When do I need planning permission?
You’ll need to consider planning permission if you’re looking to build a new structure, make major changes to your existing home or change the use of a particular building, e.g. converting an office building into a new house or a barn into an office building. Each local authority will have different rules for when you need to apply, so make sure you check before starting a project – you can do this on the government’s online planning portal.
You can now submit your application online via the portal website, which also details all of the documents you need to make your application, and walks you through the process step-by-step. You can also track applications and apply for as many as you like at the same time. You should also consult your home insurance provider before embarking on your project, as undertaking building work may affect your policy plan.
Do I always need permission?
The short answer is no. Small projects will generally be classed as a “permitted development”, meaning you are free to continue without applying for permission. Again, individual planning authorities will have different rules on what constitutes a permitted development, but generally speaking it includes anything that will have very little or no impact on neighbours or the environment. There are also special rules regarding community projects, which you can find by visiting the government’s Neighbourhood Planning website.
How do building regulations and restrictions affect me?
Building regulations have been created to ensure that projects are completed to a reasonable standard, and that contractors use the proper materials and meet environmental requirements. Every development needs to be approved, either by a local authority or an approved inspector, and it will be your responsibility as the landowner to ensure that approval is received. You can save time by using a builder who has completed the “Competent Person Self-Certification“ scheme, who will be qualified to green-light a project without seeking external guidance.