Any experts on "Planning Permission" out there

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by TheMusicMan, Jun 3, 2006.

  1. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Random post of the day coming up...:)

    I live in a nice enough house but it's one that can't easily be extended or built upon. Jen and I are considering doing some whacky stuff to it to improve what we have. I am considering building some 1st floor decking that would be positioned in the corner at the side and back of the house.

    Would I need to obtain any planning permission to get this built? Any experts out there...? Happy to show some pics of the current look if it might help.
  2. imthemaddude

    imthemaddude Active Member

    geordiecolin is your man to help with that.
  3. Naomi McFadyen

    Naomi McFadyen New Member

  4. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    WOW, excellent resource Naomi, thanks. I may have obtained my answer... still a tad confusing though.
  5. Roger Thorne

    Roger Thorne Active Member

    John, having seen your property I presuming you are bringing the decking forward of the house boundary (ie: past the present fence beyond the BBQ). If this is the case I would think you are going to need planning permission as this will alter the appearance of the property from the front elevation. The decking around the side and back (where the existing patio is) I would think pretty safe to build without consent. In these instances it is always best to check with the local planning office. It may cost you a few bob, but its a lot cheaper than having to take it all down because you didn't get the required permissions in the first instance.

  6. NeilW

    NeilW Member

    from Naomi's reference at

    I'd talk to the planning dept - take some sketches in - they're quite friendly and often offer a "pre planning" consultation service. Our neighbours found our local planners helpful to talk to about some stables they want to put up (and one of the other neighbours should have asked them before they spent lots of money and then got told to apply for retrospective planning and then were refused it and are probably going to have to "restore" what they've done!)

  7. Scoobydoo

    Scoobydoo Member

    I would agree with the post above.... Take some photo's and some rough sketches of your proposal and go to the Planning Dept of your local council. They will advise if planning permission is required. I would have thought that at the very least they would require building regulation approval (this approval is just to check the technical aspect of your proposal.) Planning permission is more subjective and is required if the exterior aspect of the house is changed...
    For example... A loft conversion that just has Velux windows in the roof requires Building Reg approval but not planning permission as the external aspect of the house is not changed. If the same loft conversion has a dormer window then planning permission is required as well as you are changing the exterior appearance of the house.
    If just building reg's are required then you just need state the correct construction methods/materials etc to comply.
    If planning permission is required then your neighbours will be contacted to see if they have objections - IE will you block their light/view etc....

    The local planning / building control officer may even visit your property to discuss your proposal....

    I have found in the past that if you involve them and listen to there suggestions they are very helpful - but start work before full permission is granted then they can be quite the opposite !!

    Hope this helps....

  8. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Aaah, this old chestnut.

    As a Local Authority Planning Officer I may be able to help, having recently been involved in an enforcement case of this very nature...

    They key with decking is whether or not it is raised. If it isn't, and just like a patio is just covering the ground then it would be Permitted Development (PD) by virtue of Class F of Part 1 of the General Permitted Development Order 1995 which allows for "The provision within the curtilage of a dwellinghouse of a hard surface for any purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse as such."

    However, (and this is where it gets interesting), if the decking were to raised above the ground then case law suggests that such decking could be considered to have a measureable volume as it encloses a space, so for example, 10m2 of decking raised 1m above the ground would have a volume of 10m3.

    This means that the decking, if within 5m of the original dwellinghose, could be considered to be an extension of this house (crazy i know!!) and would be subject to Class A of Part 1 of the GPDO 1995 which relates to "the enlargement, improvement or other alteration of a dwellinghouse".

    This could also be applied to balconies and/or 1st floor decking as in your case.

    This however, does not necessarily mean that the decking requires planning permission, just that the situation becomes a little more complicated. If I were to offer further advice, I would need further details:

    Have any previous extensions been built onto the original house?
    Is it a terraced property?
    Would the decking be above 4m high within 2m of a boundary?
    Would it be nearer to a highway than any part of the existing decking?
    Is it a relatively modern property (eg 1990s onwards)?
    Is it within a Conservation, National Park or an area subject to an Article 4 directive?

    Every property (other than those with PD rights removed (as is the case with many modern estates or in an article 4 areas) have a PD allowance of either 70m3 or 50m3. Counted towards this total are all alterations including those that required planning permission and also garages/sheds within 5m of the dwelling. If you have had no work done previously to the property (after 1948) then it is possible that the decking won't exceed 50/70m3 and subject to its positioning and height, may indeed be Permitted Development.

    I would certainly advise contacting the council with regards to this. Decking can be a grey area and can also be controversial with regards to overlooking and privacy distances if a planning application were requried. For heavens sake don't build it without checking out if its PD first. The last thing you want is some cheery enforcement officer telling you that:

    a)Your shiny new decking requires planning permission
    b)That due to its proximity to a boundary, he doesn't think it would get consent


    c)With this in mind he is giving you 4 weeks in which to remove it. (At your own cost).

    Virtually (if not) all Councils will offer a free "Do I Need" service, and if they're particularly efficient, you should be able to download the form from their website. Someone will have a look at what you want to do and will basically ask the same questions I have and then write an informal letter saying if they think you need permission or not.

    Hope this helps a little...

    FYI: GPDO may be useful, if a little dry....

    This is a very useful and user friendly guide to planning for the average householder and even as professional planner I find it very useful as a quick reference guide.
  9. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    Thanks Colin, here's the additional info you requested:

    Have any previous extensions been built onto the original house? Yes, we have a conservatory that will be adjacent to the proposed decking.
    Is it a terraced property? No - detached
    Would the decking be above 4m high within 2m of a boundary? No decking will be over 4m high
    Would it be nearer to a highway than any part of the existing decking? There is no existing decking, but I belive it won't even be seen by any highway as it is on the opposite side of the house.
    Is it a relatively modern property (eg 1990s onwards)? Built circa 1970
    Is it within a Conservation, National Park or an area subject to an Article 4 directive? No
  10. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Right, based on that, depending on the size of the conservatory, you may have used up a large portion of your 70m3 (terraced houses only get 50m3 hence the question), increasing the likelihood of planning permission being required.

    The question re: highways isn't dependant on whether it would be visible from the highway, merely whether it is nearer to the highway than the current house, highway can include footpaths, highway being anywhere the public "can pass or re-pass".

    Have you any further details on any potential dimensions for the decking??
  11. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    No, it won't pass anywhere near a public highway and it is on the other side of the house to any public highways...
  12. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    Cool, well in that case it appears that the major issue here is whether the volume of the decking + the volume of the conservatory exceeds 70m3. If so, you'll need planning permission, if not, you probably won't :D


    I love the planning system so user friendly and accessible......
  13. TheMusicMan

    TheMusicMan tMP Founder Staff Member

    OK, I shall do some calculations and get back to you in a few days. Thanks for the guidance Colin, apreciated.
  14. geordiecolin

    geordiecolin Active Member

    The Planning Portal's Volume Calculator may be of some use when calculating the volume of the conservatory.

    That is if you can manage to read the unfeasibly small writing and manage to fathom which letter relates to which dimension!!

    I await your findings!

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