Full Planning Applications

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.

FAQ

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 🙂

Householder Planning Applications

When do you apply for a Householder Planning Application?

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

This seems like an obvious question. A householder planning application is applicable to development within the curtilage of the dwelling. However, not all works come under a householder planning application. Furthermore, for some works, you may not require planning permission. First, it needs to be evaluated if the works can be completed under permitted development rights (PD)? If the answer is yes, you will not need to submit a householder planning application. Though you should consider a Lawful Development Certificate application.

What sort of Building Works come under a Householder Planning Application?

So let’s presume the project does not fall under PD, what sort of works fall under a householder application? Generally, this applies to all works within the curtilage of your home. So generally this includes extensions and modifications. It could include outbuildings or fences/boundary treatments over 1m next to the road, or over 2m high elsewhere on the property. Typically it could also include a conservatory, garage, carport or swimming pool. Dormers can fall under PD or a householder planning application. Typically a rear or side dormer is PD, while a dormer above the principal elevation of the property which faces the road requires planning permission.

Dormer Windows
Dormer windows on the principle elevations of a dwelling are not PD and do require a Householder Planning Application.

Works which cannot be completed under a householder application include creating another dwelling within the same curtilage. Another example would be to change the use of a building (or part of a building) within the curtilage. If you wished to construct a stable for horses, if this was within your curtilage depending on its size it could come under PD or a householder application. However, if for example, you own a field next to your home and the stables were proposed to be in that field, that would be part of a full planning application.

What do you need to submit to the Local Authority under a Householder Application?

Every planning application will include an application form providing details on the location of the site, the applicant/agent submitting the application and various details of the proposal. Part of the application form also includes the Ownership Certificate that needs to be completed. Please note, planning permission is linked to the land, not a person. Anyone can apply for planning permission on a piece of land, but the correct ownership certificate needs to be completed. Also required are a Location Plan (typically of a scale 1:1250 or 1:2500) and a Site/Block Plan (typically of a scale 1:200 or 1:500).

The Floor Plans and Elevations for the proposal need to accurately detail all of the proposed works under a Householder Planning Application

A Design and Access statement is generally not required for a householder application, however, a letter attached with the submission detailing the materials to be used can be useful. Generally, the floor plans and elevations which also need to be submitted will contain enough detail. It’s also worth noting that within recent years roof plans are now also commonly requested. This will be for projects which comprise of significant roof alterations or a new roof design as part of the proposals.

What other information may the Local Authority Request?

This is obviously a very open question as it depends on the specific local authority and the individual householder planning application. Some local authorities provide local validation lists. These local validation lists set out what they expect to be included with your householder planning application. Now, depending on the circumstances you may be asked to submit an ecology report to check for bats. You could have mature trees on the site that will be affected. Depending on the number and significance of those trees to be affected an arboricultural report may be requested. It’s possible depending on the circumstances you may be requested to submit a structural engineers report.

Bat Survey
The local planning authority may request a bat survey to be conducted if works are proposed to the roof space of a property – Image: eliteecology.co.uk

I want to build another Dwelling within the same Curtilage, does this come under a Householder Planning Application?

No, in this case, you would need to apply for a full planning application for minor development. Also note, you will have to pay more for a full planning application over a householder application. At this moment in time (2019) a full planning application for a new home is £462, while a householder application is £206. Really, it’s quite understandable why this is the case. To review an application for a new home takes a lot more time than for a small extension. There are many aspects of the design to review. Is there sufficient space on site to accommodate a new dwelling? Will there be issues with overlooking or overshadowing? Is there safe access to the highway? etc.

Scott Planning Services
This is an illustration of the plans I created for my own dwelling as part of the full planning application for change of use to a family annexe.

This turned out to be the case for my own dwelling. While located within the same curtilage as my parents dwelling it is a separate and independent building. As it was a redevelopment of a derelict building I was required to submit a bat survey and structural engineers report as part of a full planning application. As the property is located in the Greenbelt to secure approval I volunteered a planning condition. The condition states that the dwelling can only be used as a family annexe. Therefore this avoided conflict with Greenbelt policy against new dwellings.

Does a Garage Conversion require a Householder Planning Application?

If the garage is already attached and part of the original dwelling the conversions works could potentially be completed under PD. However, if the garage in question is a detached garage that you wish to attach to your dwelling this would require a householder planning application.

