How long does the whole planning process take?

Normally, 3 months – if there are problems with the council, or planning needs to be re-submitted, then that can be an extra 8 weeks from when the application is validated.

Do I need to apply for planning?

Not always, there are certain types of building which are automatically allowed by your council. In these circumstances we apply for neighbourhood consultation. This is to let your neighbours know what the planned developments are and see if they are going to cause any problems in your immediate neighbourhood. This process takes the same length of time as a regular planning application, however does not cost anything.

Is my property in a conservation area? Can I still make changes to my property?

You should already know if your property is in a conservation area, but if you’re not sure – all council websites will have a section dedicated to conservation areas. Some you can simply type in your address and do a search, others provide maps and you’ll have to locate your property on the map to see if it is in a conservation area. Alternatively, you can call up your local council and ask – you may be faced with long waiting queues though.

Yes, you can still make changes to your property when you are in a conservation area. However, the changes you can make depend strongly on which conservation area you are in – every conservation area is different.

My property is near a river – does this affect my ability to build?

If your property is near a source of water, than you are likely in a higher flood risk zone. This doesn’t normally affect your ability to build – it simply means that you have to be careful to make sure that the correct products are used in the build, such as special seal doors. You will also need to submit a flood risk assessment with any planning application. We provide these assessments as part of our one off fee when they are required.

Is there the same rules for building in all areas of London?

No. There are some standardised regulations for building in the UK on a national level, but there are additional requirements in each different area – country, suburb, city centre – and also within different boroughs, and also if you live in a special area such as conservation. If you are not sure about the rules for your area or property, it is best to first investigate your local council website and see what you can find out.

What applications and documents are required, from start to finish?

This depends greatly on the type of build, and where your project is located. Below is a short list of some of the documents which may be required.

Architectural Drawings – Existing and Proposed; Site Map, Block Plan, Heritage Statement, Access and Design Statement, plan showing any major Trees and Hedges, plan showing current and planned Parking Spaces, a Specialised Species Survey, Flood Risk Assessment, Community Infrastructure Levy Questions, Planning Application, Structural Drawings, Structural Calculations, Sewer Build-over application and Building Control.

I’m not sure which council area I’m in?

You can find your local council by placing your address in the search box at this website - www.gov.uk/find-local-council

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