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Plansdesigned by Mark Baldwin Design. CHARTERED SURVEYING & ARCHITECTURAL CONSULTANT [M.R.I.C.S., M.C.I.O.B., M.C.I.A.T.]
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You may want to build your own home, extend it, or maybe carry out some alterations. You know what you want to build. You can find out how much it will cost and know who will construct the project. But then there is Planning Permission, and Building Regulations. What are these ?. Do you need them ?, Who gives these approvals ? and how are the decisions made ?.

Planning permission is the authority that is required by law, to carry out development. New building work is development, as are changes of use, such as converting buildings into houses or using houses for non-residential purposes. To obtain consent, approval or permission, an application has to be made, by completing application forms and showing the proposed building on drawings.

Full Planning permission is obtained for smaller proposals, such as domestic. All details are to be submitted, including siting, layout, design, access and landscaping. Outline Planning permission is applied for when not all details are known, generally for larger projects, where only the principle of building is established. After outline is granted, full Planning permission is needed.

A decision notice is normally sent out within 8 weeks. If permission is granted, it is usually, subject to conditions. If refused, the reason(s) are given. You may re-apply, making the requested changes or appeal the decision.

Minor projects that do not require Planning permission are called "Permitted Development" - mainly relating to domestic. It is prudent to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate, to gain formal approval for these works.

Building Regulations set out the legal requirements for building work. These were introduced in 1965, concerned with health and safety. More recently, energy conservation have been added. There are many Approved Documents that have to be complied with. They give technical and practical guidance relating to structure, fire, dampproofing, sound resistance, ventilation, hygiene, drainage, heat appliances, stairs, energy, disabled design, glazing and materials & workmanship.

A "Deposit of Full Plans" application is normally made. Detailed drawings are sent into the Council for approval. A decision notice is sent out within 5 weeks. If rejected, amendments must be made or further information provided. With a "Building Notice" application ( domestic only ), no plans are submitted. There is a risk that the work is only checked on site; any errors have to be corrected. We suggest that this process is used solely for small works, such as porches.

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