Planning Consultation begins with an initial phone call from you to us, or from us to you following up from an email or online contact form request. This consultation is free of charge.
During the initial phone consultation we will discuss with you, what type of home you have and what changes you would like to make, the purpose of the changes, any budget concerns you might have, the planning process, and any other specific queries you might have. We would also hope to be able to give you a quote for our services based on the information you have given us for your planned development.
Or if you have just found some extra finance and would like to increase the value of your home, we are able to discuss with you the different possibilities, and which one might work best for you.
Following the initial phone consultation we will also check a number of registers to see if your property:
- Is in a conservation area
- Is on the heritage listed buildings
- Is affected by flood zones
- Has had previous developments
- Has had any refused proposals for development
This information can affect what type of development you’re able to do on your property, or simply mean that extra precautions need to be taken during planning and construction to properly meet all guidelines.
With a large amount of experience working with different council boroughs, we are able to use the information gathered from you, and registers, with our working knowledge to help you come up with the best plan for your property, which will likely be granted permission.
A full site measured survey is required for any development, to get accurate dimensions, so that we are able to create tailor made drawings specific to your exact property, and ensure that your development plans will work properly with the current architecture of your building.
All our surveys are conducted by someone from our UK team, or a surveyor whom we work close with on a frequent basis. During the survey, the surveyor will also take a number of photographs so that should we be unsure of anything written in the survey, or how the property fits together, we are able to visually check what we see in writing.
The survey will normally take approximately 2 hours, but can be less or more time than this depending on the size and complexity of your property, and development plans.
After the initial phone consultation, we will arrange for a survey to take place normally within the next week, depending on your and our availability, at a time convenient for you. You need to be there with the surveyor to answer any questions he might have related to your planned development, to ensure that we get all the information and measurements required. Your presence is also required for the safety of both you and the surveyor.
We specialise in producing state of the art architectural CAD drawings within the building construction industry.
All of our architectural drawings are custom made and digitally drawn using CAD software, giving industry leading outputs. We have a quick turnaround time having your existing property, followed by your proposed developments, completed within a working week. Once the drawings are complete, they are sent to you to check and decide how to proceed.
Advice, Feedback, and Revision
We make it our priority to make sure that you are satisfied with your plans for development. As such, we check with you each step of the way, offering professional advice as needed, and feedback when warranted, while requesting your feedback to make sure that we are understanding each other, and truly working together.
Once the initial proposed development drawings have been prepared, we will organise a time to have another telephone consultation with you where we can make changes to the plans. Once this has been done, we will create a revised set of proposed development drawings. This will normally take 1-2 days. Once this revision has been received, we will repeat the process.
The revised plans will be forwarded on to you to check, a brief telephone consultation will follow, and a second revision if necessary, or if you are happy with the current plans, we will proceed with the next step.
We will do as many revisions as needed to ensure that you are happy with the design, and we are professionally positive about the design and the outcome of any planning application.
This may continue further along the process as well, if the council has any issues with the plans which they wish to be changed. In this case, the changes would be made first, then you would be consulted for feedback before sending them back to the council for consideration with the application.
Whenever we decide we would like to change our home, even though we own the property, our changes have the potential to affect others. As such, we need to notify the council of certain developments, and in some cases apply for Planning Permission.
There are some types of developments which we can do automatically without the need to notify anyone. These come under a planning document called General Permitted Development. This document was decided and approved by the federal government, and so covers all of England. Planning is the main responsibility of local planning authorities however, and they have the right under article 4 directions to request a planning application for some of these permitted developments within particular areas for special purposes. As this is the case, it always a good idea to check with your local council about any planned developments before doing them, just in case there are special rules in place for your area.
Properties which are part of the following, should always check with the council before they do any kind of development.
- Listed building register
- Area of conservation
- National park
- Norfolk and Suffolk broads
- Area of outstanding natural beauty
- Heritage coast
- Nationally protected site
- Locally protected site
- Ramsar wetland
Generally, any kind of maintenance is acceptable, and encouraged, such as painting your house or replacing an old door or broken window – with the same or similar size, style, and colour. For those developments which do come under permitted developments you are still able to apply to the council for something called ‘prior approval’ meaning, it has already been approved, and you just want to make sure that your development plans are properly within the guidelines for what is outlined in the General Permitted Development document and accepted by your local planning authority. This application is free of charge.
For other plans which do not fit within those permitted developments the rules are slightly different depending on your local planning authority, and you will need to apply for planning permission.
There are a number of different planning applications to choose from dependent on your location, and type of development. The planning applications which we most commonly use are….
- Full Planning Permission
- Householder Planning Permission
- Lawful Development: Proposed Use
… and prior approval.
We have vast experience with many council boroughs around London and Essex. As such, we are able to put in the right application for your development such that is will take as little amount of time as possible, hopefully without the need to re-submit an application.
Should a re-submission be needed there is no additional fee for a second submission of the same type, however should a different type of application be required then that application fee will need to be paid as normal. This is why it’s important to get the right application the first time around – to save you time and money. That’s what we’re here for.
For more about planning application fees see our current prices here.
Building control is required for most types of development, including those where planning is not required.
Planning control is about the way that spaces are developed, such as a town, or a city, and how your building development fits into their plan for that overall space.
Building control is about the structure of the development and whether it is going to meet necessary building regulations to ensure the health and safety of people in and about your building. Building regulations also include rules about accessibility and energy conservation.
As such, internal development or changes you might like to make to your home do not need planning permission, because they cannot be seen, but may need building control if they include any structural changes. Works which will likely need building control include those that affect …
- fire safety
- weather resistance
- sound insulation
- heat producing appliances
- energy use
- glazing safety
- electrical safety
We are able to apply for building control for you, giving you the peace of mind that the quote you’re receiving is fair, and the company reputable. At the end of your project, when they are satisfied of all the work, you will receive a completion building certificate. A building certificate shows both you and any future owners that the property has only had professional work done – nothing defective. If you do not have a building certificate, this will most likely affect the value of your property as well as the ease at which you’ll be able to sell it.
Structural Calculations & Drawings
As part of the building control process your architectural drawings and plans need to be checked by a structural engineer – to give materials, weights, joints, etc. to ensure that the proposed development is structurally sound. This is very important information for your builders to have, and a requirement for building control to ensure that the construction is safe.
We are able to provide all the necessary structural calculations and drawings, working with building control, saving you from having to find yet another professional to get your development up and running.
You’ve made it all the way through the planning process and building work can begin!
We can refer you to construction companies in your area whom we have worked with before and can recommend.