After our initial survey, together with your brief we will produce a first draft of our proposal. Firstly with your rquirements in mind, but with an "eye" on the Planning rules that particularly apply in your situation.

After the final design has been prepared and agreed the next stage will be to apply for Planning Permission.

The law that governs Planning is quite complex, but in principle is easy to understand. It basically gives a very broad all encompasing definition of development. And then states that all development needs consent.

Now if it just stopped there, Planning Permission would be needed literally for everything from a hole in the ground to bean pole in the garden.

The next thing the Government did was to exempt certain minor works form the need to apply for Planning Permission by regulations. What these document effectively did was to grant Planning Permission by comlying with them.

These documents are the General and Special Development Orders and a brief interpretted extract is shown on this page.

These regulations have been effectionately named your "Permitted Development Rights". So far so good.

However, some newer, especially high density estates have had their Permitted Development rights removed by Planning Condition attached to the original development.

Elvetham Heath for example has large parts of the development where some or sometimes all of their Permiitted Development rights have been removed.

The reason for this, amonst others, was the original design was already very dense with limited off street car parking.

Therefore, if a high proportion were to exercise their rights, and say convert their garages into dining rooms the resultant off street parking may resut in large vehicle movements being restricted.

So, to sum up. Permitted Development generally removes the necessity for full Planning Permission, but not always. The answer to the whether the property has or has not Permitted Development rights will be found in the original Planning Consent for the building or development. Remember, it must be specifically removed by condition.


Single Storey Front Extension

Pre Planning Advice

There are two situations where adopting this approach would be prudent. Firstly, in the event that your proposal falls outside the adopted policies of the Local Planning Authority. Secondly, although we may be sure your proposal is within your "Permitted Development rights",we may not be sure if your rights have been removed by Planning Condition on the original consent.

In either of these cases we may need enter into discussions with the Local Planning Authority by requesting "Pre Planning Advice".

Click here to view Planning Considerations

Size and Shape of the building or extension

Front and side extensions are more carefully controlled that rear extension for this criteria. Extensions shouls be in scale and sympathy to the dwelling and the surrounding area.

Two storey and side extensions generally must be either set back from the orginal dwelling to appear subserviant.

If the extension is flush with the dwelling it must balance the dwelling as a whole whick may require additional features such as feature roofs and porch extensions.

Two srorey side extensions should if possible be 1m from the bounday, this is to prevent a terracing effect. This also helps to maintain the demarcation between properties without the tendency for the properties to merge into a single mass.

Some Authorities will allow one side of the semi detached property to extend two storey onto the boundary. However, this means that the other side can only extend single storey. Using this policy the separaton is provided at first floor level.

External Appearance

The shape of the roof is a key factor on both appearance and neighbour impact.

Most of the time a balance between the two is necessary to ensure the extension is pleasing to the eye, but does not through its size overburden the neighbouring property.

Choice of external materials are generally to match the existing. However , with the careful use of more modern materials a pleasing appearance can be achieved.

Size and Position of Windows

WIndows to the front of the property must be in scale and propportion to the existing extension and the original building.

Windows to the rear of the property are less controlled. The large fashionable bi fold doors to the rear of the property are acceptable providing they dont effect the stability and thermal efficiency of the building or extension. These are both Building Regulation issues but if a considerable amount of glazing is proposed it should be considered at this stage as there could be cost implications to ensure overal stability and a reasonable heat loss.

Siide windows facing neighbouring properties should be avoided where possible or restricted to non habitable rooms and fitted with obsquere glazing.

Side windows serving habitable rooms of your neighbour facing your property can be a problem and in certain circumstances prevent development of that side of the house. Each case is different and if this is your situation it must be considered before plans are formalised.

Proximity to Protected Trees

Trees with protection orders are common. If you have a large tree or smaller rarer trees that are in good condition it is always best to check with the Local Authority if the tree is subject to an order. Sometimes the Council will blanket protect a group of trees. This practice was supposed to be an emergency measure to allow the Council time to survey each tree and designate accordingly but they never got round to it.

