Property Development and Property Maintenance
Planning Permission – Property Developers Guide to Planning Applications
If you are an experienced investor or property developer then you’ll be all too familiar with the processes involved in getting planning permission and the rules and regulations set-out in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. Obtaining planning permission or planning consent as it is sometimes called is required if you want to build on land, make substantial changes to a properties structure, appearance or the use to which that property it is put.
The careful control of such development activities allows the government and local planning authorities (LPAs) to make sure that any new property developments, building extensions, alterations, change of use and such-like are carefully controlled and in keeping with their surroundings and in-line with current planning laws – in other words, to make sure that no-one flouts the rules to build whatever they feel like.
Investment Property Partners property developers guide to planning applications and the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 covers a number of important issues that you may wish to consider if you are reviewing property development opportunities that require formal planning permission.
Planning Permission Considerations
Most of the time planning applications concern existing settlement areas and buildings that are already constructed, as people, property investors and developers look to add more space to their homes and add value to their property.
Because of this, the granting of planning permission will often come down to a number of factors that relate directly to the local area and surroundings of the property in question, as the local planning authority (LPA) and their planning inspectors are able to grant permission only if they feel proposals fit in with the general character of the area.
Planning inspectors will also consider whether the proposals or building designs have a detrimental impact on the permitted use of the area, neighbours and residents… they will also look at privacy issues.
Other less obvious considerations that will impact on whether or not planning permission is granted are whether the property lets sufficient light in; whether the property has sufficient parking without impacting on others and whether or not the quality of any outdoor space and amenities are affected.
Planning Permission, Conservation Areas & National Parks
If you are applying for planning permission in a conservation area or national park then you can expect even tighter controls and regulations on what you can and cannot do. This is because these areas are normally steeped in history and heritage and have a special character about them that makes them highly desirable and worthy of extra protection. Generally, new property developments, modifications and alterations to existing properties in such areas are hard to come by. Normally, the local planning authority will be very particular when it comes to proposals to convert or alter anything on an existing property located in a conservation area.
Many people who own property in a conservation area have, for instance struggled to get planning permission to change run-of-the-mill building elements such as windows and doors.
In simple terms, planning permission can sometimes be difficult to obtain, especially if you don’t understand all the implications and reasons behind the rules and regulations laid down by the government.
When it comes to conservation areas though, getting planning permission can be even more difficult, as decisions can be very subjective and the requirements that need to be met can be very strict.
How to Make a Planning Application
Moving on, now that you understand the basics of why there is such a thing as planning permission, it is equally as important that you understand how best to get planning permission if you need it, and what hurdles you will have to clear to achieve the consents that you need. If for whatever reason you need planning permission, the first stage will be for you to make a formal application to the local planning authority. At a very basic level, the local planning authority will require you to fill out an application form detailing your proposals; it will also require you to submit plans of your existing land or property together with details of your proposed development works, a statement of ownership, a location plan and the appropriate planning fee. If you are unsure how best to go about submitting your planning application, rather than guessing and potentially wasting everyone’s time and money, you should research the process thoroughly, and if need be, contact the local planning authority for advice on how best to approach the submission of your application.
Alternatively, if your development project is complex or potentially contentious there are many firms of specialist planning consultants who provide expert advice concerning the submission process and they will be able to help steer you through the various planning stages.
Such specialist planning companies can provide experienced individuals who will research previous applications, do the leg work when it comes to application discussions with the planning authority and more importantly, will also help to put the application together in a concise and accurate manner.
This can be very beneficial when your property development proposals are complex, extensive or involve potentially contentious issues.
Conservation areas follow a similar path with regards planning permission, but again, the process is a little stricter and there is usually an additional application form that will need to be completed.
A design and access statement will also be required. For conservation areas, because preservation of the character of the local area is top of the agenda for the planning authority, you may find that you have to provide reports from the council that clearly state that your proposal does not affect traffic or residents already in the area.
How do the Local Planning Authorities make their Decision?
Firstly, the local planning authority, usually via the council’s planning department will look to assess what neighbours and local residents think and feel about the proposals.
The council will allow around three weeks for local people to respond or air their concerns about the prospective development. After these views have been taken on board, a planning officer will then visit the development site to review the local area, the submitted plans, the site layout and the original building for themselves – this will allow them to see and feel the development and get a better idea of what is included in the application.
Through delegated powers, a planning permission may be granted by the local planning officer if the proposals are straight forward and there are no serious or contentious issues.
However, if any third party raises issues or concerns about the plans for development, the planning application will normally need to be passed onto the council’s planning committee, usually made up of local councillors, who will ultimately look at the case in greater detail.
You should be aware that many planning applications end up in the committee’s hands so there is nothing to feel downbeat about if this is where your application ends up.
