Q. My partner and I have recently purchased a beautiful Edwardian house that we intend to refurbish completely. However, when it comes to the building works I am a complete novice and not really sure what I require planning permission for and even how I go about applying for it if I do need it, can you advise?
A. Period properties are a pure delight but when it comes to refurbishing or extending of any kind it is extremely important that you check whether the prosed works fall under a ‘permitted development’ or requires planning permission. It is also important that you find out if the property is ‘listed’ in anyway as this could prevent any kind of alterations, also is it in a conservation area? These need to carefully taken into consideration. Permitted developments are usually, loft extensions, extensions or additions to your house as long as they meet certain limits and conditions. Conservatories fall under the same conditions as an extension or addition to your home. Porches and outbuildings are also considered as permitted developments again as long as they meet certain limits and conditions. With all building work, the owner of the property (or land) in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant planning rules and building regulations (regardless of the need to apply for planning permission and/or building regulations approval or not). Therefore, failure to comply with the relevant rules will result in the owner being liable for any remedial action (which could go as far as demolition and/or restoration). The general advice is to always discuss your proposals with the relevant Local Planning Authority and Building Control Service before starting work. If your works do need planning approval you will find as with most things today most planning applications are now submitted online. This website contains everything you need to get started and will go into greater detail covering all aspects of building work, planning and building control. www.planningportal.gov.uk