Tag: council

Planning Permission

Navigating the UK Planning Application Process: A Comprehensive Guide 

The UK planning application process plays a vital role in shaping our built environment, ensuring that development projects adhere to regulations and meet the needs of local communities. Whether you’re a homeowner, developer, or local authority, understanding this process is essential. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of the UK planning application process, outlining key stages, considerations, and tips for success. 

Pre-application Stage –

Before submitting a planning application, it is advisable to engage in pre-application discussions with the relevant local planning authority (LPA). This stage helps clarify expectations, identify potential challenges, and gather feedback. Early engagement can save time, improve the quality of your application, and foster a positive relationship with the LPA. 

Submission of the Planning Application –

Once you have completed the necessary preparations, it’s time to submit your planning application to the LPA. The application will typically include detailed plans, drawings, design statements, and any additional supporting documents required. It is crucial to ensure that your application is complete, accurate, and addresses all relevant planning policies and guidelines. 

Validation and Registration –

Upon receiving your application, the LPA will review it for validation. This process confirms that all necessary information and fees are provided. Missing or incomplete documents can result in delays, so thoroughness is key. Once validated, your application will be registered, and a unique reference number will be assigned. 

Public Consultation and Notification –

Most planning applications require public consultation, where neighbours, community groups, and other stakeholders could review and provide feedback on the proposed development. The LPA will display site notices, publish notices in local newspapers, and, in some cases, notify adjacent property owners directly. Feedback received during this stage will be considered in the decision-making process. 

Evaluation and Decision Making –

The LPA will assess your application based on relevant planning policies, national guidance, and local development plans. They will consider factors such as design, impact on the local area, sustainability, and compliance with building regulations. The timeframe for decision-making varies, but authorities strive to provide decisions within eight weeks for most applications. In complex cases or larger developments, the process may take longer. 

Planning Conditions and Negotiation –

If planning permission is granted, it may be subject to specific conditions that must be met before construction can commence. These conditions could include requirements for affordable housing, landscaping, or drainage. You may have the opportunity to negotiate conditions with the LPA to ensure they are practical and achievable while meeting their objectives. 

Appeals and Judicial Review –

In the event of a refused planning application or unfavourable conditions, you have the right to appeal the decision. The appeal process involves submitting an appeal to the Planning Inspectorate, an independent body responsible for reviewing planning decisions. In some cases, you may also consider a judicial review if you believe the decision-making process was flawed or unlawful. 

Tips for Success: 

  1. Engage early with the LPA and seek professional advice when preparing your application. 
  1. Familiarize yourself with local planning policies and guidelines to ensure compliance. 
  1. Communicate and consult with local communities and stakeholders to address concerns and gather support. 
  1. Provide a comprehensive and well-presented application with clear plans and supporting documentation. 
  1. Be responsive to feedback and consider making amendments to address concerns raised. 
  1. Maintain a professional and cooperative approach when interacting with the LPA throughout the process. 
  1. If necessary, consider engaging planning consultants or professionals with expertise in navigating the planning system. 

Conclusion –

The UK planning application process is a complex yet crucial procedure that governs development and land use across the country. By understanding the stages, requirements, and considerations involved, applicants can navigate this process with greater efficiency and success. Engaging early, conducting thorough research, and seeking professional guidance can significantly improve the chances of obtaining planning permission and delivering projects that benefit both the individual and the local community. 

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Building Control

Why The building act 1984 is important in construction

What is the building act?  

The building act 1984 is a UK regulation consolidating previous legislations concerning the construction process, and the design and specifications for building and their component parts.  

Why was the act introduced? 

It empowers the secretary of state to make regulations for the purpose of:  

Securing the health, safety, welfare and convenience of people in or about building. As well as, others who may be affected by buildings or matters connected with buildings.  

What is the purpose of the building act 1984? 

So, the building act sets out the legislative framework for the building control system.  

The building act empowers and obliges local authorities to enforce the regulations in their areas. These regulations include:  

  • A right of entry into buildings of prosecution  
  • Enforcement in relation to non-compliant building work 
  • Dangerous structures and demolitions.  
  • Setting the status of approved documents 

What happened if you don’t follow the regulations?  

First, the local authorities may prosecute them in court where an unlimited fine may be imposed. Also, prosecution is possible up to two years after the completion of the offending work.  

Here is an example of a man who went against all building regulations –  

Mohammed Ali Khan labelled a reckless homeowner, illegally knocked down his £800,000 3-bedroom, West London home. Then, Khan got a contractor to demolish the property without any permission from the local authorities.  

Furthermore, the councils building control services investigated after worried neighbours contacted the authorities over safety concerns.  

