Obtaining planning permission for an extension, change of use or new build sounds more confusing and daunting than it actually is, but by following a process, you could be well on your way obtaining planning for your desired development. Here are 10 steps that can help you get the best out of the planning process.
1. Consider Permitted Development Rights
Permitted development rights have increased in usage recently and a considerable number of developments are scheduled to be undertaken as a result of some form of changes of use (for example office to residential). Recent government legislation allows individuals to commence with construction work with little to no planning in place. The legislation has been designed to remove red tape in an attempt to boost construction activity.
2. Start the Process Early
Local Development Plans are to be periodically reviewed by the Local Planning Authorities and will always invite public consultations. This is a great opportunity to promote your land for development. Attending these consultations will give you an idea of the type of development that you are likely to obtain planning for, based on the surrounding area and type of construction.
3. Speak to your Local Planning Authority
Local Planning Officers can offer useful, general advice regarding planning permission for construction and development projects. They are normally available during standard working hours and you should aim to obtain the contact details of the local officer dealing with your area so that they can give more specific guidance and information.
4. Talk to an expert
It pays to seek help from a professional, whereby gaining a perspective from an expert may unearth alternative options that you have not considered. A good professional can also advice on the path to least resistance when it comes to obtaining planning and help guide you through the process so that you are on track to meet the timescales and procedures in place set out by the Local Planning Authority.
5. Do your homework
Conduct a research your local area to understand whether planning consent has been granted for similar construction projects nearby.
6. Consider the buildings/site history
Make use of the local planning portal to understand whether your building or site has previously been granted planning permission, refused planning or obtained outline planning permission. This will help you to understand the likelihood of your construction project being approved for planning. With recent government legislation being implemented to remove red tape regarding planning permission, planning that was previously denied could now be looked at much more favourably.
7. Discuss with the community
It is always a good idea to have your neighbours and the local community on your side when it comes to obtaining planning consent for your construction project. Consider consulting your planning proposals with neighbours and members of the local community out of courtesy so that it doesn’t come as a surprise when you put your development forward for planning. This can prevent any last minute objections that could throw a spanner in the works.
Obtaining planning can often be seen as a balancing act between what is financially feasible for you as a developer and what the Local Planning Officer will see as fit for the local community. It may pay to compromise slightly on your original proposal as a means to developing a solution that meets both parties’ needs. On larger projects such as an apartment development for example, this could mean offering a number of units as ‘affordable housing’. On smaller schemes it could mean creating room for additional parking or installing a boundary wall.
9. Try again
If your first application is unsuccessful, you will be entitled to try again. You should speak to an expert who will advise you on the steps going forward to ensure that your construction project will be a success the second time around.
10. Don’t give up
You are well within your rights to appeal the original decision made by the Local Planning Office, whereby you can instruct that the application be considered by a Planning Inspector who is not local to the area. Whether your construction project is a Design & Build, Fit Out or refurbishment scheme, Haydon Construction would love to hear from you. To find out about how we can help deliver your construction project, please feel free to contact us.