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How to Get Planning Permission in London

There is one thing that every home owner knows too well; changes are inevitable. Every once in a while, there will be a need to make a few changes to enhance or alter the appearance of the building, or even add extensions to it. If you intend to make any changes, chances are that you’ll be required to get planning permission. However, it is important to note that not all alterations require the permission.

Starting With the Basics

Before you run to make an application, do you really require that planning permission? Well, under the building regulations, there are some changes that home owners are allowed to make without the permission, and these are called permitted developments, and they do not incur any fees or charges. 

There are varying types of permitted developments, some of which are not appropriate for city settings such as London, while others come with conditions and others need planning approval. Before you embark on any building changes, contact your local Building Environment Department for advice on whether or not you need the planning permission and approval for your project.

Application for Planning Permission in London

Quick Basics

You can get all the information you need on the Government’s planning portal and advice on the different construction works you intend to carry out and the permissions they require. Some of the works that require planning permission include: 

Gates and fences
Walls and gardens
Changes to building or land use
Changes affecting party walls and property

Before you start the application process, it is important to get pre-application planning advice. This helps you know whether your project requires planning permission, as well as directs on you on the best way to accurately fill the application forms to ensure approval. The pre-application process also helps you make the necessary changes required to deliver the highest quality projects.

The Application Process

Thanks to technology, the planning permission application is now considerably easier and convenient: you can simply submit your details online through the planning portal. Here is the simplified process: 

Go to the Government’s planning portal 
Look at the appropriate application form 
Pick out the appropriate certificates you’ll need
Accurately fill the forms
Attach the relevant drawings for the proposed alterations
Pay the required application fees
Send the application to the council’s office

All these steps can be done online. If this is your first time applying for planning permission, the pre-application advice will come in handy. This is because the advisors will look at your plans and drawings and advice on the changes to be made so as to ensure approval.

While most people look for pre-application advice before looking for the application papers, you can always do it after you download the application form. Once you have the form in your hands, you have an idea of what is required, and how to get it. When you have all the relevant documents in your hands, you can visit a pre-application advisor to help you refine your application before you submit it to the council.

You can send a hard copy (or present it yourself) to the advisors or you can send an electronic copy via email. When sending electronic opies, be sure to liaise with the advisor to give you specific file formats of the application.

Planning Application Costs

Most planning permission applications come with a cost, but the specific amount depends on your proposed project. You can always use the fee calculator on the government’s planning portal to get an estimate of how much it’d cost.

The application fees are payable through

By phone where debit and credit card payments are also acceptable
By post where the site and reference number of the proposal should be indicated at the back on the cheque

Quick Pointers

Every project has different requirements. Depending on the alterations you intend to make, and how they’ll affect neighboring properties, you may need to attach a range of documents, drawings and plans. You can always check out the PAR (Planning Application Requirements) page to give you information on what is required.

It is important to note that all applications must be accompanied by a bock plan and a site location plan, both of which should show the site of the proposed changes, the boundaries, and if the changes will affect neighboring properties.

Once an application has been made, it may not be possible to make changes, which is why it is vital to get it done well from the start. You can always follow up on the progress of the application, but in most cases, it takes around 8 to 13 weeks.


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