Don’t worry about planning permission

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People often have an irrational fear of the planning consent process but with a professional architect to guide you through you shouldn’t be concerned.

Achieving planning permission for an extension, conversion or other work to a property does not have to be a complicated business.

Many of my clients voice their concerns about this at our first meeting and I do everything I can to reassure them.

Firstly, not every project requires planning consent – and Howie Architects can certainly advise on this.

It depends on factors such as the size, height, location, design and possible use of the building.

Local authorities are also able to offer more information on the possible requirements for the work you wish to carry out.

If full planning consent is not a necessity, we do advise our clients to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate – but, again, this is something we can help with.

The process of applying for full planning permission is usually straightforward and quick.

If there are any possibly contentious issues we liaise with the developers in advance and follow their guidance as to what may or may not be permitted.

This means the likelihood of planning consent being refused is very, very low.

We then submit our designs to the authority which then has a period of eight weeks to consider them.

You can track progress on-line and view any objections and comments from your neighbours, the highway authority and any other interested parties.

A case officer will visit the site but, again, your architect can be on hand to oversee this, and if changes are required there will be an opportunity to make them.

These might be anything from neighbours being worried about loss of light or privacy or perhaps an insensitivity of scale or use of materials within the building.

Your architect will have been aware of all these possible concerns, however, and should have addressed them in the designs.

Occasionally, if there are several concerns, your application may go to committee, but, again, this happens very, very rarely.

In the highly unlikely scenario of having your plans rejected, they can always be amended and resubmitted.

However, achieving planning permission is usually extremely smooth, allowing you to get started on your building work as soon as possible.

It is our job to oversee the process on your behalf and this is something we do on a daily basis.