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Planning Permission

Building a brand new house is an exciting but major undertaking!  Remodelling your home with a loft conversion or house extension is also a major undertaking.  Both require careful planning and costings. The UK Government’s Planning Portal is a good place to start your research and to find out the legal and logistic requirements from a simple installing flooring in the loft to the full remodel, including dormer windows, skylights and even balconies.

Bathrooms can be added to most types of extensions and conversions depending on the location of drain services and water supplies. Extensions can also include a kitchen and living spaces to suit your specific requirements.

In all these cases Southdowns Builders can advise and estimate your project costs. Please call us for building and conversion advice. Please read the guide below that we thought is a helpful start to your project.


A Guide To Planning Property Changes

Where To Start?

The thought of starting a new house build or even an extension to your current property can seem daunting to some and a building challenge to others. The important thing is to obtain honest and affordable advice. The internet is a wealth of information, not all good, and you can easily be led down false paths.

Start by looking at the UK Government's website at the Planning Portal. In a clear and well presented graphical interface the rules are clearly spelt out and can form an excellent basis for your project.

What Permissions Are Required?

The good thing about the Government guide is that the graphical interface allows you to choose the area of your property for which you want to investigate the rules and how they apply to what you wish to do. The areas fall into the following categories:

  • Roofing.

  • Exterior Walls.

  • Chimneys.

  • Extensions and additions to the main building of the property.

  • Windows and doors.

  • Garages.

  • Fences.

  • Walls and gates.

  • Trees and hedges.

  • Adverts and signs added to the property.

  • Sheds.

  • Wind turbines.

  • Satellite dishes, aerials and attennae.

  • Fuel tanks.


How Can I Apply For Planning Permission?

There are two ways to apply for Planning permission. It can be complete in writing and submitted to the appropriate authority or it can also be completed online at Planning Applications. In many cases a hand drawing of the plan is sufficient in cases such as having a conservatory built. Obviously measurements and descriptions are to be accurate but the Planners do not always require an Architect's drawing to give their permission for the build to go ahead. Guidance for all of this is given on the website.

The "Need More Information?" area of the Planning Applications is a wealth of information and will clearly lead you through all the development stages.

How Do I Obtain A Plan?

Lastly, where do you get a plan for your new house or extension? The Planning Portal has plenty of advice on this aspect at their "Buy A Plan" page. Their recommended for online companies all offer free registration and search facilities so that you can resource your plan before you buy.


Alternatively, find an Architect but do take care with who you choose and research the architect you choose carefully. Be sure to understand their fees and scope of work. For simpler projects an Architectural Technologist may be more appropriate and their fees are typically lower. The Architects Registration Board is a good place to start and finding others to recommend one is always a good option as is the professional section of Checkatrade, where feedback is given on registered architects in your area of past work, by their Clients.

Please don't hesitate to call us for friendly free advice.

Full contact details are given on our Contact page.

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