Planning Permission: When you need it | ArchiPal

planning permission

Obtaining planning clearance is an important step in any self-build or extension project in the United Kingdom. When it comes to extending your home, adding a garden office, or building a new home, planning approval is an unavoidable aspect of the process. You must either submit a planning application or if your project is for a modest expansion or outbuilding, you may be able to avoid doing so if you build within Permitted Development guidelines.

Before you submit an application, learn how the planning permission system works so you can better navigate the process. There are various sorts of applications accessible, each with its own set of limitations, expenses, and information requirements, so it’s important to know which one would be best for your project in the United Kingdom.

Before you submit a planning application, learn what you need to know about them, how to apply, and how to establish whether your project needs planning permission and building regulations in the first place with this article summarising the UK government’s building regulations for your project.

When You Require It

If you wish to do the following, you’ll almost certainly require planning permission:

  • Construct something new
  • Make a significant alteration to your structure, such as adding an extension
  • Change the way your building is used
  • Contact your local planning authority (LPA) through your local council to find out if your project needs planning clearance.

Obtaining Planning Permission And Building Regulations

Contact your LPA through your local council to seek planning application clearance.

If your project requires planning approval and you proceed without obtaining it, you may be served with an “enforcement notice” forcing you to reverse all of your alterations.

Ignoring an enforcement notice is unlawful, but you can appeal it.

When You Don’t Require It

Some construction projects may not require planning approval. Permitted development rights are the term for this.

Permitted development rights are usually granted to the following construction projects:

  • Warehouses and industrial buildings
  • Certain outdoor signs and ads – albeit commercials are subject to additional building regulations.
  • Demolition – but first, you must obtain demolition authorisation from your local planning authority (LPA) from your local council.

Other projects, such as those that would have little influence on your neighbours or the environment, might not require planning permission. If you think this could apply to your project, contact your local council’s LPA.

England’s Community Rights

You may not need to go through the standard planning application approval procedure if your development project helps the local community and the community supports it. Under some conditions, neighbourhood planning allows your community to award planning permission directly to you.

Following Your Application

Based on its development plan, your local planning authority (LPA) will determine whether or not to give planning approval for your project. It will not consider whether local residents want it.

An LPA will consider the following factors when determining whether a planning application is compatible with its development plan:

  • The number, size, layout, location, and aesthetic of structures
  • The available infrastructure, such as roads and water supplies
  • Any landscaping requirements
  • What you intend to do with the development
  • How your development will impact the surrounding neighbourhood, such as if it would result in a significant increase in traffic

Planning applications are usually decided within 8 weeks. In England, the time limit for particularly big or complicated applications is 13 weeks. You can appeal if the judgement takes too long.


If your application is denied, consider altering your plans to reach an agreement with the local planning authority (LPA). You can file an appeal if you are unable to reach an agreement. The decision on an appeal might take many months.

What do you have the right to appeal

A judgement can only be appealed if the LPA:

  • Your application is rejected
  • Gives you permission but with terms, you don’t like
  • Refuses to amend or eliminate a requirement of a conditionally granted planning approval
  • Refuses to accept something reserved under ‘outline permission,’ which is planning permission for a broad notion rather than a precise plan.
  • Refuses to allow anything your LPA directed you to build as part of a prior planning permit — the present development was one of the previous planning permission’s ‘conditions.’
  • Fails to make a judgement on the application by the deadline and fails to get your written authorization to extend the deadline
  • Provides you with an enforcement notice because it believes you have violated the terms of your planning approval and you refuse to comply.


What factors are considered while a planning application is being processed?

Depending on the sort of proposal and its location, the primary concerns may differ. The following are the primary factors that a planning officer will consider:

  • The size and appearance
  • The effect on the current property
  • The influence on the neighbouring area’s street scene and aesthetic amenity
  • The impact on neighbouring occupants’ amenities (such as light and privacy).
  • If necessary, traffic and parking.
  • Hours of usage if necessary

How can I learn about the decision?

Within three days of receiving your application, you will get a written letter informing you of the outcome. If your application is granted, you may be required to meet certain requirements. These may involve sending us specifics of the materials you wish to use for approval. Before you start working, you must meet any requirements.

You must complete the job according to the authorised plans. Work must normally begin within three years. The permission will lapse if construction has not begun in earnest within this timeframe. Please contact us to discuss what constitutes a serious start to work.

You must inform us of the specifics before beginning work if you wish to make any modifications to the approved plans. We’ll then write to let you know if the changes are acceptable as minor revisions to your previous application, or whether you’ll need to submit a new one.

What happens if I begin working without permission?

It is not wise to begin work before obtaining the necessary approvals. If the job isn’t up to par, you may be requested to correct it at your own expense or punished.

What if I want to change my mind after I’ve made a decision?

If you amend your plans after construction has begun or before it begins, you must get both planning authority and building rules approval. This is vital information. For example, you may not always be able to gain planning clearance for alterations that are required to fulfil building codes. However, we will always strive to find a solution with you.

What is the distinction between a planning condition and a planning requirement?

A planning condition is a legal mechanism that regulates the development or use of any land under the applicant’s control, whereas a planning obligation is a payment, either direct or in kind, for planning measures to mitigate the impact of a development, restrict the use of the land, require certain activities to be carried out in relation to the land, or require the land to be used in a specific way.

Where there is a choice between imposing requirements and entering into a planning obligation, applying conditions is preferred, according to circular 05/2005. The preferred means of assuring the supply of complicated arrangements, such as affordable housing and the payment of commuted amounts, will be through planning obligations.

What exactly are unilateral commitments?

Unilateral undertakings are legal agreements in which only one party, often the developer, is obligated to fulfil planned responsibilities. In rare cases, a unilateral undertaking can be utilised instead of a section 106 agreement for considering a planning application, particularly where the duties are straightforward.