Our Basic Services

Advice

Some clients come to us with a very fixed idea of what they want and just need us to commit that idea to paper.
Others, however, are more vague about their needs and approach us with "Can I do this?" or "Will the Council let us . . . ?" or "We need more space" To these people we are happy to call and talk through their ideas and their needs. Sometimes the answer is "No you can't - but you can do this!", or "Unlikely - but . . . !" A fresh pair of eyes looking at the problem can come up with different solutions. Occasionally this might involve looking at the property in a different way because people can get straight-jacketed by their current use of the building - this is the kitchen, this is the lounge, this is the dining room, this is the office, this is the workshop rather than we have these spaces how could they be reused if we extend?

Occasionally we have to say that the chances of getting permission to do what they hope are very remote

Increasingly, we have clients, both domestic and commercial, looking for ways to 'green' their property, to save energy (and the planet!) and we are again happy to call and discuss their options.

In all cases, however, our initial visit and discussion is free and free of obligation so contact us today - what have you got to lose!

Planning Permission

All building work requires Planning Permission. However, to prevent the planning system from becoming overwhelmed with 'petty' applications, some smaller schemes are considered to be 'Permitted Development (PD)' and do not require planning permission. For a very good explanation of what work is considered permitted development and what is not see the interactive guide on the Planning Portal website

An Application for Planning Permission, assuming that it is required, involves the preparation of outline drawings, they show the basic floor plans, elevations, location and how the building fits within the site. It also requires the use of the site at present and the use after the work is completed. All this is required to enable the Planning Authority to determine the compliance with the local plan and it's impact on the locality. Many schemes also require the preparation of a 'Design and Access Statement' which explains to the Planning Authority how the design of the scheme has been developed in relation to its surroundings and how the scheme will be accessed.

Fees are payable to the Local Authority for Planning Applications, the size of the fee depends on the type and scope of scheme.

Householder Planning Application

A Householder Planning Application can be considered as a LITE Planning Permission, and deals with smaller scale domestic applications - house extensions, garages, enlargements to gardens, erection of walls and fences to domestic properties, or any other outbuildings within the boundary of your own property.

Similarly, a fee is payable to the Local Authority in order that they will consider a Householder Planning Application.

Building Regulations

Unlike Planning Permission, there is nothing similar to Permitted Development rights for Building Regulations, almost all building work requires Building Regulations Approval. Whereas Planning Permission considers the way the project interacts with the surrounding, Building Regulations are concerned with the fabric of the building - is it structurally stable? will it keep the occupants clean and dry? does it conserve energy?
A Building Regulations Application involves the preparation of detailed plans, sections and specification to fully explain the way in which the building should be constructed, the preparation of structural calculations to demonstrate that each structural element is suitable for its position in the structure, the preparation of thermal calculations to determine that the building in use will consume as little energy as possible; all design to comply within the current legislation

Since there is so much more work involved in the preparation of the detailed documents required for Building Regulations, and hence expense for the client, we would not recommend proceeding with this element of a scheme until we had gained an intimation that the previously submitted Planning Permission was likely to receive approval.

For most domestic schemes the plans, sections, etc., prepared for the Building Regulations are sufficient to complete the construction process, but larger, more complex projects will probably require the preparation of further 'working drawings' to fully explain the construction.