Frequently asked questions

Do you need planing permission for a loft conversion of garage conversion?

Very often you do not need planning permission for either. You can carry out a loft conversion with a large rear or side dormer without planning permission (within certain limits) and you can change a hipped side roof slope into a gable roof (gaining lots of headroom) without planning permission, although in conservation areas the rules are different. Nearly all garage conversions do not require planning permission. On some modern housing estates the planners remove the rights that you normally have to build these things without planning permission, so it is important to check if your “Permitted Development” rights have been removed. The Planning Portal has an excellent general guide to permitted development, please take a look.

Do you need planning permission for a small extension?

Some small extensions are exempt from planning approval and some are exempt from building control approval. We will advise on this during our visit.

Internal alterations do not usually require planning permission and will only need building control approval if you are removing a load bearing wall or changing the drainage.

How can I find a good builder?

We have a number of excellent builders that we can recommend for your project if required. This assumes that you were not recommended to us by one of these.

How long does it take to get planning permission?
Once the plans have been submitted to the council, the planning process usually takes about 8 weeks and building control approval about 4 weeks. These two processes run together, so you should receive full approval to start work within 8 weeks from submitting the drawings.

If we consider the proposal may be slightly contentious planning-wise, and the planning department may require changes to the design, we then suggest applying for planning permission only as a first stage. We can then easily make small changes to comply with the planning requirements before undertaking the technical details and calculations for building control approval. This will extend the whole process, as we have to wait for planning permission before going onto the building control stage, but it may save you money if we have to amend the drawings for the planners. We would refer to this as ‘split applications’.

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

The Planning Permission covers what your property will look like once the extension has been built, for example, is it in keeping with the rest of the street; how it impacts on your neighbours; etc.

The Building Regulation Approval covers the technical details indicating how it is built. These are separate departments and require separate applications.

How can you guarantee I will get Planning Permission?

Our clients benefit from of our considerable experience working with the local councils in that we know what is permissible, and what isn’t. If your project needs planning consent, we will guarantee getting the permission for you, or will refund 100% of our fee.