Before starting work on certain projects at home, you would always be wise to check whether or not planning permission is needed in order for the job to be carried out – otherwise you run the risk of having to tear it all down again, at great expense to yourself.
Unfortunately, it can be both time-consuming and difficult to put your planning application in for an extension, renovation or similar and occasionally, it can become a real bugbear in your plans to create your dream house. It can also be incredibly frustrating if your application is unsuccessful, after all that hard work you’ve already put in.
Should you find yourself in this particular predicament, it’s important to remember that just because your application has been refused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your project is dead in the water. You do still have numerous options available to you so it’s important not to give up hope just yet.
It generally takes around two months for the planning permission process to be completed, unless the project in question is particularly complicated or on the bigger side so bear this in mind and try not to get too impatient while waiting for a decision.
All planning applications have to be submitted to the local council in question and then undergo a period of public consultation, which can take anything between three and eight weeks, with anyone affected by the proposals consulted by the local authority. It is at this point that objections to what you have in mind can be raised, which will help you see what kind of reaction your project will likely get.
Pay close attention to this part of the process because, even though objections raised may not have an impact on the eventual outcome of the application, you may find you want to make a couple of changes to what you have planned to help sway the decision in your favour if necessary. Big changes, however, will mean that the planning officer will have to begin his consultation all over again, which is also worth remembering.
If an issue is revealed, whatever it may be, you might be able to have your application passed if you agree to address whatever the problem is but you will have to prove that the changes have been made.
You have two options available to you if your application looks as though it might be turned down and there appears to be no way of saving it. Firstly, you can decide to withdraw it, revise it and then resubmit it or you can allow the process to continue and then appeal when the refusal comes in.
If you think the decision is unfair, you can appeal but you need to lodge this within three months if you’re a homeowner. Information will be sent from your local council to tell you how to go about it, but you can do this either in writing, at a hearing or with a public inquiry (only in really complicated cases).
The council has six weeks to respond after your appeal has been lodged and then you have three weeks to submit your comments. Neighbours and anyone else who may be affected by your plans will also be given the opportunity to submit comments as well.
Do I need planning permission?
You will probably need to have permission in place if you want to make a big change to your building (such as an extension), if you want to change the use of your building or if you want to build something new. Make sure you get in touch with your local planning authority to find out if you do need permission – and make sure you do this before you start work or you could find you have to take it all down again, which could prove very expensive indeed.
If you do the work without sorting out planning permission, you may be served with an enforcement notice that orders you to undo all the changes you’ve made. It is illegal to ignore an enforcement notice although you can appeal against it.
Some projects won’t need planning permission, known as permitted development rights. Buildings that typically have permitted development rights include industrial premises and warehouse (although these come with some limits and conditions), some outdoor signs and ads, and demolition work (although you’ll need to have approval from your local planning authority to do the job).
Something else to bear in mind is that if the project you have in the offing benefits the local community and has the support of the local community behind it, you might not have to follow the normal planning permission process. But, again, it’s always best to check just in case.
Do I need planning permission to replace my existing windows?
The majority of houses have permitted development rights, which means you’re able to replace the existing windows or create new ones without having planning permission from your local council.
However, you will need to make sure that the materials of your new windows are similar in appearance to those used in the windows around the rest of the house, as well as ensuring that any upper floor side windows are both non-opening and obscure glazed.
And you’ll also need to remember that not all houses have permitted development rights so you should still check to be on the safe side. And if you live in a listed building, these rights will not exist so you’ll need both planning permission and listed building consent to make changes to your windows.
To protect the character of a listed building, replacement windows have to replicate the appearance, opening type and detailing of the originals, especially important on heritage assets. If your replacement windows fail in this regard, permission will probably be refused.
If you’d like any further help or advice relating to sliding sash windows for your London home, get in touch with us here at Box Sash today.