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Can I Start While I’m Waiting for Planning Permission?

Your builders can go. Materials are ordered. But you’re still anticipating planning permission to return through. What does one do?

As tempting, because it is to finally get the contractors started and start building without planning permission, there are risks and you’ll be subjected to a planning breach.

The great news isn’t all home extensions require planning permission. Many home improvement projects may be done under Permitted Development Rights, including single-story extensions as long because it adheres to government guidelines (See for a full list of caveats.) whether or not you’re advised you don’t need planning permission, it’s still useful to use for a Lawful Development Certificate, as this can prove your extension is lawful.

However, anything that needs the creation of a brand new house, or extensive changes to an existing building will usually require planning permission. Some councils will offer pre-application advice, whereas as a part of a paid-for service, you’ll be able to discuss the proposal with an obligation planning officer. This can be a decent thanks to determining if there’s an inexpensive chance of getting permission or highlighting any problems that might cause the plans to be refused. If you choose to travel ahead and develop land without planning permission, it won’t be considered unlawful – but you’re still taking a chance.

Pre-application advice is not any guarantee of plans being granted. If planning is refused and you have got begun ‘unauthorized’ building works, there could also be a planning breach. During this case, the local council will ask you to submit a retrospective planning application, which again won’t automatically be granted. If retrospective planning permission is granted, you may not take further action. If the government agency remains not satisfied and refuses permission, they’ll issue an enforcement notice which needs you to place things back as they were, which might be very expensive and frustrating for all those concerned.

There’s a legal loophole: if no enforcement action is taken within four years of completion, the event is immune from enforcement action (this is 10 years for a change of use). The event then becomes lawful. Be warned – if you develop a listed building without prior permission, it’s a criminal offense and you’ll be able to be prosecuted with unlimited fines and even jail.

The most effective advice is to permit for a sensible timescale. Most planning permissions are decided within eight weeks unless they’re unusually large or complex then the limit is 13 weeks. Some senior planner, says the safest thing to try to do is to induce planning permission, even under Permitted Development. “Ultimately you’re increasing the worth of your property as a tangible asset. If you opt to sell the property, it’s always best to possess confirmation in writing that any work was legal. Otherwise, if you don’t have all the paperwork and binding documents so as, you’ll appoint a solicitor to try to do it which could delay the sale, or postpone potential buyers within the future.”

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