Finally, Khan was taken to court where he denied two charges of breaching the building act 1984. In addition, Khan was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of £6,043.34. Despite the prosecution, there is still a ‘dangerous structure notice’ in place which will remain until the remaining front façade is removed or the house is re-built, the council said. 

 (Image: Hounslow Council)

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Advice Center, Planning Permission

How to apply for a dropped kerb

A dropped kerb is where there is a dip in the path and kerb that lets you park your car on a driveway outside your house. The kerb is dropped from the normal height and the path is strengthened to take the weight of the vehicle.  

Before you apply –  

To have a dropped kerb it must: 

  • Leave enough room for you to park your vehicle completely on the property. 
  • Be a minimum width of 2.4m  
  • Be more than 10m away from a road junction.  
  • Meets visibility guidelines 
  • Have suitable drainage near your house.  
  • Be at least 1.5m from streetlights. 
  • Avoid removing tree roots 
  • Have permission from the property owner. 

Planning permission –  

You must contact your council to find out if you require planning permission for a dropped kerb. Then, if the council confirms that you need to require permission, you will then have to apply for an application. However, if the council tells you planning permission isn’t necessary, they would require confirmation. 

Existing dropped kerbs –  

If you would like to extend an existing dropped kerb, you must create a new application.  

Application cost –  

Householder application  

  • The cost to apply for permission is £320 
  • £150 will be returned if the permission is declined or not approved.  
  • Applications are usually handled by the housing or environmental health department at your local council. 

Developer application 

Administration and inspection fees are based on the following rules:  

  • 2 to 5 properties – £215 per property 
  • 6 to 25 properties – £106 per property 
  • More than 25 properties – £2,650 

Building cost –  

Once you have got the planning permission, you can then hire a contractor to start the work.  

The average cost of building a drop kerb, and depending on the complexity will cost around £1000. And a contractor will usually charge an additional £180 – £220.  

There can also be additional costs that you should be aware of. Here is a list of extra things you may want to consider when dropping a kerb:  

  • New driveway 
  • Wall demolition 
  • New driveway gate 
  • New fence 
  • Skip hire 
  • CCTV system  
  • Outdoor lighting 
  • Removing trees 
  • Moving a street light 

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Advice Center

The Ultimate Guide To An HMO Property

What is an HMO? 

A house in multiple occupations (HMO), is a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one household, for example, a family. However, they share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. They’re known as house shares.  

However, many types of accommodation could be an HMO. These may include:  

  • Hostels 
  • Lodgings 
  • Shared houses 
  • Refuges 
  • Private halls of residence 
  • Blocks of converted flats 
  • Employee accommodation 
  • Building containing numerous bedsits with shared facilities 
  • Buildings containing flats with their own facilities, but are not self-contained 

Design –  

In HMOs, the bathrooms, kitchen, stairs, gardens and landings are designated as common areas shared by all tenants. In addition, the house may be divided up into self-contained flats, bed-sitting rooms or simple lodgings. 

What determines whether the property is an HMO or not? 

Properties must have these four common features before being classified as an HMO: 

  • Occupants are not forming a single household 
  • Occupants must be using the property as their main residence 
  • Used for residential purposes 
  • One of the occupants must be paying rent  

Households are regarded as family members living together or single people living alone.  

HMO Licences – 

HMOs require a licence from the local council in the area the property is located, which is valid for five years. For instance, the general rule is that any property with five or more people from two or more separate households that share facilities requires a licence. Although this depends on the council, some smaller properties with fewer tenants can also require a licence.  

The standard HMO licence fee is £1,100, split into two payments. For larger HMOs with more than ten units of accommodation, the fee increases by an extra £50 for each additional unit of accommodation.  

The pros and cons of renting an HMO by room  


  • Usually more profitable as you can charge a higher rent per room 
  • Can let the room on a licence (this makes things easier if you need to evict a tenant) 
  • You cannot be excluded from the common parts. Only individual rooms 
  • If one tenant leaves, you are losing less rent than if a whole group moves out 


  • So, you will be responsible for paying and managing bills  
  • Tenants do not know each other which may result in mismatch of personalities and potentially cause issues 
  • A tenant is only responsible for their room, not the common parts. In addition, this means if there is any damage it may be difficult to prove who caused it  

Are HMOs profitable? 

HMOs can be very profitable because you can charge rent per room that totals more than if you let the property to one household. For example, you could rent a 3-bed property for £1000 per month to a family, or 3 rooms for £400 each giving a total of £1200.  

Are you aware of the HMO Changes for Landlords coming into effect in  October?

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