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Ten Things You need to know about the Town Planning System

by Ian Butter

The British town planning system is a complex beasty at the best of times, but if you are considering development proposals or changing the use of land or buildings you may need to bear in mind one or more of the following key elements:

1    Check to see if you need planning permission. You may not!
•    Does your existing permission already allow your intended use? It’s always     worth checking
•    Is there an outstanding consent that can be implemented
•    There are certain Permitted Development Rights available for minor activities and land uses
•    There are also specific Use Classes for development between which you can change without the need for planning permission

2    Development in the Green Belt is rarely allowed.
•    Very special circumstances have to be argued
•    Generally avoid high environmental and ecological areas (SSSI’s, AONB etc)

3    Always arrange a Pre-application meeting with the Council
•    It can save you a huge amount of time and money

4    Work through the Validation Checklist and make sure you have all the  relevant information.
•    There is nothing worse than putting your application in and then finding     you need to submit more information; that you don’t have!

5    Statutory Planning Fees are chargeable, based on area and/or type of     application

•    Careful attention to the exact application boundary can save money
•    Householder applications are separate and generally cheaper

6    Development related to Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas will normally require additional permissions

7    Securing your planning permission is just the start. Make sure you satisfy all the conditions (and don’t forget Building Regulations either)

8    Advertisement Consent may be required for both illuminated and non-    illuminated signs etc
•    The regulations are complex and you will need to take care in erecting signs without permission

9    Local Authorities have extensive Enforcement powers. They can and do take action against unlawful development.

•    But always check to see if you can obtain a Lawful Development Certificate     for works or uses that meet the relevant time limits

10    Do your research, take advice, ensure you have all the information required and allow plenty of time.
•    You can rush planning but all that tends to happen is that you receive a refusal and have to start all over again

Next Time: Making Applications via the Planning Portal

Planning information supplied by Ian Butter FRICS MRTPI
From: The Rural and Urban Planning Consultancy

twitter:         @THEPLANNERMAN

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2 Responses to “Ten Things You need to know about the Town Planning System”

  1. Sam says:

    Great overview of the system in plain English! Thanks

  2. FourEd says:

    This is very good advice. I’m sure that many people do consider many of these things when looking to develop a property. Thank you for the clear advice.

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