Are you dreaming of that open plan kitchen dinner, or adding that long awaited extra room to your home?

Are you thinking of extending your home but don’t know where to start?

If so, then you’ll be pleased to know that our free home extension planning pack contains all the resources and information that you need to accurately plan your home extension project. Download it now for free!

What is Planning permission?

Planning permission is a way of controlling inappropriate development. Chartered Town and Country Planners working in the local council’s planning department will look over proposals and decide whether or not to approve the works.

What information do they need to be able to decide if a proposal is acceptable?

Tyne and Wear local authorities have produced a validation checklist for planning applications. This lists the information that you as an applicant is required to submit in order for the local authority to be able to make a decision. These are subsequently split into national requirements and local requirements.

National requirements are the minimum required information:

  • Completed Application Form
  • Location Plan
  • Site Plan
  • Existing and Proposed Elevations
  • Existing and Proposed Floor Plans
  • Existing and Proposed Site Sections and Finished Floor and Site Levels
  • Roof plan
  • Completed Ownership Certificate (A, B, C or D as applicable)
  • Agricultural Holdings Certificate
  • Appropriate Fee
  • Design and Access Statement (if Required)

Local requirements

Local Validation Requirements are additional reports, assessment and plans they could ask for after the initial planning application is made, the link above has these listed on page 1. It is important to say that these are rarely requested for domestic applications, they are mainly needed for larger developments. But depending on the proposals one or more may be required in order to validate the application and allow for a subsequent decision to be made.

How long does the planning permission application take to be decided?

Once the design is agreed, Acre Design will quickly prepare the draft planning permission plans to planning permission quality, going through the checklists above to make sure all the information is there, and then subsequently applying. Acre Design’s office manager, Laura, will handle all correspondence on your behalf and keep you updated throughout the process. This means, you can focus on more important matters and let us handle what can be a stressful process. A planning application is checked to make sure all the required information is present, then they will validate it. A decision date will be around 8-10 weeks from the application submission date,  very rarely do we get an early decision. Our approval rate is over 98%. Whilst the application is in for planning, we can move onto stage two of the process which is a preparation of full Building Control construction drawings. Building Control is explained in more detail by clicking the link.

How much does a planning permission application cost?

The planning permission fee for a householder planning application in the North East is £172, this fee covers extensions to existing buildings. If you are looking to build a new home, the cost is currently £385 in England for a single dwelling residential planning application. There are other fees that may be payable, if you decide to engage with the council at an early stage, the fee for pre-planning advice about a design is chargeable at around £50. However, this is different whether you are building in Gateshead, Newcastle or North Tyneside, for example.

How can our clients be sure if planning permission isn’t required?

To be certain that you won’t need planning permission for your building work, you can apply for a certificate of lawful development. This is an application to the council that you or an agent submits asking for confirmation that planning isn’t required. This application will require all the same information that a full planning application will require (see planning checklist section above), but it will only be checked against whether planning is required or not. If it falls within permitted development, you can design and build whatever you like, the planners can’t pass comment on the design. We will always apply for this on your behalf, so you have it in writing from the council. For your peace of mind, it is important to have this in writing.

Which projects require planning permission and which don’t?

Do I need planning permission? Is a question you’ll probably ask yourself before starting any development work. Projects that don’t need a formal planning application to gain planning permission tend to be minor works like internal alterations. Some rear extensions and even some loft conversions will fall within ‘permitted development’. Further information on what is allowed can be found in the interactive house on the planning portal website. Anything that involves creating new housing, by building from scratch or converting something into housing, will need a planning permission application. With existing homes, anything with two storeys, or which is visible from the road, will require planning permission too. There are a number of other factors that affect whether planning permission is required or not. Some of these factors include:

  • The extent of a garden that will be built upon;
  • A number of extensions previously built;
  • Whether the works are within a conservation area;
  • If the house is listed; and
  • If the planners have issued an article 4 notice.

Acre Design can offer free advice on whether planning permission is required or not. Simply arrange a free consultation to have one of the team call round to discuss what you would like to have done. Alternatively, we could arrange a free video conference call or telephone consultation to discuss your project. If planning is required we will also give you an idea of the likelihood of an approval. If planning is not deemed to be required we will apply to the council for a certificate of lawful development on your behalf.

Will my neighbours have an option to comment on my proposals?

If your proposals require planning permission then your adjoining neighbours will be notified and have the option to comment. The consultation period lasts for 3 weeks. Any objections must be based on the material considerations that the case officer is basing their decision on. So, if your neighbour thinks the construction will be noisy or you have a pre-existing bad relationship etc, these won’t be taken into account, what the planners base their decision on is covered in the next paragraph.

What will my planning application decision be based upon?

Below is the list of what constitutes the key factors or material considerations that the planning department will base their decisions on. Not all will be appropriate for each scheme, but at least 3 or 4 will be for every development. Overlooking/loss of privacy Loss of light or overshadowing Parking Highway safety Traffic Noise Impact on listed building and Conservation Area Layout and density of building Design, appearance and materials Government policy Disabled access Proposals for the development plan Previous planning decisions Nature conservation

How do I check on the progress of my planning application?

You, as the applicant, are able to view the progress of your planning application online, links to each local authority public access site is listed below:

At Acre Design, we handle the planning process for our clients and will keep you updated every step of the way.