Some garage conversions will come under a householder planning application while others for conversion into a separate annexe will require a full planning application – Image: homebuilding.co.uk

When considering a garage conversion it’s worth exploring the planning history of the property. There may be a condition attached to the use of the garage purely for parking and storage purposes. Furthermore, local planning policy will need to be reviewed to asses if there could be potentially policy conflict. For instance, is there a local parking space policy requirement? Will including the garage as habitable space mean the property no longer provides sufficient parking provision?

Depending on the location of the property there may be other local policy restrictions in term of extensions. Typically within areas deemed to be rural and outside of a defined settlement boundary percentage restrictions on extensions often apply.

FAQ:

Assistance with Householder Planning Applications

If you have ideas of how you would like to improve or extend your home, please complete the contact form and we can discuss your project in more detail free of charge. Depending on the planning history of the site, future householder planning applications may need to consider the impacts of previous applications and permissions. Either way, I hope you found the above information useful 🙂

What are Permitted Development Rights?

Permitted Development Rights, what are they and does your property have them?

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

You may be aware of the term Permitted Development Rights, or PD rights as they are also often referred to. However, you may be less clear on how these rights apply to your property and what you can develop under these rights. PD rights refer to the national legislation known as the General Permitted Development Order 2015, also commonly referred to as the GDPO. In the context of the services I provide, the GDPO is relevant for residential development such as extensions and outbuildings. However, the GDPO provides many other rights, such as changes of use and agricultural permitted development rights. It also provides the legislation to enable road repairs and telecommunications equipment without the need to go through the planning system.

Does Your Property Have Permitted Development Rights?

The answer to this question is, maybe. It depends on where your property is located. There are areas around the country which have had their permitted development rights removed by means of an Article 4 Direction. What this essentially means is that all forms of development in those areas have to go through the local authority. Therefore either through a householder planning application or a full planning application. Some Article 4 Directions remove all PD rights, some directions remove just some of the rights. In other cases, previous planning permissions associated with a property may have removed rights under the GDPO. The local authority does this for various reasons, in general, to protect the amenity of neighbouring properties and the character of the area from overdevelopment.

Flat Roof Rear Dormer
A rear dormer is an example of a project which could potentially be completed under permitted development rules – Image: dezeen.com

Sometimes all of the PD rights have been removed, in other cases just a specific right such those to erect additional extensions. Part of my service is to review your properties planning history. This will help me to evaluate what PD rights exist to aid in the design of a proposal. Even if what your looking to build cannot be completed under the GDPO, we may be able to use those rights to our advantage. For instance to provide a ‘fall back’ position which the local authority must consider.

Development Within the Curtilage of a Dwelling House

So the rights which we are generally more interested in refer to your properties ‘curtilage’. You may be wondering what a ‘curtilage‘ is. Well, its definition is, “an area of land attached to a house“. So its the land immediately around the main dwelling, including any closely associated buildings. It does not include open fields around your property even if you own them.

Conservatory under Permitted Development Rights
Conservatories are a typical example of development which can often be completed under permitted development rights- Image: premierwindowsoswestry.co.uk

It’s also important to understand what your or original dwelling actually is before evaluating what you could construct under permitted development rights. For instance, the size of any potential extension under the GDPO must take into account any previous extensions if the two extensions will touch.

Now in some cases, the domestic curtilage is very simple to define for a property. In other cases, this is where the discussions start with the local planning department. It can be the case that while an area of land is regarded as a single ‘planning unit’, not all of that unit is regarded as domestic curtilage. The size of the curtilage needs to be agreed so any applicable PD rights can be evaluated. If you have a fence or hedge around the main dwelling this will likely set the boundary for the curtilage. However, other cases are not that simple. Part of my service is to present arguments to the local authority to agree on a curtilage position. I do this by searching for planning applications and reviewing old Ordnance Survey maps.

Large Rear Sunroom Extension Under Permitted Development Rights
Under permitted development rights and the large home extension scheme its possible add some significant space to your dwelling – Image: homeandbuild.co.uk

Do you have Permitted Development Rights in the Greenbelt?

