L B Havering Building Control fee increase 1st April 2015 and change to how fee is collected

To explain the new changes, here is a background of existing arrangements on paying Building Regulation fees for a Full Plans application, i.e. an application where plans are submitted for approval.  In most larger extensions, loft conversions and other developments, it has been the practice of the London Borough of Havering and indeed all Local Authorities in a wide area of this Borough, for 25% of the Building Regulation application fee to be collected on submission of the plans. The remaining 75% would be paid on commencement of the building work.

As of 1st April 2015, all Building Regulation application fees will be payable at the application stage.  This will mean that a much higher amount will be required on submission, although no further fees will be payable to Building Control when the work commences.  It has always been the case that  all of the fees would be payable in the case of Building Notice applications.

Should you have any queries on Building Regulation fees please Contact Us via our website for more advice or call us on 01708 228684.

Here is a link to the page on the London Borough of Havering website with a download of the new Charges Schedule for 2015-2016  http://www.havering.gov.uk/Pages/SearchResults.aspx?k=Building%20Control%20Charges

Developments regarding new extensions

ConstructAid have now had an opportunity in having some experience in operation of the new Notification of Larger Extension regulations, and we must say they have proved to be more problematic than we had anticipated. The legislation is, in effect, quite different from any current planning regulations and consequently it has led to some problems with interpretation of the law. One of the most important points to remember is that in submitting a Notification application (which does not involve payment of a planning fee), it is still necessary to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for a proposed use. This would prove that the extension is lawful in relation to the other parts of the legislation that are not covered under the Notification application.

Also it is to be noted that if, after obtaining a satisfaction Notification approval from the Planning Authority, it is decided that, for example, a pitched roof is required instead of a flat roof that has been approved, it is most important that no work is carried out until a new Notification application is approved by the Council. The Notification is only applicable to work that has not been started so in starting work, this procedure would not be possible under the Notification of Larger Extension legislation and a planning application would have to be submitted. As the larger extension would, in most circumstances, be larger than that permitted under the Local Development Plan, there would be a strong likelihood that planning permission would not be granted for the proposal. More thoughts on this subject will be published but should you require any information on this or any other development, please contact ConstructAid via our website

 

Further Info on Larger Extensions!

ConstructAid have now had an opportunity in implementing the new Notification of Larger Extension regulations, and we must say they have proved to be more problematic than we had anticipated. The legislation is, in effect, quite different from any current planning regulations and consequently it has led to some problems with interpretation of the law. One of the most important points to remember is that in submitting a Notification application (which does not involve payment of a planning fee), it is still necessary to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate for a proposed use. This would prove that the extension is lawful in relation to the other parts of the legislation that are not covered under the Notification application.

Also it is to be noted that if, after obtaining a satisfaction Notification approval from the Planning Authority, it is decided that, for example, a pitched roof is required instead of a flat roof that has been approved, it is most important that no work is carried out until a new Notification application is approved by the Council. The Notification is only applicable to work that has not been started so in starting work, this procedure would not be possible under the Notification of Larger Extension legislation and a planning application would have to be submitted. As the larger extension would, in most circumstances, be larger than that permitted under the Local Development Plan, there would be a strong likelihood that planning permission would not be granted for the proposal. More thoughts on this subject will be published but should you require any information on this or any other development, please contact ConstructAid via our website http://www.constructaid.co.uk/Blog

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Link to Planning Portal website – all planning related matters

Larger Extensions

Here is an update!

