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Tag: council

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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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  

Pros  

  • 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 

Cons  

  • 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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Planning Application Rejected? Here’s How To Resolve The Issue

If the authority refuses to give you permission for a planning application, they must give you a written reason explaining why it was denied.  If you are unhappy or unclear about the reasons for refusal you should talk to a member of the local authority planning department.  

Withdraw and resubmit –  

Withdrawing and resubmitting the application is the best option if something has come to light that could get your application denied. You should withdraw the application before it gets rejected. Then make the changes and resubmit.  

Apply for a planning application appeal –  

You can ask the local authorities that if changing the plans will make a difference.  You must submit your appeal within three months, if you have a major project, you have up to six months.  

However, the council will send you information on how to appeal. There are three ways of doing so – in writing, at an informal hearing, and a public inquiry. 

 Most councils will ask you to go down the in-writing route. You will get an informal hearing if there is a lot of public interest in the plans. A public inquiry will only take place for the most complex of cases.  

When appealing in writing you’ll need to write down all of the reasons why you think your application should have received planning permission. When writing you should be as detailed as possible and focus on the planning matters.  

Once this has been completed, a planning inspector will visit your home. The inspector will give his decision on the appeal within two to six weeks of the visit.  

Reasons your planning application can be refused –  

  • Protection of green belt land – local authorities are under clear instruction to strongly oppose any schemes involving potential harm to the openness of the green belt.  
  • Negative effect on character and appearance – this can be the most frequent issue. Projects that change the pattern of the houses are usually denied.
  • Loss of a family home – projects that want to convert a house into flats or non-residential places are a common reason for refusing this type of planning application.  
  • Overshadowing – you need to make sure your development doesn’t overshadow the neighbouring properties causing loss of light.  
  • Overlooking homes – causing loss of privacy. 

Accept the decision – 

Finally, your other option is to just accept the decision. Sometimes there will be circumstances in which your planning application will be denied. And there is nothing anyone can do about it.

You now know how to handle the situation, if your planning application is denied. Finding the best option is dependent upon the terms of refusal and on your determination to get what you want. 

If you would like some planning advice, get in touch.  

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