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CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
PLANNING PERMISSION
Planning permission in the United Kingdom and Ireland is the building permit required for the construction or modification of structures (typically houses) or a change or modification to the use of lands and the buildings on them. In the United Kingdom, the occupier of a property or building is required to possess the title of the land or building (this is otherwise known as “ownership”), but he/she is also required to possess a “planning title” (which is also known as planning permission). The Town and country planning act of 1974 granted the planning title to all pre-existing users before the inception of the act which came into effect on 1st July 1948. Any new development after that day requires planning permission.The local planning authorities reserve the responsibility for planning –this is usually the specific duty of the planning department of either the borough council or the district. A visit to the government’s national planning practice website and you will see the policies, legislation, and guidance underpinning the planning in England. Aside from permitted developments (which impacts are thought to be insignificant), all other developments are subject to planning permission. A 1995 town and country planning order for General permitted development was made to set the records straight for developments which may not require a planning application.When do you need a planning permit?There are quite some cases where you may not need a planning permit, but here are scenarios where you probably need planning permission:•You want to build something new•Carry out a significant change to your building, such as: building an extension to it.•You want to change the use of a building To find out more about a building that requires planning permission, contact the local planning authority (LPA).What is permitted development?
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
The permitted development rights are privileges which allow homeowners the freedom of enlarging or modifying their homes or property. By exercising these rights, you are allowed the freedom to extend your property to a reasonable and acceptable degree without requiring full planning permission. This is meant to ease the time and cost involved because requesting for planning permission for every project can be an expensive and probably slow process, however, there are relevant rules to which you have to comply in other to enjoy this freedom.These rules generally apply to developments of a rear extension or single-story, front porches, outbuildings, double-story extensions, loft conversions, new doors or windows, the skylight of dormer window, etc. But then, even the permitted developments also have their limitations as the permission does not cover larger loft conversions, two-story extensions, flats or most of the properties located in conservation areas.What are the steps involved in planning permission?Your pre-application advice has to show whatever special reports you need to show to the authority, for example, it may show the report of an environmental or ecological survey. In most cases, however, you will need to submit a planning application form, your certificate of ownership as well as a location plan.Whatever is required of you should be listed online as part of your local authority validation requirements. You may also be required to submit a project design and an access statement explaining the idea behind your project and why it is necessary/important.There are usually two methods of applying for your planning permission, you can either go through the local authorities or you may do so online via the government planning portal. Of course, this application for the planning permission can be done by anyone, but most oftentimes, it is done by the owner or a designer or agent who is to manage the application.The step by step guide to filling the application is listed below, but before then, it is important to know the cost of this application.Filing the planning application in England costs about £206. Prices in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are available on the website of the local authority.
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
So, having known that, here are the step by step Instructions for Planning permission applicationStep by step Instructions for Planning permission application1.Contact the planning department of your local authority2.Apply online or in paper to your local planning authority through one of the following waysa.Outline applicationb.Full application3.Submit your application with the correct fee, including the required or supporting documentation4.Your local planning authority will validate the application and may request any missing document.5.Your local planning authority acknowledges your valid application.6.Your local planning authority publicizes or consults on your application7.Your application is considered by the planning committee or planning officer8.One of these happens:a.Permission is refused (refer to step 9)b.Application is not decided within eight weeks (refer to step 10)c.Permission is granted with conditions (refer to steps 10 or 11)d.Permission is granted (refer to step 11)9.Change your proposal and go-ahead to submit your new application 10.You have a right to appeal, forward your appeal to the secretary of state.a.If your permission is then granted (refer to step 11)b.If your permission is refused (refer to step 9) 11.Go ahead with the work, stay within the limit and comply with any conditions as stated.12.Permission refused (refer to step 9)13.Permission granted (refer to step 11)Tips for planning application successIt is important to study your local policies/guidelines before developing your scheme. Clarify what planners require or maybe looking for in terms of the size, scale, and materials.You may also take advantage of the pre-application phase to discuss your planning application with your local authority and modify the application based on their suggestions before you go on to formally apply to them.
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
Stay up to date with the progress. You may choose to call the local planning office at important stages of the process, especially after the consultation period, you should be able to sense if the proposed scheme will be approved. Otherwise, you may withdraw your application and submit again for free.Top reasons why your planning application may be rejected In deciding which applications to approve, local authorities will take into account “key or material considerations”. These may include (but not limited to) the following:1.Government policy2.Traffic3.Noise4.Impact on listed building and Conservation Area5.Highway safety6.Overlooking/loss of privacy7.Nature conservation8.Previous planning decisions9.Disabled access 10.Proposals in the development plan11.Layout and density of building12.Loss of light or overshadowing13.Parking14.Design, appearance, and materials, etc.What do you do if your planning application is rejected?If you got a piece of not so unpleasant news and authorization to continue with your planning has not been granted, then all hope is not lost. Carefully study the reasons for the refusal. If your scheme does not follow local planning policies, you may need to redefine it. If you do not believe it is in breach of the local planning policies, then you may have a more serious and genuine reason to appeal the decision. Whatever the case, it is a very wise move to first consult a planning consultant.What is a listed building and how to find out if your building is listed?
