The days of building a house or extension first and then asking questions later are a long way in the past. These days, you can’t start digging a hole or laying a brick before having to jump over hordes of red tape and fight your way through piles of paperwork. It is understandable that many people are put off from making improvements to their home as they don’t want to face the minefield of building regulations and planning permission, but speaking to an expert can help things seem much clearer.
Permitted Development Rights
It may be that you don’t actually need planning permission if your building project falls into the category of permitted development rights. For example, if your intended building project will have no impact on your neighbours or surrounding environment, it may be that you have permitted development rights. However, even if you don’t need planning permission, you will still need to make sure your plans comply with building regulations.
Building regulations contain the rules for all building work, whether for new buildings or for building alterations and extensions. Building regulations approval is required for almost all building work in the United Kingdom. These regulations are put in place to make sure that buildings are safe and habitable, dry and warm. This is different from planning permission, however, you may need both for your building project.
Building Regulations 2010 covers both the construction and extension of buildings. You may also need building regulations for alteration projects including:
- Replacing fuse boxes and connected electrics
- Installing plumbing
- Changing electrics near to a bath or shower
- Installing a fixed air conditioning system
- Replacing windows and doors
- Replacing roof coverings on both pitched and flat roofs
- Installing and replacing heating systems
- Adding extra radiators
If you don’t comply with building regulations, you could stand to be fined as much as £5,000 and your local authority could make you pay for any faulty work to be fixed on top of this.
If your planned building project doesn’t fall under the permitted development rights category, you will need to apply for planning permission. For small developments where you have certain plans, i.e. you have a certain amount of land allocated for your project, full planning permission is appropriate. Your local authority will then either refuse to give you planning permission, stating their full reasons as to why, or they will approve your application if you agree to comply with a list of planning conditions. This list may well be lengthy.
There are a number of elements that Local Planning Authorities consider when deciding on a planning application:
- The number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of a building or buildings
- The infrastructures that are available, such as roads and water supply
- The intended use of your development
- The effect of your development on the surrounding area
No matter what your building plans are, rather than being frightened of planning permission and building regulations, you can enlist Cameron Butcher’s expert services. As building contractors, we will ensure that we comply with all planning conditions and building regulations as well as providing advice for filling out planning permission paperwork.
For more information on the services that we provide, you can contact us via our website, or by giving us a call on 0845 900 5762.