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frequently asked questions


Planning permission is the permission required in order to build on land or change the use of land or buildings.

The majority of Planning Applications will be submitted to the Local Planning Authority at the Local Council.

The government have provided most home owners with a set of rights to extend or alter their homes or place detached buildings within the garden without the need for formal Planning Permission. ‘Town and Country Planning (general permitted development Order) (Amendment) (No. 2) (England) Order 2008′ being its full title.

From May 30 2013 it has been possible for homeowners who want to build single storey rear extensions to their property to construct the extension between 3 metres to 6 metres (for an attached house) and 4 metres to 8 metres (for a detached house) without the need to apply for Planning Permission.

You will however need to notify your Local Authority Planning Dept of your intention to build such an extension and provide certain information required by the legislation. This can be done by completing a Prior Notification Form.
We will gladly carry out a no obligation initial site visit to assess any proposal against the new Permitted Development rights and advise accordingly but in the first instance it may be useful to follow the link below for more detail and explanation of the Prior Notification process.

Under new regulations that came into effect on 1 October 2008 an extension or addition to your house is considered to be ‘permitted development’, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

• No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.

• No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.

• No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.

• Maximum depth of a single-storey rear extension of three metres beyond the rear wall for an attached house and four metres beyond the rear wall for a detached house.

• Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres.

• Maximum depth of a rear extension of more than one storey of three metres beyond the rear wall including ground floor.

• Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres.

• Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house.

• Side extensions to be single storey with maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house.

• Two-storey extensions no closer than seven metres to rear boundary.

• Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house.

• Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.

• No verandas, balconies or raised platforms.

• Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.

• On designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey.

• On designated land no cladding of the exterior.

• On designated land no side extensions.

* The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

Designated land includes national parks and the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, conservation areas and World Heritage Sites.

Local Authority Planning Depts advise that an application will take 6-8 weeks however, this period can extend if complications are encountered.

The Design and Access Statement (DAS) is a short report accompanying and supporting a planning application. Its purpose is to illustrate the process that has led to the development proposal, and to explain and justify the proposal in a structured way.

A DAS is required for many types of planning application – both full and outline – but there are exemptions. For example they are not required for householder applications (except in World Heritage Sites, conservation areas or requiring listed building consent) or applications for material change of use (unless it also involves operational development).

No RDJ Creative submits and processes the application on your behalf and acts as your Agent throughout the planning process.

Building regulations apply to building projects in England and Wales. They set out:

• What constitutes building work

• Requirements for material and workmanship

• Water and energy efficiency requirements

• Requirements for testing and commissioning of services

• Types of buildings that may be exempt from building regulations

• Requirements for the technical performance of building work

• Aspects of building design and construction ranging from structural matters, fire safety, and energy conservation to hygiene, sound insulation, and access to and use of buildings

• Relevant procedures that must be followed.

Building regulations standards are applied and enforced through the building control system and are supported by technical guidance documents. These technical documents – known as approved documents – provide guidance for meeting the requirements of the regulations. You can find downloadable approved documents for building regulations on the Planning Portal website- Opens in a new window.

Anyone intending to carry out building work that is subject to building regulations is required by law to make sure any work complies with the relevant regulations and that they use an approved Building Control Service. This could be provided by either:

• your local authority

• private sector approved inspectors

Complying with building regulations and obtaining planning permission are separate matters. Building regulations set the standards for the design and construction of buildings. Planning permission is used to guide the way towns, cities and the countryside are developed. Planning takes into account factors such as:

• The use of land and buildings

• The appearance of buildings and landscaping considerations

• Highway access

• The impact that the development will have on the general environment

Read information on the differences between planning permission and building regulations on the Planning Portal website- Opens in a new window.

RDJ Creative can assess your proposed project within our feasibility and advise on the requirement for a building regulations application; however, most building works require approval.

Each Local Authority provides guidance in the form of Supplementary Planning Documents as to what form of development is acceptable for single and 2 storey extensions and dormers or roof lifts to dwellings. These can be found following the links to the Local Authorities on our links page and searching under the Planning heading.

A building notice allows immediate site start with a Building Regulation full plans application not being required. If you decide to use this procedure you need to be confident that the work will comply with the Building Regulations or you will risk having to correct any work you carry out if your local authority requests this. In this respect you do not have the protection provided by the approval of ‘full plans’. We strongly advise a set of plans are produced, agreed and checked prior to any building works commencing to avoid site error and unwanted additional costs. The local authority fees are no less for this option.

Local authority planning departments advise an application usually takes 6-8 weeks.

There are a number of pieces of legislation that relate to the standards of premises or construction and, depending on the type of premises and whether any building work is being carried out, one or more could apply at any given time.

The Building Regulations are made under powers provided in the Building Act 1984, and apply in England and Wales. The current edition of the regulations is ‘The Building Regulations 2000? (as amended) and the majority of building projects are required to comply with them.

The Building Regulations contain various sections (A-P) dealing with definitions, procedures, and what is expected in terms of the technical performance of building work.

To find out more click on the link provided:

The Planning Portal

No. RDJ Creative submits and processes the application on your behalf.

Planning Permission Fees (Payable direct to Local Authority)

Building Control Fees (Payable direct to Local Authority)

Local Authorities have been freed to set their own fees for this work so it is essential that you obtain a definitive quote from your own Local Authority Building Control Dept.

Each project is assessed individually during our free, no obligation initial site meeting with the potential new client, at which point we can then discuss our fee structure.