Yes, you do! Provided as stated above they have not been removed by Article 4 Direction or planning condition. National Greenbelt policy is very restrictive on what development is appropriate. Therefore many people (including myself) find it surprising that PD rights apply in the Greenbelt, but they do. And because they do, when it comes to development proposals in the Greenbelt they can be a valuable asset. There are extensions to a property which you can construct under PD rights that you would find almost impossible to get approved under planning permission. Therefore, in some cases, you may choose to design your proposal around these PD rules alone. If that is the case it is often prudent to apply to the local authority for a Lawful Development Certificate (LDC). The LDC will confirm if the local authority accepts that the works can be completed under permitted development rights.

What about Listed Buildings?

Listed Buildings do not enjoy PD rights to erect outbuildings (Class E) within its curtilage. The other classes of the GDPO are applicable to Listed Buildings, however, a Listed Building Consent application is required in all cases. With a Listed Building Consent application the local planning authority and conservation officer will determine if they feel the proposals will have a negative effect on the building.

What about Conservation Areas and National Parks?

While not as restrictive when compared to Listed Buildings, there are limitations on standard PD rights in these areas. For instance, you will not be able to construct a two storey extension under permitted development rights. You also cannot construct roof extensions such as dormers, or outbuildings against the side elevation of the dwelling.

FAQ

Evaluating Your Permitted Development Rights

Please get in touch using the contact form if you would like me to investigate the potential for using permitted development rights to extend your property.

Planning History Review

What are the Benefits of Reviewing a Sites Planning History?

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

Even if you’re not ready to submit a planning application for your proposals, a planning history review can be of value. Some of my clients just want to explore what type and scale of development could be possible. A site assessment and planning history review can be useful to evaluate what has previously been approved or refused on a site.

Planning Permission Search Tips
Searching through a local planning authorities website for previous planning applications (approvals and refusals) can provide some very useful information for future planning applications.

There are many benefits of conducting a planning application search for the planning history of a property. For instance, it can give you an indication of how the local authority is likely to respond to any future applications. Say for instance there have been several previous applications which have been refused for a similar development. Your next submission will be expected to have addressed the previous reasons for refusal. This could include changing the design in terms of the materials used or the scale of the proposal.

Previous Planning Approvals and Conditions

Most (but not all) planning permissions come with conditions attached. For instance, “The development must proceed in accordance with the submitted plans …“. However, there will often be more specific planning conditions. They may state the development can only be used for a specific purpose. Furthermore, they may have changed the use class of the property. This can have implications for future applications and may need to be taken into consideration.

Conditions Removing Permitted Development Rights

It has become increasingly common for local authorities to remove permitted development rights with conditions. So for instance, let’s say you get an extension to your property approved. The local authority is likely as part of that approval to remove your permitted development rights for any further extensions. However, the condition might be worded to remove all the permitted development rights attached to that property. So, for instance, a new shed in the back garden would then require planning permission. Therefore, it’s always important to review planning conditions associated with planning approval thoroughly.

If permitted development (PD) rights have not been removed they can prove to be a valuable asset. This could be either directly, or by using PD rights as the ‘fall back’ position to justify a proposal.

Changes in Local and National Planning Policy

Upon reviewing the planning history of a property a previous planning refusal may appear worse news than it really is. It’s always important to view decisions on planning applications in their own context. Between then and now there may have been changes to either national or local planning policy which increases the chances of a similar application receiving approval.

The National Planning Policy Framework is the current national policy document. With regards to local policy, each local authority produces its own local plans and supplementary planning documents around design etc.

Changes to other ‘Material’ Considerations

When a local authority makes a decision on a planning application it does so taking into account all of the ‘material’ considerations presented to them. A material consideration is anything that is relevant to making the decision in question. For instance, local and national planning policy is a material consideration. Material considerations can also include a whole host of other factors. So when I review the planning history of a site I do so in the context of considering the material considerations that currently exist. Another example of a material consideration is if permitted development rights for the property still exist.

Planning History Review Report

If you would be interested in a planning history review of your property please use the contact form to get in touch. First I will conduct a quick check to see what information I can find on the site and if any relevant planning history exists. I will then provide a fixed fee quotation to present you with a planning history report. The report will be prepared within the context of the development ideas you have for the site. If you later decide to use my services to submit a planning application for the development I will provide a discount for any planning history review I have previously carried out.

Thanks for reading and please get in touch 🙂

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