Planning permission: what stands between you and your ideal office

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When granted, planning permission can give you free reign to develop your property as you wish and exercise your creativity, ultimately transforming its value. Unfortunately, to receive planning permission, you often have to go through a painfully lengthy process full of hassle and uncertainty. This can put people off attempting to make any changes to their building, or even contemplate buying a building that needs work. A simple consultation or building survey could advise you whether you might need planning permission and provide you with the information you need when applying for it. However, knowing more about the process yourself could help you make important decisions and better tackle the situation in future…


When you need planning permission

You’re likely to need planning permission if you want to build something new, make a major change to your building i.e. expand it, or if you change the use of your building. Your building surveyor will advise you whether you will need to apply for planning permission; it is highly recommended that you investigate the likelihood of receiving your planning permission before purchasing a property, particularly if you are only doing so with the intention of changing it. If you attempt to go ahead with work to your building before receiving planning permission, you will be served an enforcement notice and be liable for any remedial action, which could include demolition or restoration.


Submitting your planning permission application

After submitting your application, it could take up to eight weeks for a decision to be made.  Your local planning authority will make the final decision of whether or not to grant you planning permission for your project based on its development plan. They will look at the number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings, the infrastructure available (e.g. roads and water supply), any landscaping needs, what you want to use the development for, and how your development would affect the surrounding area. If your application is refused, you can resubmit it for free.


Appealing the decision

If your planning application is refused, the best thing you can do is to try to come to an agreement with the LPA by adjusting your plans. If you cannot reach an agreement then you can appeal, but this must be done within a specified time limit. Unlike the initial planning permission decision, appeals can take several months to be decided. The application will be reviewed and decision made by an inspector acting for the Secretary of State, for whom you will be expected to provide information to support your case, while the LPA will provide information to support theirs. An appeal should be the last resort as if it is refused again, it will be even more difficult for you to develop your property in the future.


At Bradley-Mason LLP, we aim to make the development of your business as straightforward as possible, providing a proactive hands-on approach, offering a full range of building consultancy and project management services, including organising planning applications. So, let’s get to work on building your dream office together, today.


DISCLAIMER: This article is for general information only and not intended as advice. Each project has its own set of unique circumstances, all potential issues should be investigated by a surveyor on a case by case basis before making any decision.

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