment of the design team to starting on site.

  • Meet / appoint architectural consultant – 1 week.

  • Site Survey and production of existing drawings – 2 weeks.

  • Production of prosed drawings and client approval – 1 week.

  • Submit planning application and await determination – 8 weeks.

  • Prepare building control drawings – 2 weeks.

  • Submit building control application and await determination – 1 week.

  • Negotiate with and appoint contractor – 3 weeks.

  • Start on site date 18 weeks after appointment of architectural consultant.


This program can be accelerated if necessary by over lapping the production of the building regulations drawings and submission of this application while the planning application is being determined. This can save you 3 weeks but carries the risk of abortive work if planning is refused or changes are required.


Do I even need planning permission? What about permitted development rights?


It is true that not every development requires planning permission and you can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called "permitted development rights"


If you live in one of the following designated areas or buildings, then permitted development rights are more restricted and it is likely your development will require planning consent:

  • A Conservation Area

  • A Listed Building

  • A Locally Listed building or building of local interest.

  • A National Park, Area of outstanding beauty or world heritage site.


There are also scenarios where “permitted development rights” may have been withdrawn and this is referred to as an article 4 direction. Sometimes this applies to relatively new housing estates but would more likely effect conservation areas.


In addition to the above If your property has already been extended under permitted development (regardless if this was done by you or a previous owner) then it is likely that you will have exhausted your permitted development rights and planning permission could be required.


If you are unsure you can contact your local planning authority who can advise you on article 4 directions. We can also advise you as to whether your development would be deemed as permitted development.


Ok so I need planning permission and I need building regulations approval how much will it cost me?


Every job is unique, and we do not have a standard pricing structure so if you would like a no obligation quote then please contact us using the form on our website.

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