Demystifying the Planning and Building Regulation Process

When planning an extension for your house, it can seem like a long and arduous process, filled with technical terms and hoops to jump through that even the smartest minds could baulk at. Here at Summit Architecture, we’ll work with you every step of the way to make sure your development runs as smoothly and as quickly as possible.

Read on to find out about some of the keywords you’ll encounter in the planning and building process.

Permitted Development, Planning Permission & Prior Approval

A permitted development is a project that can be done without planning permission. Not all houses have these rights, so you should obtain a Certificate of Lawfulness from the planning department before beginning any work. If you want to build something larger or are in an area that doesn’t have permitted development, you will need planning permission before beginning a project.

Planning permission involved applying to the council for permission to build. They may ask for designs, documents and surveys before granting approval.

Prior approval sits in between permitted development and planning permission. It is used for certain extensions on houses and involves writing to neighbours to see if they have any objections to the work you are planning to do. This could be because the extension is large enough that it could block views or be an eyesore to neighbours.

What Does My Project Need?

Loft Conversion

A loft conversion extends your home without having to build an extension. They can be converted into bedrooms, bathrooms, offices or whatever you want. Summit Architecture can work with you to design a conversion that suits you. Most loft conversions fall within permitted development and once approved are issued a Certificate of Lawfulness, which lasts for life.

Ground Floor Extension

A ground floor extension can really liven up your home, maximising property space and unlocking its developmental potential. They are usually at the rear or side of the house but can be done in the front with the required permissions. Here are the rules for ground floor extensions in terms of applying for planning permission:

●      Rear extensions up to 3 metres will need to be submitted as permitted development.

●      Rear extensions over 3 metres and up to 6 will require prior approval. Once this is successful, it will then in most cases require an additional permitted development application.

●      Extensions over 6 metres will require planning permission.

●      Side extensions are permitted development but only up to 50% of the width of the house. Anything over this requires planning permission.

●      Wrap-around extensions require planning permission regardless of the size.

Summit Architecture

Summit Architecture has worked on over 400 projects and has an intensive knowledge of the design and construction industry. For over 25 years we have worked in the private and public sector building luxury houses, residential and commercial developments, hospitality, educational, cultural and urban planning projects. Not just in London anymore, we’re pleased to be available for projects in Manchester and Leeds.