How long will it take to get Planning Permission?
A decision as to whether or not you have been granted planning permission will normally be given within eight weeks of your submission, providing nothing goes very wrong, or the council do not require any additional information.
As a general rule of thumb, if a decision has not been reached within the eight week time-frame, an appeal of non-determination can be set in motion.
If your planning application is refused you should initially try to come to an agreement with the local planning authority (LPA) by adjusting your development plans.
If this fails then there is a formal appeals procedure to the Secretary of State but you should be aware that appeals can take several months to be decided.
How we can help
We’ve had great experience in dealing with property Development and can formulate an application and provide all the necessary information and drawings requited and will work with the Local Planning Authority to ensure a successful outcome. Please CONTACT US for a free no obligation consultation.
At En-Plan we have a wealth of expericen in dealing with prorerty maiantenance and any associetd Planning or Building Regulations matters that may arise. This is especially pertinent when dealing with a Listed Building as there are tighter controls on works affecting the fabric of the building.
The hall itself was part of the psychiatric estate alongside Shelton Hospital located in Shrewsbury, Shropshire. Originally named the Shropshire and Montgomeryshire County Asylum, it was later renamed Shelton Hospital. The hospital opened in the mid-1800s and operated for over a century before its closure. The site had a rich history, and like many old asylums, its approach to psychiatric care evolved over time. With advancements in psychiatric medicine and care in the latter part of the 20th century, many of these old asylums, including Shelton, were eventually closed. he site of the former Shelton Hospital has since been redeveloped for different purposes.
With this in mind wee have been appointed as Property Maintenance Consultants at Oxon Hall in Shrewsburty, where we have been advising on matters concernig the ongoing mainatenance fo the Hall and a a schedule of works to enhance the character and setting of this Listed Building.
The hall istelf was orginaly constructed and used as a small country house, and latterly as a hospital, prior to conversion to residential use by Shropshire homes in 2000. The hall has a two-span slate roof. Oxon Hall; has three storeys and attic over basement to front, and two storeys to rear with two more modern wings added to the rear.
En-Plan are currently working alongside Millmai Property Solutions to improve the aesthetic of the hall with an extensive schedule of works aimed at bringing the hall up to it's former glory.
Photographs of Oxon Hall in Shrewsbury:
Case Study: 4 – 30 (even) Wallett Drive, Muxton, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 8SY. Support to Ground Solutions UK Limited.
Application Number: TWC/2022/0991
Application Number: TWC/2022/0991
Application Type: Full Planning
Date Valid: 6/12/2022
Location: 14 – 30 (even) Wallett Drive, Muxton, Telford, Shropshire, TF2 8SY
Proposal: Removal and replacement of 4no. chimneys
Decision: Full Granted
Decision Date: 20/1/2023
Muxton is a residential area in Telford, Shropshire, England. Telford is a large new town in Shropshire that was designated in the 1960s, encompassing older towns such as Wellington, Madeley, Dawley, and others.
Muxton is one of the newer residential areas and has seen significant development over the years. It's situated to the north of Telford, close to the town of Shifnal and the M5,
4 motorway, making it accessible for commuters.
This planing application is for the removal and replacement of 4no. chimneys. The existing chimneys are to be removed and replaced whilst each being reduced in height by 0.25m. They are being constructed of materials matching the existing. The Local Planning Authority considers that the scale and design of the development is acceptable, would not harm the character of the property and would not detract from the street scene and therefore it is considered acceptable. Due to the scale and position of the proposals, officers consider that there will not be any detrimental impact on the amenity of any neighbouring residential property. During the consultation process, no objections have been received by internal consultees, neighbouring properties or the Parish Council As such, the proposal is considered to be compliant with the Development Plan and national planning policy guidance.
Case Study: 22/01664/F | Construction of replacement house, partial demolition of existing 1980s house, construction of replacement boathouse and new home office/gym, new access driveway and associated landscaping works | Heacham Hall 58 Hunstanton Road Heacham KINGS LYNN Norfolk PE31 7JS
The development is for a replacement dwelling in land outside of the development boundary and therefore countryside in planning terms. Such development is governed by Site Allocations and Development Management Policies Plan Policy DM5 which requires replacement dwellings to be of high quality that will preserve the character or appearance of the streetscene or area in which it sits. It goes on to say that schemes which fail to reflect the scale and character of their surroundings or which would be oppressive or adversely affect the amenity of the area of neighbouring properties will be refused.
