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Planning Permission

Imagine a situation where everyone used land or built however they wanted. It would cause chaos in the country. This is why the United Kingdom has a planning system that ensures developments are done in the best interests of everyone in the locality. Planning permission is required when building a new structure or changing the use of an existing building. House extensions and outbuildings will also require planning permissions.

However, there are times when you can make changes without getting planning permission. This is referred to as permitted development rights. Any project that will not have a significant impact on the environment or neighbors has permitted development rights. This includes certain industrial developments and commercial developments.

Five Facts About Planning Permission

  1. You don’t have to own the piece of land or building to make a planning application
  2. The decision on planning applications is usually made within eight weeks after application
  3. The planning application can be withdrawn at any time, and resubmitted free of charge
  4. The objections of local people and neighbors will not necessarily influence the final decision
  5. You have up to 3 years to complete the development once planning permission is granted

How To Apply For U.K. Planning Permission 

At Active Architecture we manage the entire process, from start to finish, as there are many steps to consider which require a high level of experience to be completed correctly. Planning permission applications can be done on paper by completing relevant forms or online via the government planning portal. The application should include the following:

  • The signed ownership certificate
  • Five copies of the completed application forms (for manual submissions)
  • A design and access statement – this is a statement used to explain the project’s design concept and access. It can be detailed or simple depending on the sensitivity and scale of the project
  • A block plan, site plan, layout plans, sections and elevations of both the existing and proposed development
  • The correct fee

Once the planning permission application is registered and validated, the local planning authority (LPA) will then make the information available to the public. Publicity is usually done through local newspaper advertisements (for larger developments) or notices on the proposed site along with publishing the application on their website. This gives the people in the area a chance to share their opinions. Bodies such as the town parish, environmental agency, and county council are also likely to be consulted about the application.

The Application Selection Process

Once Active Architecture has submitted the planning application, it usually takes eight weeks or less for the decision to be made. However, unusually complex or large projects could take up to 13 weeks.

The local authority makes decisions based on ‘material considerations’ such as:

  • Highway safety
  • Noise
  • Loss of privacy/overlooking
  • Traffic
  • Density and layout of building
  • Disabled access
  • Appearance, design and materials
  • Government policy
  • Nature conservation
  • Previous planning decisions

At times, the local authorities will grant planning permission on condition that certain requirements are met within a specific time frame.

Benefits Of Architectural Planning Consultants

Before buying or making any changes to a property, it would be advisable to hire the architectural planning services of Active Architecture, so we can act as your architectural planning consultant to assess the potential of the development. Planning consultants are well informed about any changing planning policies that could affect a project. Therefore, whether you are building, renovating or extending your property, get professional help. It could save you from investing huge amounts of money in a project that is not viable.


To find the correct details about how to apply for planning permission get in touch with Active Architecture via the contact page, and read the information available on the government website.