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FAQs

Looking for answers? Most of the time you just need a little
push in the right direction. We hope our FAQ’s page will help you get there.
What is planning permission, and do I need it?

Planning Permission is usually required if you intend to carry out detrimental alterations/extensions on your home, such as a double storey extension, loft conversion, garage conversion, change of use from residential to commercial (from a house to a shop or office, for example).

Planning Permission is also required in many other situation’s, and different councils do adopt individual policies,additionally different policies apply to extensions for terrace houses, extensions for semi-detached housesand extensions for detached houses, so it is well worth contacting PJH Architectural Services to discuss your ideas and plans,which will allow us toarrange for a consultation at your property to accurately advise on the necessary requirements.

Planning can be one of the main hurdles to overcome when thinking about making changes to your home, incorporating an extension or a new build property, there needs to be careful consideration towards planning requirements from the from the start. In some circumstances, works can be carried out under ‘Permitted development’ refer to ‘What is permitted development’ below.

For reference, you can refer to the planning portal web site which provides an overview of current planning regulations. https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk/detached-house

How long does a planning application take?

Planning applications normally take up to a maximum of 8 weeks before the local authority provides a decision notice. Each scheme is unique, and therefore PJH Architectural Services track each planning application to monitor progress. Our clients are always kept upto date with the progress of their application.

How long does planning last for?

Once approved, your planning approval lasts for 3 years. Within this timeframe, you need to make a meaningful start on your project. If for what ever reason you do not commence the works within the 3-year timeframe, your planning application will elapse. If this is the case, you can simply re-apply for planning permission.

What is Permitted Development?

For smaller house extensions and alterations to your property, you can perform certain types of work without needing to apply for planning permission, these are called ‘permitted development rights’, also known as PD.

PD derives from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Parliament. Bear in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. Similarly, commercial properties have different permitted development rights to dwellings.

PD restricts various elements such as excessive height of proposed extensions, sizes including internal volume, area and projection, all of which differs between designs for terraced houses,designs for semi-detached houses and designs for detached properties.

As per planning rules and guidelines, there are many factors that need to be taken into account when considering doing works under PD as opposed to a full planning application. PJH Architectural Services would be more than happy to discuss your project with you in order to ascertain if your works fall within permitted development Contact us on 0161 4600382.

Are there different planning rules for a listed building?

Buildings of particular architectural interest are often officially listed and therefore protected. Some residential buildings in certain areas are grade 2 listed, which means that all alterations (internally and externally) have to be approved under listed building consent. Making a listed building consent application is similar to making a planning application, but with various differences. This process may be handled by a conservation officer within your local planning department, or may be referred to English Heritage.

A full planning application will need to be supported with a Heritage statement. A process and service that PJH Architectural Services scan assist with.

Are there different planning rules for a conservation area?

Residing within a conservation area usually means that changes to the external appearance of your property will be a particularly sensitive issue, leading to the need for an application for ‘conservation area consent’.

It is advisable to check with your local planning authority to ascertain if you live within a conservation area.

PJH Architectural Services have a good knowledge of working within conservation areas, and advise our clientsof what can be achieved from a planning perspective.

A full planning application will need to be supported with Design and Access statement (D&A). A process and service that PJH Architectural Services scan assist with.

What are building regulations?

Not to be confused with planning applications, the building regulations are a set of standard documents produced to ensure that buildings are designed and constructed to a minimum standard, covering items such as structure, thermal properties, fire safety, resistance to sound, ventilation, sanitation, drainage, protection from falling, access, glazing, electrical safety, security etc etc.

A full list to the current ‘building regulations’ can be found at the following link https://www.planningportal.co.uk/info/200135/approved_documents

Commonly, once planning is granted, PJH Architectural Services produce a full set of details ‘buildingregulations’ drawings, and submit these on our client’s behalf.

Where as planning applications must be formally submitted to your local authority, building regulations applications can be made to either your local authority building control department,or to an approved building control inspector/company.

