With house prices creeping higher and higher, making the most of existing space may seem more attractive than taking another leap up the housing ladder. Whether you are considering a kitchen extension, attic conversion or garden office, it is important that you know where you stand when it comes to planning permission.
Last week, we worked our way through the first few rapid fire questions that our traders are asked most often by customers interested in investing in serious home improvements. But once you have your planning application in, it’s not necessarily plain sailing. This week, we take a look at what happens once your application for planning has been submitted, including how long a planning application can take to come through, and what to do if you are denied.
How long will my application take?
The time it takes from submission to decision can vary, depending on the complexity of the decision and the pressure that the local authority is under. Most notably in Covid times, applications can take longer than usual due to a backlog as a result of limited services and social distancing. Usually, an application will be returned within two months of it being submitted - three for very complicated cases. However, it is worth asking your architect or local planning department what their current timescales are.
What if it is denied?
Planning officers have to consider a range of factors when looking at each application, including neighbours’ objections, quality of the proposed works and if they are in keeping with any existing developments, impact on neighbours and the environment, such as loss of privacy or light, and how the property fits with local development plans. The officers won’t just consider issues today, they will consider the potential impact on future neighbours as well as future owners of your property.
If, having considered the above factors, your application is denied, you need to cancel any development plans. If you complete any work without the appropriate permission, you could be forced to reverse the changes; it could also make your property very difficult to sell in the future. If your application is refused, the local authority must give you reasons for the refusal; you then have the choice to alter your proposal and resubmit it or, if you don’t agree with the decision, you can appeal it.
Appeals must usually be made within six months of the planning permission being refused and are made direct to the Secretary of State. If you are working with a builder or architect, they will be able to advise you on the best course of action or, if necessary, recommend a local solicitor for legal advice.
Once your planning permission is granted you are ready to transform your home! It is important that you stick to the submitted changes or the changes won’t be signed off.
At Trust A Trader we are committed to helping customers make the most of their homes. A part of this is by matching customers with trustworthy local traders. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out more.