Notification of Larger Extensions – the rules governing this have been extended to 30th May 2019. Should you already have prior approval you now have until this date to get the extension fully completed. New applicants will of course have until this date to complete the work. This completion date rule is exclusive to this type of application as other planning applications have 3 years to START the work. You can read about the rules and procedures on the Planning Portal website on the following link or contact ConstructAid for further advice:

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/extensions/

Here are the Guidance Notes published by the Planning Portal regarding the larger home extensions legislation recently passed and sets out in detail what is required to obtain approval and links for further information. This new law allows a maximum 6 metre extension on a terraced or semi-detached property and 8 metres on a detached property, although this law is for a 3 year period only. Any further advice can be obtained from ConstructAid as in our view, plans will still be required for Building Control and the Builder/Contractor. There is a process to obtaining approval from the Planning Department for the development as set out in the Guidance Notes and approval is not automatically given. For example, it is important to bear in mind that if a neighbour objects then the Planning Department will be required to decide if they are to give permission to the proposal or not! The Guidance Notes also point out that if the Council do not respond within a certain time period, permission is automatically granted. Watch this space for comments by Admin if there are any problems in the implementation of this law!

guidance_note-larger_home_extension

Click here to go to ConstructAid website to obtain further information

Government passes 3 year law to increase size of single storey rear extensions
Government passes 3 year law to increase size of single storey rear extensions

Interesting article concerning the new larger domestic extension law can be found here on the Planning Law Blogspot website:

http://planninglawblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/larger-domestic-extensions-new-rules.html

What you can build without Planning Permission

A Channel 4 Article that gives a little detail on the Permitted Development Rules in England. These rules will be changing in the not too distant future (or so the Government promised) at least for a period of 3 years. The intention is to allow much larger extensions in order to kickstart the economy. I will add details of this as soon as there are any developments following the Consultation period.

Here is a link to the article:

http://www.channel4.com/4homes/build-renovate/building-renovating-advice/planning-permission-permitted-development-rights-10-07-05/display/page/1

Channel 4 Article-What-can-build-without-Planning-Permission

In the News: A 14 foot House built in a tiny gap!

So you’ve got a small plot of land on the side of your house going to waste, or maybe a piece of land roughly 14 foot wide between a pair of semi-detached houses? As was reported in the Daily Mail today, this was the situation up in Manchester. The locals were horrified to find that Manchester City Council gave planning permission for the house to be built between a pair of semi-detached houses, leaving a 4 inch gap either side. The neighbours are not happy as the houses now resemble a row of terraces and have complained at the possible problems with rats and litter.

Although the residents’ concerns are justified, it is often the case that residents’ opinion against a proposal is not enough to prevent planning permission being granted. However,it is somewhat surprising in my view that planning permission was granted as the approval produced a ‘terracing effect’ of the adjoining houses, something that planners are usually against. The new property also obscures a window on the gable end of one of the houses.

I believe that The house is well designed and does look in keeping with the other houses. It goes to show that if a planning department “like” a development, there is sometimes little that can be done by the local residents to prevent approval being granted, sometimes even after letters of objections and protests by disgruntled local residents. More important to planners is for the proposal to comply with the local planning policies and to be in keeping with the local neighbourhood.

If you have a piece of land and want advice on applying for planning permission, contact ConstructAid and we will be happy to answer your queries.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2269694/Find-gap-The-detached-home-Northenden-Manchester-thats-just-14ft-wide-squeezed-semis–inches-spare.html

Find the Gap! Daily Mail Article

Sue Robinson

Planning Fees increased

Planning Fees for Residential Properties have now been increased by 15% as reported back in July.

The Fee for a single dwellinghouse has increased from £150.00 to £172.00 and the fee for a Lawful Development Certificate application (to prove that the proposal does not require planning permission) has increased from £75.00 to £82.00.

Full details of the changes can be found on the Planning Portal website by following this link:

http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/general/news/stories/2012/july12/260712/260712_3

Planning Portal Banner
Planning Portal Banner

Tragic death of young woman killed by pane of glass

It has been widely reported that a young woman in her 20’s was tragically killed by a pane of glass in Mayfair on 30th August.

This was a large pane of glass – four metre in height that was part of windows being fitted into a tower block as part of a window refit.

