FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We have a good working relationship with Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, Vale of White Horse, Cotswolds District Council, Cheltenham Borough Council and Stroud District Council. We welcome all other councils however a majority of our works are within these regions.
A householder planning application costs £192 to process.
Once the planning application is submitted, you will receive an application reference number and details of how to pay for the planning application.
If you have paid the application fee, we will receive an acknowledgement letter from the council that the planning application is registered, which planning officer is dealing with the application and when to expect a decision. This letter will either will be sent either by email or in the post. Once we have received the letter we will forward a copy to you in due course.
As we are not responsible to pay for the planning application. You do not need to inform us once the application is paid as we will receive an acknowledgement letter in due course.
Once the planning application is lodged, the process will take 6-8 weeks for the application to be determined by the council as various internal departments have to be consulted on the application. As the process is out of our hands, the application will take considerable time therefore it is recommended to wait and see what develops from the planning application. If any comments are raised by the Planning Officer, we will bring this to your attention.
If we have not received an acknowledgement letter from the council within 7 working days, there is a very strong chance that the council may have a backlog of applications to be registered or payment has not been made to process the planning application.
Do not worry, this is usually a good thing as the council has not raised any issues with the planning application. If we hear anything regarding the application, we will inform you (the client) immediately.
It is not recommended to contact the council as we act as your agent dealing with the Planning Application. If any discussion has been made without our knowledge, the process can become more difficult to determine what has been discussed between parties and could incur additional costs to resolve issues.
It is normal for the planning officer to arrange a site visit the property associated with the planning application. They will walk round the site with the drawings to see whether the proposed works will affect the neighbours, the character of the area, trees, etc. They may comment on the application, may raise any concerns or even say there are no issues with the planning application, however they will not issue a decision on the day as this will be formulised back at the council.
No, you do not need to be present during the site visit. The planning officer will take the planning application drawings, take photos and walk round the area to justifiy their reasoning to approve or refuse the planning application.
It is not uncommon that some clients will talk to the planning officer about changes to the scheme, and its the planning officers duty to answer any questions associated with the planning application. However, as we are acting as your agent, we need to be aware of these changes first before discussing these with the planning officer as it will add confusion to the planning application which could incur a delay and further fees.
No you do not need to attend. The Parish Council hold a weekly meeting to review current planning applications from the Council to express their views whether they support or object to the proposals. If they have an objection, they will submit their comments back to the planning officer and these will be published online.
If the Parish Council object to the proposals, the planning officer will review their comments to see whether it has any substantial weight towards determining the planning decision. If there is no evidence to back their objection, the planning officer can oversee the Parish Councils objection.
From time to time, a objection will arise from a neighbour or resident that are not in favour of the proposal. There is no need to worry as the planning officer involved will read their point of view and see whether their comments have any substantial weight towards determining the planning application. If so, the planning officer will bring this to our attention with a possibility to amend the scheme with further drawings.
If the changes are internal and do not affect the exterior of the property, then there is no need to submit another application. If the changes involve moving positions of external walls, repositioning of windows or creating a larger extension, this would involve another application.
We estimate between 3 - 5 months before your builder can start on site. This estimate is based on 2 - 5 weeks designing in preparation for a planning application, 8 weeks consultation period with the local authority and 2 - 5 weeks compiling a building regulation and construction package. If the design is complex and third parties are involved, then the process could take longer.
If you have gained planning permission, you do not need to carry out the works in one go. Many clients do not have all the necessary funds to carry out the works in one go therefore you are entitled to carry works in phases. An example would be to carry out a two storey extension first and build the single storey rear extension when the funds are in the place.
There is the option of progressing the project for building regulations and construction purposes, however carrying out the work would be at risk as planning permission has not been granted by the council.
If there are any changes to be made to the drawings submitted as part of the planning application, we need to be aware of these as soon as possible. This is because once a planning application is lodged, the planning application will be consulted to neighbours, parish and various departments within council. If the changes to the drawings are not made in good time, the council can request an extension of time to reconsult the planning application.
If you decide against an extension of time, the council can approve or refuse the application on reasonable grounds for not reconsulting the necessary parties. We always ask for your permission before agreeing an extension of time with the planning officer, who will revise their decision date to determine the planning application.
The Planning officer dealing with the submitted planning application has the delegated power of authority to make a decision based on the criteria submitted. This proceedure is very common with simple planning applications such as a household extension.
A Planning Committee is made of local councillors that determine a small number of planning applications. It is in the public interest of the council to have these arrangements in place to ensure there are no significant planning issues in the local area and wider context. If the planning application is complex or hold a great concern for the area, one of the councillors could request the planning application be brought forward infront of the planning committee. The planning officer involved with the planning application will recommend a decision to the planning committee, however the final decision will be a vote from the local councillors.
No, we do not need to visit the property again as we took all the measurements and photographs from our initial measured building survey.
If the planning application is approved, it is likely that there will be planning conditions attached to the planning permission. These usually consist of a requirement to obtain local authority approval such as materials samples, drainage design, vehicle manoeuvring to just name a few. The council will request further information to be submitted in order to comply with that planning condition.
A vast majority of household extensions will receive a few planning conditions but these is standard with any planning permission.
The main three planning conditions involved with household extensions is to begin development with in three years, work in accordance with the drawings submitted with the planning application and to ensure that you use external facing materials that match and correspond with the existing building.
No, these planning conditions are in your interest to make sure you comply with them. If for any reason that you do not comply with them, whether the design has changed from the original planning drawings, using materials that do not match with the existing property or not starting with in three years, the council can take further action.
Planning permission lasts for three years from the date the decision is made. If you start building with in the three year period, you have triggered the planning permisson and therefore there is no time limit to complete the build.