One of the big factors that often puts people off when developing their properties is the issue of planning permission. This can often be a minefield and it’s worth working with a professional construction team who know the current rules and what is allowed and what isn’t.
There are certain things that are considered permitted development, which means you don’t have to spend time and money getting planning permission before you go ahead. Here we take a look at what this means and how it can affect any proposed extension or renovation.
What is a Permitted Development?
These are home developments that basically have immediate and automatic approval. For instance, if you were thinking of installing solar panels on your property, despite this being an external construction, it comes under permitted development (primarily because the government is trying to encourage greener energy choices in homeowners).
The first thing you need to know is that, if you have a flat or maisonette, there are no permitted developments – you will always need to apply for planning permission. Permitted developments are available on houses but it’s always important to check with your local council first as these can vary depending on location.
Permitted development rights cover a wide range of constructions even including small, single and double storey extensions, basement, garage and loft conversions. It can also cover changes of use and even demolition.
The big caveat, however, is that there are some areas where permitted development doesn’t apply, including installing verandas or balconies on your property. Planning rules and laws can change quite regularly and they also vary from location to location depending on individual councils, so it usually makes sense to check the lay of the land before you embark on any project.
Buildings of historical significance or regions of natural beauty or importance to conservation will almost certainly require planning permission, so if your property is very old or located in an area with character of acknowledged significance you may find that different rules apply regarding permitted development. A council can issue what is called an Article 4 direction if they feel that the character of the area in which you are intending to build is at risk, even if their general rules allow the work.
How to Check Permitted Development
One way of checking permitted development is through the government’s planning portal which provides a lot of information on what is allowed and what isn’t. You can also apply to your local council for planning permission through the portal.
While there might be permitted planning rights in place, you may well have to apply to the council first anyway, especially if there are obligations or regulations that you need to comply with.
The best way to make sure that you deal with any permitted development issues, and hopefully cut the administration cost of your build, is to work with a construction company that understands the regulations and knows what they are doing.
At MPK Lofts in Bristol, we have over 25 years’ experience delivering high-quality loft and garage conversions and extensions for domestic properties. We’ll help you navigate the often confusing area of planning permission, including confirming whether your project comes under permitted development rights and what to do next.
If you’d like to find out more, contact our expert team today to book a consultation.