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
There are lots of listed buildings in the UK. A building becomes listed if it has a fantastic architecture or is of historical interest and is considered national importance to the UK, consequently deserving to be protected. As the term simply suggests, the building is then added to a list known as the National Heritage List of England.Buildings on this list are protected to mark and celebrate a particular architectural or historic interest. The listing of the buildings takes into account the planning system and the work done to obtain such result, they are therefore considered worthy of protection for future generations.The older a building is, the more likely it is to be listed, and this is because buildings of such type are very rare to come by.As a rule, all buildings which were built before 1700, and are still at least in their original state are very likely to be listed. It is also true that most buildings built between the years 1700 and 1850 are classified as historical monuments. For buildings built after 1945, there is careful selection required for them to become listed. And then for buildings less than thirty years old, they are generally not considered to be particularly spectacular from an architectural or historical point of view, as they have not passed the test of time.How do I know if my property is listed?There is a list which shows all the listed properties in England. The National Heritage List of England (which is abbreviated as NHLE) contains detailed information on all listed buildings in the country. To know if your property or anyone for that matter is listed, you may have to search the list.How are the listed buildings classified?The following is the grading of the listed building in England. Grade I: These are buildings that are of really exceptional interest. There are only about 2.5% of the listed buildings in this grade.Grade II *: These are very special buildings and of particular interest to the nation. There are only about 5.8% of the buildings listed in this grade.Grade II: The buildings on this list are of special interest and about 91.7% of the structures listed are in this class. It is the likely grade a homeowner will find his/her home.
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
It may be surprising to know that the total number of buildings listed in England is not known. This is so because there is no single entry on the NHLE covering or revealing the total number of listed in England. The list may sometimes cover several individual units of terrace homes and not the total listed buildings. However, according to estimates, it is believed that there are about 500,000 buildings listed by the NHLE.How to prepare a building permit If you wish to modify or expand your listed building in a manner that will affect its already existing characteristic or appearance, as an architectural or historic building of interest, you have to first apply for listed building permission, from the local planning authority near you.You have to first consult with your local conservation office if consent is required for what you intend to do. They should also provide you with an overview of what is acceptable and whether your ideas need to be adapted or modified to be put it in a better position. This singular act can save you both time and money.When the authority in charge of planning considers approving or rejecting any application, they usually give more consideration to preserving the building, its design and its specifications, priority is given to those features that made it of interest in the first place. These are what you must put into consideration first when planning your rebuild or changes.Your local authority’s website should have a listed building consent application form which you can download. You would find guidance putting you through on how to apply on the relevant government authority’s portal. Usually, there is no fee for this.You must request a listed building consent if you want to do any of the following and more:•You want to bring down a listed building.•You wish to modify or extend your listed building in such a way that its features as a historic or architectural are tampered with.A listed building consent may also be required before any work can be done to separate buildings located within or around the ground of a listed building. So, it is important to check carefully with your local authority because it is considered a criminal offence to work without consent in a place where listed building consent is required.So what do you do if you live in a protected/conservation area?
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
For those who live in a conservation area, you must first apply for planning permission in other to carry out certain types of facelift or work, even those work for which planning permission is not normally required in other areas of the district.If you live in a conservation area, you need to know that there is a high level of planning control over the following:•Changes to any external feature such as doors and windows,•Alteration to roofs,•Satellite dishes,•A demolition or erection of new garden walls,•Erection new extensions,•Construction of new structures,•Demolition of buildings, etc. What do you need to protect if your house is located in the conservation area?Whatever the proposal for a building permit, your work must show your intent to maintain or improve the conservation area.If you live in a protected area, you must apply for a planning permit before you go on to clad the outside of your home with stones, artificial stones, tiles, wood or timber, plastic, pebbles dash or render.What is a Party Wall Agreement -Do I Need It?A party wall refers to the wall your home shares with your neighbors, especially in terraced or semi-detached houses.To work on or near common walls or borders, you must first obtain the written consent of your neighbor, following the Party wall Act. At that moment, you have what is known as a “party-wall agreement” or “party wall notice”.To be sure this is done and formally binding, there are party wall surveyors who are employed and they have to ensure that you are within your right to carry out your desired work or project.
CLIENT’S GUIDE: PLANNING PERMISSION AND PARTY WALL
The walls where you require a garden wall agreement for also includes the garden walls which are built over excavations near a neighbor’s property and within a radius of three or six meters, depending on the new foundations’ depth.Party wall agreements may also be required in some homes for works involving the following:•Loft conversions, digging new foundations, insertion of damp proof courses, building extensions.•Making any repairs on the wall,•Change to the thickness or wall height,•Demolishing and rebuilding walls,•Cutting a wall in other to take the bearing of a beam –may be for loft conversions,•Destroy and rebuild,•Cutting off projections, like removing a chimney breast for instance.•Interruption of projections (for example, removal of a chimney), etc.How to obtain permission to work on a party wall.Before you go on to work on a party wall, as the homeowner (building owner) you need a written agreement regarding the party wall from every neighbor affected (otherwise known as adjoining owners).A surveyor may be appointed to help you prepare the party wall award (an agreed document which should spell out how the work will be done). At the beginning of this process, the homeowner must serve the affected or adjoining neighbors a written document about the planned modification to the party wall.

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