In this regard it is the character of Heacham Park (the area in which the development sits) that requires the greatest consideration given that the new dwelling is separated from the Conservation Area by the Park itself and the distances between the location of the replacement dwelling and neighbouring properties suggests that the replacement dwelling would not affect the amenity of occupiers of them. Careful consideration has been given to the history of Heacham Hall and Heacham Park as well as landscape context, and the application has been accompanied by a Heritage Statement and Landscape Report. The Garden’s Trust, Historic England, the Historic Environment Service, Norfolk County Parks and Gardens Team and the Local Authority’s Conservation Team were all invited to comment on the application which itself followed detailed pre-app consultation with the majority of these bodies. In the main comments are positive and the Garden’s Trust has indicated that it would like to do a short piece on the scheme.
As is often the case there is some disagreement between parties, in this case the Conservation Officer and the applicant. Given the lack of objection from any other consultee to the proposed submitted information, materials and relocation of an existing but unused access originally associated with the dwelling, as well as the limited public views of the ancillary buildings and justification given to all these aspects, the LPA considers the proposal as submitted is acceptable in terms of its impact on the significance of the non-designated heritage assets as required by paragraph 203 of the NPPF and policies CS01, CS08, CS12 and DM15 of the Local Plan as well as policy 5 of Heacham Neighbourhood Plan.
The replacement dwelling is further away from neighbouring properties than the current dwelling and therefore it has to be concluded that any impacts from the replacement dwelling would not be material.
The annexe and other ancillary buildings likewise are in similar locations to existing buildings and therefore unlikely to result in any material neighbour impacts. No objections have been received from occupiers of neighbouring dwellings. The Community Safety and Neighbourhood Nuisance team have suggested that construction traffic should use the new access to reduce any impacts on occupiers of neighbouring dwellings. This solution would also mitigate the need for construction hours to be conditioned. The applicant has confirmed they accept this as an appropriate method of ensuring acceptable neighbour amenity during construction. As such the proposed access / splay conditions required by the Local Highway Authority will be altered to ensure these elements are provided prior to other elements of the development taking place.
The Local Highway Authority is satisfied that the new access is suitable and would not result in highway safety issues subject to conditions. Parking provision accords with current parking standards including those required by Heacham Neighbourhood Plan.
The vast majority of the site (excluding the south western area) falls within Long Wood, an Ancient Woodland, and there is a group TPO along the eastern boundary of the site (2/TPO/00002)
Notwithstanding this no interested parties (the Forestry Commission, Woodland Trust and the LA’s Arboricultural Officer) raise any objection to the proposed development on the basis of impacts on protected or veteran trees. However, it is clear that the new access runs in close proximity to some trees and it is necessary to ensure they are suitably considered and protected. Therefore, a suitable condition will be appended to any permission granted.
A Preliminary Ecological Appraisal (PEA) accompanied the application. The PEA concludes, at points 7.1 – 7.5, that:
• With the implementation of Reasonable Avoidance Measurements (RAMs) it is considered that the proposed development can be undertaken with a neutral impact upon all ecological features on site, with the exception of bats, great crested newts and otter, to which impacts are yet to be fully assessed
• The ecological impact of the proposals upon bats, great crested newts and otter cannot be determined until the recommended further Phase 2 surveys for these species are completed. A robust Ecological Impact assessment (EcIA) report should be provided upon completion of these further surveys to ensure that survey results and, if necessary, licensing and mitigation approaches, are appropriately documented and implemented in relation to these species
• With the implementation of the preliminary proposed enhancements and taking into account design consideration, habitats on site can be enhanced to benefit species known to be active either on site or in the local area. However, it should be caveated that these preliminary enhancements and design considerations may require modification, dependent upon the results of the further Phase 2 bat, great crested newt and otter surveys
• As there are multiple ecological issues upon the site, in order to support the construction workforce and ensure wildlife protection and biodiversity enhancement in the longer-term a CEMP is recommended for the site. This should be made a condition of any planning permission for the site
• The RAMs and preliminary enhancement measures proposed comply with the intentions of planning policies with regards to priority species and biodiversity by minimising impacts to biodiversity where possible and providing an opportunity for an ecological gain.
Other than in relation to bats (that are known to be present and therefore require a licence from Natural England (NE)) further surveys for great crested newts and otters, Reasonable Avoidance Measures (RAM) and preliminary enhancements in relation to birds, reptiles, badgers, hedgehogs and water voles will be required. This would be suitably conditioned if permission were granted.
The license required in relation to bats will establish the extent of the population and mitigation to minimise the risks as a result of the development. In this instance, where species are known to be present and a license will be required, there is no need for the LPA to condition any permission (as this would be covered by the license). However, the LPA is obligated to have regard to the requirements of the Habitats Directive in the determination of the planning application. To do this they must consider the three tests of derogation the results of which should indicate the likelihood of NE granted the requisite licenses:
The three tests are:
• Overriding Public Interest
• No Satisfactory Alternative
• Maintaining a Favourable Conservation Status
Taking each in turn:
Overriding Public Interest (OPI)
The OPI was derived from securing the survival of Heacham Park that will remain defined as the setting for the replacement dwelling that in itself is more sustainable than the existing dwelling (higher thermal performance, rainwater harvesting, ground source heat pumps, EV charging points) There could also be some local economic benefit associated with the building contractors and suppliers during the construction phase. Wuth the above in mind the Local Planning Authority granted planning permission.
