Is Planning Permission Necessary?

There have been a number of changes made recently in Britain to planning permission requirements especially for smaller home based projects that don’t interfere with neighbouring properties and are not visible to road users. However, planning permission might be essential if you want to build a completely new structure, add to or change one of your original structures, alter what you intend to use the land for or wish to make any other physical alterations to the property you own.

If you intend to go about making alterations to any part of your property however small the project may be and you neither check to see if planning permission is required nor do you apply for planning permission when you know you are required to do so then you will have to accept the consequences when confronted by a council planning department official. There are some property situations which are unique, for example, if the property you own is a “listed” property. In this situation, if any changes are to be made, application has to be made under a listed building consent application. This has to be prepared even if it is unnecessary to go to the planning department to get planning permission. There are some areas in Britain that have additional restrictions on building alterations. These are areas where any building work might have an effect on the perceived nature of the area whose character as a result of building work may be completely changed. Most of us who have acquired property will be aware whether we are living in an area of any historic or natural significance and will pay particular care and attention when attempting to make any alterations to our property.

These areas are thoroughly described in conservation area literature which can be viewed, downloaded and printed straight off the internet. Some alterations to property have restrictions if they overlook a public footpath so safeguarding walkers who might not want to have to turn their eyes away every time they walk past a newly constructed wing of a house where all the activities in the house can be seen. Obviously, some building restrictions are there to protect the privacy of members of the public. If you have any questions to be answered, then a form is available from the local planning department, where you can outline your intentions and then await a response. Your architect who is doing the designing for you should know the ins and outs of the necessity for planning permission. It should be firmly stated here that if there is uncertainty about the need for you to get planning permission then check as there are hefty fines for those of us who breach the planning permission code as well as being asked to remove the building in question with a deadline date attached to it. In the long run, it is better to adhere to the requirements than have to go about a long dismantling process and all its associated costs.


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