Planning Permission – everybody needs it, but no one knows much about it. We’re going to break everything down for you.

If you are planning to do an extension, the chances are, you will require permission from your local council, be that through Permitted Development of a Full Planning Application. Our Design Team have tons of experience in submitting planning applications, and it’s all included within our Design Phase. We prepare, submit and oversee your application right through to determination.

The planning process takes about 8 weeks. We’ll run you through some FAQ’s and the steps involved:

1. What does it mean when you submit my application? This is done through the government’s planning portal website, which then sends the applications to the relevant councils.

2. What is the planning fee and why do I have to pay it? The council ask for a small fee, generally under £200 for a typical house extension, which covers the costs of the application. You pay this directly to the council, and we will provide details at the appropriate stage.

3. I’m at the Validation stage, what does this mean? This means that a case officer has been assigned the application and they can now start the consultation period before looking over the project.

4. Why have my neighbours been contacted? Each application goes through a ‘Consultation Period’ – the council inform your neighbours of your plans and review any complaints or concerns. Some councils send these in the post, others attach them to lampposts. We get in contact with the case officer at the end of this to check that there are no issues.

5. What do I do if my neighbour complains about the extension? If a complaint has been made, it doesn’t mean the application will be rejected. The case officer reviews the complaint and determines whether it has any merit. Sometimes the case officer might require extra information about the site and the surroundings, they will normally request a short site visit. This normally takes 5 minutes and is simply a formality.

6. The case officer has concerns about the project, will this affect it? The case officer will write a report and outline any concerns they have about a project and whether they are going to recommend it for approval or not. During this phase we are in communication with the case officer to make sure that they are happy with the application. Sometimes we are invited to submit amended drawings that the case officer is more likely to approve.

7. What happens after the case officer has written the report? The report is checked by a manager to make sure that the decision and supporting argument is fair.

8. The decision is due, are we nearly there? Yes! This is when we get sent the decision notice and pass the news onto you.

We always push for a positive outcome and finding evidence from the local area to back up our case is a key part of this. We make ourselves available to explain design elements to the case officer and even outline planning policies that support the application.

Hopefully this has taken some mystery out of the process, but if you want to know more about the planning process or have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Design Team here, or give us a call on 020 7495 6561.