Case Study: Upper House, Ironbridge Telford.
The decision to grant planning permission has been taken having regard to the policies and proposals in the Telford & Wrekin Local Plan 2011 - 2031 set out below, and to all relevant material considerations, including National and Supplementary Planning Guidance.
This application is for the removal of 1no Chimney at Upper House, Buildwas Road, Ironbridge.
The planning application was considered acceptable by the Local planning Authority, it is determined that the removal of the chimney will not harm the character and appearance of the application dwelling. It is considered that the proposal will preserve and enhance the character and appearance of the surrounding Severn Gorge Conservation Area and Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site. The works are respectful and respond positively to the context and the surrounding area. The proposal will cause no significant or detrimental harm upon the residential amenity of the occupants of any neighbouring properties, by way of nearness, loss of light or intrusion of privacy.
Following the formal consultation period, no objections have been received from statutory consultees. The Council’s Built Heritage Specialist were formally consulted, raising no objection to the works. No other comments or objections have been received from statutory consultees or neighbouring properties.
As such, the proposal is deemed to be compliant with the Development Plan, guidance contained within the National Planning Policy Framework and within Section 72 of the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990.
Case Study: Loft Conversion & Material Alterations to Form a 5-Bed Holiday Let at 31 Chichester Street, Chester, CH1 4AD.
With this dvelopment En-Plan worked with the contratcors and building control to ensure the followng points were incorporated into the development:
A1 Loading - Clarified details of proposals to support the existing chimney stack and gather, as the protruding masonry from the party wall line is not shown on the drawings.
A1 Loading - Provided details of new floor to form the second floor in the roof space, including justification or replacement of any lintels / beams over which the new floor will bear.
A1 Loading - Provided detail of ridge support and general triangulation of the roof, if existing ceiling ties are being removed.
B1 Means of warning and escape - Ensured that any locking mechanisms to all doors on the escape route are capable of being opened from the escape side without the use of a key or manipulating more than one device. Electronically or magnetically secured doors should meet the provisions of PD 7273-4, ie be linked to fail unlocked on activation of the fire alarm, loss of power, operation of the green break glass and has a manual release on the escape side(s).
B1 Means of warning and escape - The Standard to which fire detection and warning is to be installed should be BS 5839-1, not Part 6.
B2 Internal fire spread linings - Ensured all internal linings are assumed to be plasterboard with skim and painted. Please advise of any lining or treatments to be applied to any lining which does not meet the provisions of table 6.1 of Approved Document B volume 2.
B3 Internal fire spread structure - Ensured that any penetrations through fire-resisting elements are appropriately fire-stopped.
B3 Internal fire spread structure - Internal fire doors to the protected stair should be FD30s with self-closing devices, as per a purpose group 2b building, as noted in Approved Document B volume 2.
C2 Resistance to moisture - Ensured ventilation to the roof in accordance with BS 5250, ie ventilation at the ridge and eaves, due to the presence of an existing non-breathable felt.
F1 Means of ventilation - Provided details of mechanical ventilation to kitchen space. Please note extract ventilation to go to external air.
K2 Protection from falling - Please note that any opening created below 800mm from FFL will require guarding for containment. Where glazing is used as containment, details will be required in relation to the specification to meet the provisions of BS 6180, BS6399 ad BS EN 1991. Handrails and guarding at 75mm centres may also be used in these locations. It is recommended that any existing openings are restricted and the glazing suitably robust to ensure containment, where this presents danger from falling.
L1 Conservation of fuel and power - U values for controlled fittings (doors and windows) are amended by 2022 changes to the guidance. Please see Approved Document L volume 2 for threshold and target values for new fittings.
L1 Conservation of fuel and power - Provided details of the U values of thermal upgrades to floor, walls and roof in accordance with retained thermal elements in Approved Document L volume 2.
M1 Access to and use of buildings other than dwellings - Provided a suitable justification for not providing reasonable access for disabled persons into and throughout the building and facilities.
The fire authority Fire service were Consulted and had no further comments to make after the extensive work undertaken by En-Plan to produce a safe and efficeint development.
How we can help you with Property Maintenance Issues
We’ve had great experience in dealing with property maintenance and formulating works schedules and liaising with local contractors to ensure the work is done to standard in a timely fashion.