We work closely with clients on new build projects, taking time to understand requirements and communicate clearly from the planning stage through to final completion and sign-off. Attention to requirements is key to exceeding expectations and we take great pride in the level of advice and assistance we provide.
Choosing an architect
Qualified architects can also take on a project management role throughout the design, planning and build process and this may provide some clients with additional piece of mind with regards, costs and materials etc. They are particularly important when it comes to understanding difficult issues concerning planning permission and any local authority regulation regarding structural modifications. The Dales Development approach is to discuss ideas for the project with prospective clients before recommending an architect that we have worked with previously.
Planning Permission in Brief
New builds almost always require planning permission and in many cases extensions and conversions require planning permission before work can start. Smaller structural alteration may not need planning permission though may require Building Control approaval (See Below). In short, local authority planning aims to manage the way urban and rural properties are developed, with a focus on land usage, building appearance, access and the environmental impact. As a rule of thumb, planning permission is required if:
- A proposed extension/conversion is higher than the existing roof
- The ground area covered by the proposed extension covers more than half of the total property area (excluding ground covered by the original building)
- The total volume of original property is increased by more than 115 cubic metres (volume is calculated using the external dimensions of the structure: length x breadth x height)
The Planning Process
Architectural plans submitted to a local authority are placed on the planning register. Your neighbours will be notified and the plans are available for public viewing. Following an average period of about eight weeks the local council appointed planning committee will make a decision whether to accept or deny your application based on factors such as design, size and feedback from neighbours and the public. When planning permission is granted, your planned building works must be completed within five years. If planning permission is denied, amended plans that tackle issues raised by the committee can be resubmitted within 12 months.
Going ahead on projects without proper planning permission, or radically altering the build can prove very costly as local authorities have the power to levy fines against offenders and in the worst scenario make you demolish new building work.
The links below provide further information about planning, and it is worth getting to know your local authority rules. We can generally help with this or, if necessary, recommend an architect or planning professional.
Building Regulations and Compliance
Different to planning permission, compliance with Government Building Regulations is important for both safety and if you come to sell your home. Some smaller alterations such as porches, conservatories, small garages and extensions may not require Building Control but larger conversions and extensions almost always do.
We help clients by ensuring that all work meets British Building Regulations and that any inspections required are completed. We can also help with building regulation submissions to local authorities and liaise with Building control surveyors during site inspections. In more complex cases we may recommend involving an architect, structural engineer or planning professional to draft the submission. Building control inspections are made to ensure that key aspects of the work are carried out to standard and a final “completion” inspection is made before a certificate of completion can be issued.