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

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

Government to fight extensions opt-out!

Existing 'Permitted Development' sizes to be doubled in proposed legislation
Existing ‘Permitted Development’ sizes to be doubled in proposed legislation

The Planning Portal website announced today that the Government plans to fight an amendment laid down by the House of Lords to the Infrastructure Bill that could allow local authorities to ‘opt out’ of the proposals to allow house extensions up to eight metres in length without Planning Permission.

The Government feel that the amendment would only increase red tape and ultimately make it more expensive for families to improve their home.

The legislation will allow a relaxation of the permitted development allowance for a 3 year period for residential extensions. This means that for a detached house the maximum size for a single storey rear extension would increase from the current 4 metre maximum to 8 metres and from 3 metres to a maximum of 6 metres for all the rest.

ConstructAid advise that a “Lawful Development Certificate” is obtained from the Council as proof that the proposal was lawful at the time of construction. This is an important document that would be required should you wish to sell or mortgage the property in the future. Contact us if you require further information on Permitted Development.

ConstructAid would also advise that Building Regulation approval is still required and is not being relaxed as a result of this proposed change in the Permitted Development Rights.

Link to Article
http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/general/news/stories/2013/apr13/040413/04042013_1

Budget 2013 – Help with Housing

George Osborne delivering 2013 Budget

The Chancellor announced a raft of proposals to kick start the housing market in the Budget of 2013. It remains to be seen if this will have the desired effect or lead to an undesirable increase in property prices. This could then detract first time buyers from getting their foot on the housing ladder. However, perhaps the hard times we’re in will prevent this from happening, only time will tell.

In the meantime, the Construction industry will no doubt welcome any help in encouraging the housing market and thus secure jobs in the construction sector

Further details of how all the schemes are to work are still not entirely clear but follow the link above to the Government website for information of what is known so far.

Click on caption above to follow link to Article

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

Minister Nick Boles says Government may relax planning laws to allow larger extensions permanently!

Minister Nick Boles has announced that the controversial relaxation of the planning laws to allow larger extensions up to 8 metres in depth may stay beyond the 3 years proposed, provided people are happy with it! Much has been made of the problems of these proposals affecting the light of neighbouring properties, particularly on smaller developments, but the Minister said that there would be written into the law that no more than 50% of a garden may be used and the Party Wall Act could be used to protect neighbouring properties. Building Regulation approval would still have to be obtained.

ConstructAid think the proposal is not necessarily a good one. In addition, we would always advise obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate from the Planning Department to confirm compliance with planning laws, as proof of the situation should you ever sell or mortgage the property in the future. This, along with plans for Building Regulation approval, means that the so-called time saving would just not be there! The only saving would be £75 less for the planning fee.

You can read more of this on the BBC Article:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19955112

Are you contemplating an extension? Red tape to be cut – but what will this actually mean?

This is what we know so far and a view of the proposals:-

Eric Pickles, Minister for Local Government and Communities today announced a raft of measures to kick start the building industry. This is a broad outline of what we know so far:-

Extensions that can be built without planning permission are currently restricted to 3 metres in depth. There are other restrictions including height. Although not announced by Eric Pickles, it has been widely reported that the depth of an extension not requiring planning permission is to be increased to a maximum 6 metres in depth for a semi-detached property and 8 metres for a detached property. No information is available yet regarding the other restrictions such as height, conservation areas etc.

It is stated that the new legislation will be discussed in Parliament over a six week period and all being well, the legislation will be passed and come into operation in the early part of 2013. The speed is possible because the legislation is what is called “secondary legislation” and can be fast tracked for approval.

There are proposals for funding for guarantee schemes for large developers.

There will be additional funding for first time buyers to help them get on the property ladder.

There will be powers against Planning Authorities who regularly lag behind in the figures for approvals of Planning applications.

In cases where planning permission has already been granted, if the developer cannot get funding because the “affordable housing” element of the approval is proving too costly, it will be possible for this condition to be removed, thus enabling a developer to attract the necessary funding.

It is early days, and we will update this post when we have more information, but as it stands it is the opinion of ConstructAid that there may be problems with this legislation. These problems can be highlighted as follows:

None of this legislation will address the process of applying and obtaining Building Regulation approval. Building consent is for adequacy of the strength and quality of the structure itself and will not change under this legislation. Plans are required to be submitted with an application, usually with far more details than the plans required by Planning. Planning applications are usually decided on within a statutory eight week period. Building Regulation approval is often over a similar time scale so no time will be saved by not applying for planning permission. Building Regulation approval can actually take longer in certain circumstances, for example, when structural calculations need to be approved by the structural engineers department. Little or no time is saved by not applying for planning permission, although there would be a saving of £150 for the Council’s planning fee. As the plan drawn for submission to Building Control is more detailed than that used for submission to the Planning Department, there are no cost savings on our fees for not applying for Planning Permission.

Even in cases where no planning permission is required, ConstructAid always advise our clients to obtain a Lawful Development Certificate (we apply for this on your behalf) as proof that no planning permission was required for the proposal. This is required by a future buyer should you sell the property in the future. The Council’s fee for this is half the planning fee, so currently £75. Also, there are other rules governing permitted development such as the height of paving, conservation areas etc. A Planning Officer would visit the property to confirm suitability and compliance before issuing the Lawful Development Certificate. This avoids any potential problems in the future.

What about if you have already had Planning Permission granted but now wish to wait in order to get a larger side extension? Speak to ConstructAid for advice on this. As far as the present situation is concerned, ConstructAid are of the view that some builders/developers may have some of clients wanting to hold up building their extension as a result of this and this could cause financial problems for small developers. This is the opposite of what is intended which is to “kick start” the building trade. It is difficult to predict the impact at this stage. Although a larger extension may be appealing to some, the additional costs involved, i.e. doubling the cost of the work could mean that the legislation has little or no effect on the small builders/developers. Time will tell on this one!

Another issue is with the Party Wall Act. Such a large extension could have serious implications on neighbouring properties of mid-terraced houses. We will have to wait to see the detail, but it is worth bearing this in mind. ConstructAid will advise on this blog if we feel this legislation will have an adverse impact on the Party Wall Act as soon as the fine details of the proposals are announced.

Here is a link to the announcement today by Eric Pickles MP:

http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/plans-to-boost-uk-housebuilding-jobs-and-the-economy/

Please contact ConstructAid should you require further advice on these proposals.

Author: Susan Robinson

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