When do you need to submit a Full Planning Application?

Planning Consultant - Chris Scott
Hi, I’m Chris,
I hold an MA in Planning and work as a Planning Consultant

When answering generic questions such as this I have to provide quite general answers. So, in general, a full planning application is anything which does not come under permitted development rights or a householder application. There are two types of full application, for either minor or major operations. As the services I provide are purely for small-scale and residential applications I can only assist with minor applications. Minor full planning applications have a floor space under 1,000 square meters. Also, minor applications are where the site area is less than 1 hectare.

Whether works require planning permission comes down to the term ‘development’ or a ‘change of use’. Any project which the local authority believes to be ‘development’ requires approval. It’s important to remember that engineering works (underground pipes/electrical cables) do count as development. Therefore in most cases engineering works outside of the curtilage of a home will require full planning permission.

Does a Residential Annexe or Garage require Full Planning Approval?

A residential annexe will almost always require a full planning application, as it does not come under household application criteria. The definition of an annexe is that it can provide accommodation. If you construct an outbuilding without the core facilities such as a bathroom, or kitchen this would not be considered an annexe. Therefore other outbuildings come under either permitted development rights (PD) or a householder application. This also applies to garages. Whether works fall under PD or a householder application typically depends on the scale of the development and if the building is forward of the principal elevation. Your homes principle elevation is normally the wall that faces the highway. It typically contains your front door, but not always.

What about Changes of Use?

There are some changes of use which come under permitted development. However, in many cases to change the use class of a building will require a full application. The exception is if the intended use falls under the existing use class. With residential development, the use class for small scale domestic schemes is C3 (Dwellinghouses). The limit to the C3 category is if more than six residents are living in a single household, this will then require a change to C4 (Houses in multiple occupation). This doesn’t mean a family of more than six people though, it refers to individual tenants.

Home Office
Running a business from your home office would not normally be considered a change a use. However if the business created increased traffic to and from the property this could be deemed a change a use.

There can be other potential changes of use. You may wish to run a small business from home and want to use an outbuilding to run your business from. This would require a full planning application for a change of use to secure permission. The local authority would consider the impact of noise on your neighbours for instance, and particularly any additional traffic generated if it created safety concerns. For instance deliveries, would this create significant on road parking issues?

Running a business from home which is purely office based it is unlikely to require a change of use. If you are not dealing with physical goods or customers visiting your home then you have not materially changed the use of the building from being your home.

What about Works on a Farm?

The answer to this question depends on whether you have sufficient land for agricultural permitted development rights to be applicable. Furthermore, does the project fall under the criteria of agricultural permitted development rights (APD)? I will get more into the ins and outs of these rights in later posts, however, there is something important to remember. For a project to benefit from APD, it must be reasonably for the purposes of agriculture. Typically the local authority will require some evidence that your primary income comes from working that land.

Farm Buildings Full Planning
Some structures can be erected on farms under agricultural permitted development rights. However, to benefit from such rights the applicant must be able to demonstrate their primary income comes from working that land.

If the proposed building works do not come under the categories of the APD rights then you would be required to submit a full planning application. The level of detail required as part of the application would obviously depend on the individual proposal. For instance, there may be ecological issues to address or potential impacts on trees.

What About a New Access to a Field or Property?

Yes, for a new vehicle access point to a field or property a full (minor) planning application needs to be submitted. The Highways Authority is consulted on new field access applications. Issues with regards to the Highway for small scale projects can often be addressed. Avoiding new access points opposite existing junctions or blind bends is a must. In some cases, visibility splays may need to be reviewed, however, this is more common for residential access points. If you are thinking of creating new vehicle access point you will need to use either concrete or tarmac for the first few meters where it meets the road. You cannot use a loose material up to the highway. Once you have secured full planning permission you will then need a ‘permit to dig’. This is secured from the highway authority and is required before works can be carried out.


Planning Help on Full Planning Applications

If you have a project which you are considering and don’t know how to progress, please drop me a message. If you can provide me with your location I can do a quick initial review before your free 30-minute consultation. We will discuss what your options are and what potential issues need to be addressed to secure approval. Please visit the contact page to complete the form and I look forward to hearing from you 🙂