Unlike regulated planning applications times, currently at 8 weeks, building regulations applications carry a far less approval time. Approved inspectors that PJH Architectural Services work closely with, Ball & Berry aim to turn around our applications within 10 working days, which, when a vast majority of our clients, are looking to make a quick start on site, is a valuable asset to have.

We provide a fully detailed set of information on behalf of our clients, Refer to our building regulations section (Stage 4) for further information.

If you have a project that requires building regulations drawings please feel free contact us to discuss how we can assist you, on 0161 4600382.  or via our web enquiry form

The process: To see all the stages click here

What is the difference between planning and building regulations?

Please refer to the above sections relating to ‘what is planning permission’ and ‘what are building regulations’

In a nutshell, planning guidelines are enforced to protect the character of a property and are in place to ensure that proposed developments are sympathetic to the existing aesthetics of a property and its surrounding properties/areas. Structure and buildability are not a consideration.

Building regulations relate to the structure and thermal properties of a building. Legislation is in place to ensure the safe construction of buildings. Aesthetics are not a consideration.

Do I have to use my local authority?

All planning applications have to be submitted via your local authority. Building regulations can be submitted to your local authority or an approved inspector, please refer to our section ‘what are building regulations’

What is a party wall agreement? Do we require one? and how do we deal with this?

A party wall agreement is a legally binding document that is agreed between two or more parties, when works are being carried out close to or effecting neighbouring premises.

It is very common with alterations to domestic properties (even for detached properties) that action under the party wall legislation will be necessary. Works that effect a wall, fence or any part of your neighbour’s structure, within certain specified distances, will require notification to adjoining owners in accordance with the Party wall Act 1996.

The person proposing the works, (or agent acting on behalf of the client) should notify, by means of written consent, along with a schedule of works and relevant drawings, their affected property owners.

PJH Architectural Services provide advice and assistance with party wall notices. Alternatively, on larger scale projects, we can help to connect to you with relevant party wall surveyors, who we have a close and virtuous working relationship with.

How long does the design process take?

Obviously, all clients and projects are unique, and range in complexity and cost, however we are often asked by clients ‘how long is the design process’. As a rule of thumb, we normally advise of a 3 to 6 months’ period to cover key stages 1 through to 15 or 1 through to 21. (depending on the need for planning) Please refer to our ‘key stages of a design’ for a description of each stage. PJH Architectural Services are happy to discuss time scales with clients at our initial consultation, once we have reviewed your property and obtained your brief.

How do I select the right builder/contractor?

If everyday TV programmes such as ITV’s ‘bad builders’&channel 5’s ‘cowboy builders’ are anything to go by, all builders are poor builders! Fortunately, this isn’t the case and its just a very small minority that are sub-standard.

Obtaining the right builder/contractor for your home extension or new build can be a timely one, but a most worthwhile exercise.

We always recommend the following tips when looking to obtain quotes:

  1. Look to obtain quotes from a section of 3 to 5 builders.
  2. Speak with friends, family and neighbours for recommendations.
  3. Look out for building works being carried out locally, knock on and speak with neighbours having work undertaken within your area, don’t be afraid to ask!
  4. When tendering to builders be clear in your tender documentation what you require from them, such as:

a. A definitive tender return date.
b. A list of previous clients that you can speak with and visit their projects.
c. Relevant insurance details.
d. Programme of works including a breakdown of costs.

Don’t be afraid to ask a builder:

a. About his expertise relating to your particular type of project.
b. How he wants to be paid and what his payment structure is.
c. For a definitive completion date.
d. Retention of a percentage of the build costs until all works are signed off and complete.
e. Will he give you itemised invoices at regular stage payment intervals.

PJH Architectural Services offer a full tender service on behalf of our clients as well as assistance with recommending and choosing the right builder for your project. Please feel free contact us to discuss our full range of services on 0161 4600382. or via our web enquiry form

If you’re looking for an Architectural practice for your extension contact PJH Architectural Services

 

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