Planning, Party Wall and Building Regulations

Planning Permission

Planning permission is required when undertaking certain works on your property. The application should be submitted to your local planning authority. An application must include architectural drawings of your proposed works, including layouts, elevations and sections.

Planning Authorities are contactable through your local council, they will provide all the relevant application forms, contact details and other relevant documents on their website.

Following on from your application, the council may accept your plans in their entirety, accept them with conditions or reject them. In this event you can try to amend your plans and resubmit them.

Planning permissions are usually granted subject to planning conditions which require the development to begin within three years. Typically they will also include a number of other conditions, for example the plans to be built in accordance with the approved drawings, trees to be planted as indicated by any landscape designs or the colour and finish of external materials to be approved by the local authority.

 

Party Wall

The Party Wall Act protects you and your neighbours during any home improvements. Failure to follow the correct guidelines and procedures may cause problems, delaying your development and incurring unforeseen costs.

Anyone who is considering building an extension will have to take into account consideration for their neighbours. They will have an important role to play in many aspects of the planning process.

Your neighbours could experience some of the inconvenience of your project without enjoying the benefits, so it is crucial to keep them informed and on side. It is also a point of law that you must give them notice before starting work close to the boundary with their property. If done properly, these precautions will provide the foundations for a smooth build and hopefully maintain cost predictions.

Building work which affects a party wall or boundary line include excavations within three or six metres of a neighbouring property (depending on the depth of the foundations you are making). This will include most extensions; basement and loft conversions.

You need to serve notice on all the owners of every neighbouring property affected by the works, both freeholders and leaseholders. You don’t need planning permission for your plans to serve notice, and once you’ve done so you can take up to a year to start work.

If your plans change slightly after you’ve served notice – for example, if you decide to increase the depth of your extension – you should be able to submit revised drawings to your neighbour without having to serve a new notice.

Building Regulations

Building regulations are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. Building regulations approval is required for most building work in the UK. Building regulations that apply across England and Wales are set out in the Building Act 1984.

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