Tag: local authority

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 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. 

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Advice Center

Information on what Article 4 direction is, & when its required.  

What is an article 4 direction?  

Firstly, an article 4 direction is part of planning legislation that allows the council to remove permitted development rights. For example, householders can normally make minor alterations to their houses without requiring planning permission.  However, in some areas, the council has removed these “permitted development” rights by making an article 4 Direction. 

Restrictions in the directions –  

The effect of an article 4 Direction is that planning permission from the council is required for the types of building works. 

The restrictions on directions are:  

  • Extensions  
  • Alterations such as new windows  
  • Alterations to the roof  
  • Porches  
  • Putting us gates, fences or walls  
  • Placing caravans on land  
  • Putting up agricultural buildings on small plots  
  • Changes of use to houses in multiple occupation 

Types of article 4 direction –  

Since 1995 there have been three types of direction:  

  • Directions under article 4 (2) affecting conservation areas. The aim of this direction is to encourage the retention of high-quality architectural features. As well as, to preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the built heritage.  
  • The directions under article 4 (1) affecting only listed buildings 
  • Directions under article 4 (1) affecting other land  

Do article 4 directions expire?  

No, article 4 direction do not expire by themselves. Only the local authority has the right to change or cancel these restrictions. In addition, they can also replace it with a new direction.  

History of article 4 –  

Furthermore, the 1995 town and country planning (general permitted development) order improved the article 4 process and promised to follow it. So, the government introduced it to control the amount of housing in urban areas and maintain quality.  

How to find an article 4 area?  

Finally, the easiest way to find an article 4 area is to look at the local authority’s website. Almost all councils include an article 4 map, where you can see which streets and boroughs are within the restrictions.