FAQs

What can I do if my Planning Application is refused?

When a refusal is issued by a local authority they are duty bound to give reasons for the refusal. If the reasons for a refusal can be addressed you have the option of re-submitting the application within 12 months of registration free of charge. If you feel the Local Authority have been unreasonable in considering your proposals you have the option to go to Appeal.

There are three methods of Appeal:

Written Representations- The appellants representative and the council prepare written statements for the planning inspectorate to consider. The Inspectorate will visit the site and then issue a decision.
Hearing – Where the planning issues are quite straight forward an informal hearing may be called with the agreement of both parties. This is a discussion of the issues involved between the council and appellant which is led by the Planning Inspectorate.
Public Inquiry – Both parties presents its case verbally before an Inspectorate and the witnesses for each side can be cross-examined by the opposing parties. Public inquiries are usually a costly and lengthy procedure as it normally requires professional representation to argue complex issues.

Appeals generally should be lodged within 12 weeks of the refusal date for householder appeals and 28 weeks for others. The majority of appeals are by ‘written representation’ as this process is the quickest, cheapest and most straight forward method of appealing a decision.

What services can you provide?

We can offer a complete package on all architectural, planning and design issues through to construction stage on projects large and small both within the commercial and domestic sectors. We offer a free initial site visit and consultation to establish feasibility of a project and permissions required. We can provide a fixed free quotation on the majority of domestic projects or a highly competitive tailored quotation on large commercial projects. Upon instruction we will carry out a detailed measured survey of your property and discuss the design in detail forming the basis of our design brief.

Once the plans have been prepared we will arrange a meeting with you to discuss and look over the proposals and if necessary alter before submitting relevant applications to the local authority.

For a comprehensive list of services offered by ABDS please refer to our ‘Services’ page.

Are you interested in small scale projects?

Yes we are! The majority of domestic projects are relatively small and to a practice like ours they make up a significant element of our work load.

How long does it take the council to make a decision on a Planning Application?

Generally this is about 8 weeks from the time of registration to a decision being issued, however this may be extended on bigger and more complex developments.

What does it cost to submit Planning and Building Regulations applications?

Disregarding our fees for the preparation of plans and applications you will have to pay statutory fee’s to the Local Authority when submitting formal applications. Planning application fees are set nationally by the government with the Building Regulations fees set by each individual Local Authority. The fees for any individual project can be established with our FREE initial site visit and consultation.

Do I require any other permissions?

This will depend on the type and location of property and project proposed. For example an extension to a Listed Building will require Listed Building Consent submitted to the local planning department at the same time as the Planning Application. Demolition works within a Conservation Area will require Conservation Area Consent and may require a Demolition Notice served upon Building Control depending on the volume of the building being demolished. Approvals may also be required and sought from other agencies e.g. Approval by Environment Agency for discharge of a private foul water treatment system and ‘Build over Agreements’ for works near or over public sewers.

Am I guaranteed to get permissions for my proposal?

Unfortunately you cannot guarantee that permission will be granted where Planning consent is required. Planning applications that do not strictly fall within planning legislation and/or policy guidelines often are referred to Planning Committee Meetings. The committee members views can be highly subjective and open to broad interpretation of the rules, sometimes resulting in a non-favourable outcome on a Planning Application. However achieving Building Regulations compliance is much more straight forward and with the correct technical information provided, approval can always be obtained for any project.

Do I need drawings if I don’t need Planning permission?

In most cases, yes. Although some proposals do not require formal Planning permission the majority of projects will still require Building Regulations Approval for which detailed drawings are generally required to accompany a Building Regulations submission made to a Local Authority. This is known as a ‘Full Plans Application’ whereby the council checks the plans for Building Regulations compliance and issue an approval once happy with the technical specification of the proposal. Another method of submitting a Building Regulations Application is via a ‘Building Notice’ procedure whereby no drawings are required with only a Notice served to the Local Authority outlining the proposed works. This procedure is generally used for minor works only e.g. installation of a window.

What is the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval?

Planning decisions establish whether or not a proposed development or change of use can go ahead based on factors such as the overall size, aesthetics and its affect on the surrounding area. Final decisions are made either by individual planning officers with delegated powers or by Planning Committees at monthly meetings where more controversial applications are dealt with. Building Regulations approves the design and construction detailing of a project and monitors the project at build stage through on-site inspections. It is much more straight forward than the Planning process as the Building Regulations legislation is prescriptive with its guidance on achieving compliance and far less open to broad interpretation. Therefore if you want to carry out any building work you may need;

Planning Permission
Building Regulations
or both

It is the responsibility of any home owner to establish what permissions are required for a proposal and ABDS can determine this for you with our FREE initial site visit and consultation.

Is it true the government have relaxed planning rules for domestic projects?

Yes this is the case relating to ‘Permitted Development’ criteria. In October 2008 rules relating to loft conversions and extensions in particular were changed. Properties without Listed Building status have ‘Permitted Development’ rights and previously had limitations measured by volume on what you could build on them without the need to apply for Planning Permission. The new rules now allow a separate volume of permitted development for loft conversions as well as an allowance for extensions with limitations on width, depth and height. Our FREE initial site visit and consultation will help clarify if Planning Permission is required for your proposal.

Do I need Planning Permission?

Planning Departments within Local Authorities regulate the development and use of land through statutory legislation, government guidance and local policy guidelines. It is impossible to generalise with individual projects as there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. As an example, if a property has Listed Building Status or is located within a ‘Designated Area’ (e.g. ‘Conservation Area’ or ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’) the Permitted Development rules that normally apply do not in these situations. Our FREE initial site visit and consultation will establish if you require formal Planning Permission for your proposal.