Top Three Tips to get planning permission
- 13th June 2012
- Property Tips
People making property improvements this summer need to keep abreast of the latest changes.
Homeowners and investors are constantly looking for ways to increase the value of their properties. Expansions, extensions, conversions or renovations are all great methods of altering a property to generate a higher value and increase an investor’s return or a homeowner’s sale price.
However, more often than not local planning regulations and council rules can make it difficult for owners to implement their plans. Owners planning major changes should research thoroughly the type of permission needed before taking any action. Details of what is needed and how permission is acquired are subject to change depending on where the property is situated.
Here ludlowthompson lay out Three Top Tips that can help owners understand their property and the work they seek to undertake:
Exterior or Structural Works
Building facades, or exposed and exterior structures on show, are considered in the ‘public interest’, and so any changes made to these areas of the property require planning permission. Flexibility of the rules under which the work is to be done varies according to area, but generally older properties in more historic towns face more rigid regulations than modern properties.
London properties are particularly susceptible to these fluctuations in regulation flexibility, due to the differences from borough to borough and the different architecture styles that have been preserved. Planning permission will be harder to attain for a 1930s Edwardian semi-detached house in a residential area than for a more modern property due to its historical and architectural interest.
Interior works in private properties are left to the discretion of the owner. Painting and general decoration changes are often perfectly acceptable and not subject to local planning rules. However, if more structural changes are required, such as knocking down walls, removing a fireplace, beams or floorboards, then it is worth doing some research beforehand so as to avoid contravening any regulations.
Listed buildings in London are protected by the English Heritage trust, and any changes, including decoration, within these properties must be approved first before any action is taken. Owners must obtain Listed Building Consent from the local planning authority. As there are nearly 600 listed buildings in the City of London alone, with thousands of other variously-graded structures around the Greater London area, owners must be aware of the status of their property and that they are working within the guidelines of their planning authority.
Acquiring planning permission is often perceived as a Herculean task of applying through the appropriate channels, negotiating around the rules and filing paperwork. However, few homeowners understand that councils are always willing to cooperate and compromise if the homeowner is properly prepared.
Before going ahead with any construction work, internal or external, owners should ensure that sufficient research is done on the type of property and the planning regulations it is subject to. Permission for London properties varies from borough to borough, and so contacting the local council is often the wisest first move. The Greater London Authority also provides information on planning regulations for the Greater London Area.
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