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Self build advice

The Layman’s Guide to Planning Applications.

Getting Planning Permission is the first step to building your own home. So what do you need to know?

Whether you employ an agent to apply for planning permission, or submit the planning application yourself, you need to understand the planning process and how to give yourself the best chance of success. This is our guide to the machinations of local planning departments.

Everybody needs good neighbours.

Having a good relationship with those living in the immediate vicinity is never a bad thing. While it’s true to say that objections by local residents don’t necessarily mean that a planning application will be rejected, if you can avoid this hurdle it can save a lot of time and hassle.

Due consideration needs to be given to the effect that your proposals will have on your neighbours, so take this into account when deciding on where the new home will sit within the plot. Try to avoid overlooking neighbouring gardens, and take advantage of natural screening such as trees and bushes wherever possible. Neighbour objections tend only to be heeded if they are planning related.

Presentation is key.

Creating a good impression with the planners will give credibility to your planning application. Drawings should be submitted in a recognised format, clearly labelled and easily understood. A well-presented submission with all information included shows that you understand and abide by the planning process, and will help convince planning officers that your application should be taken seriously.

Make full use of your Design & Access Statement.

A Design & Access Statement may be required in support of your application, depending on your local authority and circumstances, but even if it is not necessary, it can be a very useful tool in pitching your proposal to the powers that be. A well-written D&A statement can persuade planning officers of your intention to build a home that will be a great addition to the local area, and answer a lot of potential objections before they arise. This is your chance to sell your proposal to the people who will ultimately decide if it happens or not, so it’s important that you make the most of it.

Pre-planning advice is no guarantee of approval.

Most councils offer ‘pre-planning advice’ where, for a fee that varies hugely around the country, they will visit site and offer an opinion on whether a scheme is likely to be approved, or give a ‘desk appraisal’ of a proposal. But always bear in mind that this is no guarantee that they will approve your application. One planning officer’s opinion is not legally binding, and they will make this very clear.

An experienced agent can make all the difference.

Many people submit their own planning applications, and there is a wealth of information freely available on the web should you choose to do so – not least at the government’s Planning Portal. But an experienced designer or architectural technician acting as your agent can save you a lot of headaches. Someone with experience of the process and well-versed in the game of chess that is building control can be worth their weight in gold.

Making your own planning applications.

All of our downloadable pre-drawn plans are formatted for use in planning applications. Elevations and floor plans are drawn to a scale of 1:100 or 1:50, while sections are drawn to a scale of 1:50.

Planning Application forms can be downloaded here.

Each Local Authority has different requirements but generally an application should include five copies of the application forms, the signed ownership certificate, a site plan, block plan and plans and elevations of the proposed site, a Design and Access Statement and the correct fee.

Why not take advantage of our planning application service and let us do the hard work for you?

We provide a full Planning Application Service. For a fee of just £695.00 (plus local authority planning fee) we will:

  • Provide a Location Plan at 1:1250 scale
  • Provide a Site Plan at 1:200 scale
  • Write a Design & Access Statement to accompany your application
  • Personalise your plans with your details
  • Complete all application paperwork, submit on your behalf, and liaise with the planning department throughout the process

Want to know more? Click here to request a call back and we’ll do the rest.

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