Dilemma: Planning permission dilemma vs start building

(17 Posts)
vivimimi Wed 29-Jul-20 16:31:19

Ours is a detached property, and we are planning to build a 4m rear single storey extension. I understand that 4m extension is under permitted development for detached houses. But then again we have to make an application to the council and that takes 6 weeks for planning approval followed by 2 weeks of Building regs approval.
So I’m confused, if 4m is permitted development then why 6 weeks approval timeframe.

We have just submitted the plans and have a long 6/8 weeks wait. I have builders at my house now who are doing internal jobs, I’d like them to start some of the extension works. The weather is good and also the builders are available. I fear if I ask them to take a break and come back after 6/8 weeks they may get another job and never come back.

I have checked with my neighbours and they don’t have any issues for us to start work. As long as I’m not making any structural changes, I should be okay, they said. So works like digging for foundation should be fine.

What kind of works can I continue to progress until I get the formal planning approval.

Anyone else faced similar situation, how have you handled. Any tips and advice.

OP’s posts: |
Rollercoaster1920 Wed 29-Jul-20 17:14:42

If within permitted development rules then you could start. But the issue is more about building regulations, also do you need a build over agreement for a shared / pubic sewer?

Assuming you already have plans and structural calculations / designs completed then get building regs either from the council or there are private accredited ones too (I think). See more here: www.gov.uk/building-regulations-approval

Sanch1 Wed 29-Jul-20 17:35:06

The builder can do the building regs application under a 'building notice' rather than you getting 'plans approval.' It means the builder liaises with the bc officer more often and they come out more at agree stages to agree things like foundations etc on site. Ask your builder to do this.

vivimimi Wed 29-Jul-20 20:36:34

@Rollercoaster1920 thats a great input. So are you saying whilst the 'building notice' application is still in progress, we can get building regs done before that either through council or private agency.

If that is possible then I would do that.

I was under the impression that the 'building notice' approval and building regs are in that order.

OP’s posts: |
vivimimi Wed 29-Jul-20 20:44:32

Thank you @Sanch1. I have hired an architect consultant to make the drawings, building notice application, he will liaise with the council.

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Sanch1 Wed 29-Jul-20 22:15:40

Building Notice and Building Regs are the same thing.

To get building regulation approval you either:

a) submit an application in advance by submitting detailed plans showing how you will comply, and get the approval in advance. 'Plans Approval.'

Or, as I said above

b) get the builder to do it under a 'building notice' where no plans are needed, it doesn't need to be done in advance, it's done as the build goes along.

Your architect probably didn't mention B as then he couldn't charge to for doing the building regs drawings and plans application.

vivimimi Fri 14-Aug-20 21:32:28

Bumping this thread.

We applied for planning recently and received validation letter. The letter says we will receive planning decision by 29/Sep (8 weeks).

I want to quicken the process due to financial reasons and complete the building works so that we can move in before winter months. Hence I want to save time, quicken the process, apply for BC immediately. But my agent (architect) is advising me to wait until the planning decision comes. My agent saying, if for any reason the planning application is rejected, then there will be double cost for us to reapply planning (redo drawings, change calculations) and building application again.

Additionally I have received ’No Objection’ letters from both (left and right) my neighbours regarding the proposed project. I don’t see any reason the planning permission will not be granted, as it is a simple house extension and within permitted development and no objection from neighbours.

I personally feel my agent is taking me for a ride or probably overly cautious.

I’m confused.

I’m ready to take calculated risk, however at this moment I’m not sure what is the likelihood of planning acceptance (my gut says 99% chance of acceptance).

Should I take matters in my hand and insist the agent to make the BC application immediately.

Any thoughts here.

OP’s posts: |


vivimimi Sat 15-Aug-20 06:53:15

Any thoughts to the dilemma above pls. Bumping thread again !!!

OP’s posts: |
Jaffajiffy Sat 15-Aug-20 07:01:05

If neighbours are fine, I’d go ahead.
Also, use a private company for building regs - don’t use the council for anything you don’t have to. Give one of them a call for advice.
We did a whole renovation to a mid-terraced house and did a lot before actually planning permission came through.

johnd2 Sat 15-Aug-20 11:12:05

Digging foundations is structural work, you have to give notice under the party wall act with plans before you start digging, if you are going to dig deeper than the neighbour's foundations and within 3m.
Also once you start digging you need to get them filled with concrete asap to avoid ground movement.
If your builder is telling you Foundation digging can be done as non structural work i would get a new builder!

Seeline Sat 15-Aug-20 11:24:24

What have you actually applied for under the planning legislation?

If something is pd, the Council won't accept an application for planning permission. Is it for Prior Approval, or is it a Certificate of Lawfulness?

There are some instances where of doesn't apply, and pp will be required which maybe why your architect submitted an application.

Depending on which of the above applies, the decision to build without a council decision will be different.

Marieg10 Sat 15-Aug-20 13:53:00

First of all...architect advised my neighbour she could build under permitted development. Applied for a certificate of PD and it came back planning permission required so start again...it's that sodding complex..

@Jaffajiffy contrary to what Jaffmsays...I would definitely NOT use a private building inspector. There is a reason why some builders prefer them and being slacker on standards is one

vivimimi Sat 15-Aug-20 16:48:39

We have applied for Prior Approval; Ours is Detached house, we don't have party wall, shared foundation with either neighbours within 3m.

Ours is a simple project "Erection of single storey rear (4m) and first floor side extension". Ours is a close with 12 houses and all have got same work done, except ours, which we are now getting done.

OP’s posts: |
Seeline Sat 15-Aug-20 18:05:51

I'm not sure why you have applied for prior approval. A 4m rear single storey extension could be permitted development subject to meeting other criteria, so a Certificate of Lawfulness could be applied for to make sure. Only if the extension exceeded 4m would prior approval he required.

A first floor side extension will nearly always require planning permission so a full application would be necessary.

I wouldn't be building anything until you are sure of the exact situation.

Jaffajiffy Sat 15-Aug-20 20:53:45

@marieg10 I can absolutely see why you’d say that. Our experience was that the company came and insisted on changes. They weren’t in the builders’ pocket. It’s the difference between getting someone to answer the phone or being blanked until the last second. They were responsive and I was happy they were involved.

Marieg10 Sun 16-Aug-20 06:05:49

My neighbours was detached and under 4 metres....I think when it's that complex that architects get it wrong then I wouldn't risk it.

The architect was gobsmacked when it came back full planning and pointed out for the little cost and difference in time they would now advise a client to go for planning straight off if there was a time constraint. Fortunately for my neighbour there wasn't.

@Jaffajiffy Yes ..not saying all private inspectors are poor...but I know from a friend who is an architect that there are many that tend to work with the same builders all the time and are unduly "flexible"

WoolyMammoth55 Sun 16-Aug-20 11:14:43

Hi OP, I'd suggest you get a second opinion to be honest. Can you speak to a chartered surveyor or similar to see if your architect is being unduly cautious or is correct?

I am no expert but I think that the side extension means your project likely doesn't fall under PD. If you do need full planning then best to hold your horses and wait until next spring. It's a very costly mistake if it doesn't work out!

@Jaffajiffy I also (respectfully!) disagree with your point about private building inspectors. We're in the midst of dealing with Somerset Building Control and they've been excellent - entirely responsive, emails always returned promptly and phone always answered. Like @Marieg10 I was advised by a good friend who is RICS- registered that the council would be more thorough than private and hold the contractors to a higher standard - that builders like to encourage you to use their private mates, but the council are better for ensuring a quality end result.

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