Planning permission or developmental approval refers to the approval needed for construction or expansion (including significant renovation), and sometimes for demolition, in some jurisdictions. It is usually given in the form of a building permit (or construction permit).
House building permits, for example, are subject to Building codes. There is also a “plan check” (PLCK) to check compliance with plans for the area, if any. For example, one cannot obtain permission to build a nightclub in an area where it is inappropriate such as a high-density suburb. The criteria for planning permission are a part of urban planning and construction law, and are usually managed by town planners employed by local governments.
Failure to obtain a permit can result in fines, penalties, and demolition of unauthorized construction if it cannot be made to meet code. Generally, the new construction must be inspected during construction and after completion to ensure compliance with national, regional, and local building codes. Since building permits usually precede outlays for construction, employment, financing and furnishings, they are often used as a leading indicator for developments in other areas of the economy.
House Extension Planning permission
An addition or extension to your house is generally considered to be permitted development. So you won’t need to go through the additional hassle of getting planning permission as long as: Your extension is no more than half the area of land around the original house (curtilage).
The permitted development rules have recently been relaxed, allowing you to build an extension without planning permission of up to six metres (or eight metres if your house is detached).
Loft Conversion Planning permission
A loft conversion for your house is considered to be permitted development, not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:
– A volume allowance of 40 cubic metres additional roof space for terraced houses
– A volume allowance of 50 cubic metres additional roof space for detached and semi-detached houses
– No extension beyond the plane of the existing roof slope of the principal elevation that fronts the highway
– No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof
– Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house
– No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
– Side-facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor
– Roof extensions not to be permitted development in designated areas
– Roof extensions, apart from hip to gable ones, to be set back, as far as practicable, at least 20cm from the original eaves
– The roof enlargement cannot overhang the outer face of the wall of the original house.
Basement Conversions Planning permission
Converting an existing residential cellar or basement into a living space is in most cases unlikely to require planning permission as long as it is not a separate unit or unless the usage is significantly changed or a light well is added, which alters the external appearance of the property.
Excavating to create a new basement which involves major works, a new separate unit of accommodation and/or alters the external appearance of the house, such as adding a light well, is likely to require planning permission.
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