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What is the Planning Applications Process?

When you want to make major changes to your home or even build a new property, you will need to get planning permission for the project.  This involves going through the planning applications process.  But what is involved with it?

Planning Applications Process Christchurch

The basics of the process

On paper, the planning application process is relatively simple. To start with, you go through plan preparation and then you submit your planning application to the local authority planning department. They publicise it in places like local newspapers to allow neighbours and other people in the area to give their opinions. The public usually has a window of a few weeks to offer their comment.

After this, a decision is made within eight weeks of the plan being submitted.  Currently, around 75% of plans are accepted at the first stage. If they are declined, you can make amendments and appeal – around 40% of those appeals are also successful.

When is planning permission needed?

The good news is that you don’t always need planning permission to make amendments to your home.  Under what is known as Permitted Development Rights, there are a lot of things you can do without going through the planning permission process. These include adding extensions such as conservatories, converting lofts or garages. There are some terms so always check with your local authority before doing work.

There are also two types of planning permission that you can apply for – full or outline.  Outline planning permission grants the construction of a dwelling in principle based on size and shape and details provided. But the information needed is so detailed that most people just go straight to a full planning permission process.  If you get an outline permission, you still need further permission before you complete the project.

What is needed for an application

Generally, the following documents are needed to be submitted as part of the planning application:

  • Five copies of the planning application forms
  • Signed ownership certificate for the land or property
  • A site plan, block plan, elevations of both the existing and proposed sites
  • A Design and Access Statement
  • The relevant fee

The Design and Access Statements are used to justify a proposals design concept and access to it.  How detailed this needs to be depended on the project and often people will work with a building surveyor Christchurch, for example, to get the plan preparation including this.

How the permission is granted

Once the paperwork has been submitted, then it is time for the planning authority to look at the case. There are a series of material considerations that they use to help make a decision including the impact on surrounding properties, parking and highway safety, noise, layout and density of buildings, government policy and also previous planning decisions.

It can be important to work with professionals to prepare your plan to help cover all of these elements. Philip Cave Building Surveyor offer this service to our clients alongside a number of hour survey or building survey services. We can also offer a home condition report, home purchase report, inspection report, structural survey or a pre-purchase report if you are buying the property that you want planning permission for to help ensure it is sound and in good condition before you make the application.

"Great service from a friendly, local business and very cost effective too."

Thomas Steele

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