The young woman was just passing by and apparently eating a banana at the time. Ambulance crew were fast on the scene but tragically could not save the young woman. It was a tragic accident.

You can read about it here on the Evening Standard website:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/young-woman-killed-as-window-frame-falls-down-on-to-pavement-in-mayfair-square-8096163.html

Young woman tragically killed on pavement

Medway Council seek amendment to Planning Law to help them control Pay Day Loan Shops in the area

BBC reported recently on Medway Council’s aim to have Planning Law changed. Their aim is to have a separate Use Class Category to cover Pay Day Loan Shops. There are a number of these shops springing up in the area but at the moment, says Medway Council. The Use Class Category comes under Financial – this includes all financial institutions such as Banks, Building Societies, etc., that are usually regulated by the Financial Services Authority. These shops are not so regulated and a separate category is called for to give the Council more powers to control the numbers of these shops as they believe they are a different kind of financial institution offering a different service.

Concern at local debt has been highlighted by the Citizens Advice Bureau, not helped by exorbitant interest rates charged by some of these shops.

Here is the link to the article on the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-19148677

I wish them luck with this and hope that Eric Pickles listens to the concerns raised by Medway Council and if successful, hope the policy can be adopted nationwide. Whilst this would not help deal with those people who take out these loans online, if the local population are suffering financially as a result of the sheer number of these shops in their area, I think it only right that the Local Planning Authority are given powers of control.

Building Control – Full Plans Submission or Building Notice?

Building Regulation approval is often required for structural works to a dwelling, such as works for an extension, loft conversion, removal of a load-bearing wall, porch, garage conversion, flat conversion, removal of a chimney breast and other types of structural alterations.

Building Regulation approval can be obtained in two ways. The first is by way of a ‘full plans submission’. In this case, plans (and any structural calculations required in support of the application) together with an application fee are submitted to Building Control for approval. Any amendments required by Building Control are provided and after a number of weeks and once Building Control are satisfied that the plans comply with Building Regulations, approval is provided. Works can then commence on payment of the Council’s inspection fee in stages to completion when a Completion Certificate is issued confirming that the structural alterations have been completed satisfactorily.

The alternative is one that is sometimes suggested by builders/developers which is by way of a ‘Building Notice’. This is not available for all structural alterations (for example, if the work involves building over a sewer). A form is submitted to Building Control together with the application fee (in this case, the total fee is payable up front). The works may then commence almost immediately on receipt of the application. Building Control then visit the property in stages to make sure the build is completed in accordance with Building Regulations.

The disadvantages of the Building Notice application, in our view, is that Building Control only see the works retrospectively. They do not see a set of plans or structural calculations, so have no idea of the structural works involved and the methods to be used in completing the alterations. If Building Control visit the site and are not happy with the progress of the work they can ask for structures to be altered or ultimately demand that they be demolished if they do not think the works comply with current Building Regulations. They can also insist during the course of the build for plans and/or structural calculations in any event. Something that was meant to save time could ultimately lead to long delays and additional expense in sorting out any problems.

Building Control Departments, in the case of Building Notices, are also not obliged to issued a Completion Certificate as in the case of a Full Plans Submission. This Certificate is useful to the property owner, and in addition, should the owner wish to sell the property, will be required by a potential purchaser as proof that the works have been completed in accordance with Building Regulations. A lack of such a Certificate can lead to possible delays and/or problems.

Is is therefore our view that in most cases, a Full Plans Submission is the appropriate type of application for structural works.

Contact ConstructAid if you want further advice on Building Regulations

Further general advice on Building Regulations can be found by following the link below:-

http://www.communities.gov.uk/planningandbuilding/buildingregulations/

Is it cheaper to run an electric or a gas shower?

Interesting Article in today’s Daily Mail that answers this question – is it cheaper to run a gas power shower or an electric shower?


http://js.dailymail.co.uk/money/experts/article-2176415/Is-cheaper-run-electric-power-shower-whats-difference.html