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What is planning permission?

The first important thing to know is what it is – planning permission is official approval from a local body to extend or change a building, including your home. Often before you can build anything on your home, you’ll need a stamp of approval from authorities. You start this process by contacting them and filling in the right forms.

When do I need planning permission?

As we mentioned already, you will need planning permission for almost any situation where you are doing building work on your home. The type of work you are planning will change the kind of permissions you need.

To build a conservatory you only need to apply for planning permission, Any structure made up of over 70pc glass counts as a conservatory. Anything less and it’s a single-storey extension. For single-storey structures you’ll need to apply for building regulation checks.

Do I need planning permission for any extension, even a small one?

You don’t always need to get planning permission to start building. If your conservatory is less than three metres away from the original outer wall of your home then you don’t have to get any permission to extend. However these lengths can change depending on if you live in a semi-detached, terraced or detached home, so it’s always worth double-checking with an expert first.

If my conservatory is bigger than 3m can I just apply for planning permission and get started?

You will need to wait to have confirmation from the authorities that your plans have been accepted before you start any work. The planning permission department has a lot to consider, including if your neighbours will be affected by the building work. You will need to submit a neighbourhood consent form during the process, so they can speak with your neighbours before returning their final decision.

Is the neighbourhood consent form all I need to complete?

The short answer is no. Depending on the size of your conservatory, this will affect what paperwork you need to complete. Some properties are eligible for prior approval. This is a short cut. Pre-approved applications take eight weeks, and there is no fee. This is for extensions up to eight metres long, depending on the type of property you live in.

For anything bigger, or if you live a newer build that isn’t eligible for preapproval, you’ll need full planning permission. This process often takes longer and can cost up to £200. At Ken Rhodes we offer a full planning service to take care of this for you, so you get it right the first time.