Having a protected tree within your or your neighbours property may not be a problem. If the extension is outside 12 times the diametre of the trunk this space will be adequate space to prevent damage.

If your proposal is within the specified distance the Council will require the engagement of an Arborilculturist to ensure the tree is not harmed by the proposed building work. This generally requires a special foundation.

Conservation Area and Listed Buildings.

If your property is located within a conservation area further controls are imposed on the external design. Materials must, as a general rule, closely match the existing. This may requires the re use of existing and second hand materials. The design must be of a high standard and reflect the period.

There is a greater control of trees and hedges, for all intensive purposes they are treated as protected.

Off Road Car Parking

Off-street car parking is a planning consideration taken into account when an application is made. The amount of car parking spaces is determined in relation to the amount of bedrooms the property will have, as extended. Therefore as a general rule, ground floor extensions will not affect this issue unless it occupies any space that was originally dedicated to car parking (i.e front or side extensions). Two storey and first floor extensions will normally be affected by this policy. If you are extending a three bedroom property to four bedrooms, an additional car parking space will generally be required. The policies vary between Authorities, but usually follow a general pattern.

Flood Zones

The Environment Agency have designated area within the country in relation to the severity of the flood risk. In the event of your property being located within a flood zone 2 or 3 it will need a report that we will carry out for £50+vat on your original quote.

It basically identifies where the flood risk is coming from and how we intend to construct your extension. We tend to design the extension to be flood resilient, which means if your extension floods the types of materials used will dry out quicker than most. It is pointless designing to flood resistant standards if the existing dwelling has no flood defence.

Small Dewllings

Small dwellings in the countryside are sometimes difficult to extend, depending upon the policy of the Local Authority. The definition of a small dwelling differs from Authority to Authority, in fact, some Councils do not have a policy at all, but if they do they are generally about 85m2. Common reasons for this are to retain the character of the countryside and living accommodation for people who work in the countryside. An extension can reduce the skylight, sunlight and solar radiation to a neighbouring property. If this is suspected to an unacceptable standard, calculations can be carried out in accordance with an authoritative document to provide a definitive answer.

Click here to view our Aproximate Pricing Structure

Extension Single storey Two Storey Alterations
Planning Plans £500 £800 small alterations included
Building Regulations Plan, including incidental structural calculations, but not large structural openings. £400 £500 small alterations included
Preparation of structural calculations only

£200 + £30 per additional beam
Garage Conversion Planning (LDC or Planning) £400 NA NA
Garage Conversion Building Regulations £300 NA NA
Calculations for large structural opening requiring box or portal frame
Site supervision £600 £1000 £300
Project management NA NA NA
Objecting to Planning Application POA POA NA

Notes to remember:

  • These prices are for guidance only (to get you in the right field)
  • They have been priced individually multiple work will be discounted
  • We generally get get a first draft to you within 2 weeks of survey
  • These are our fees alone, if consultants are required (see Planning Considerations) these will be engaged by the client.
  • All our fees are subject to VAT at the standard rate.

Notes regarding Pricing:

  • Very simple projects will be priced over the phone using information provided by yourselfs.
  • Although we are prepared to fix our quote, if the Council requires additional consultation this will be charged at cost.
  • All work will be provided in electronic format, hard copies will be charged for, together with postage.

Extra Plus Package includes:

  • Consultation
  • Survey
  • Preparation of Scheme Level Drawing and Detail Level Drawings using industry standard CAD and Structural Analysing Software to attain necessary Permissions from the Local Authority
  • Unlimited amendments to drawings, as required to attain approvals
  • Depositing of plan drawings to Local Authority and administration associated with the gaining approval
  • Project Management
  • Site Supervision throughout the whole process
  • 1 copy of printed A1 size plan drawings

Full Planning Permission or Permitted Development?

Subject to issues that relate to Permitted Development Rights that are explained over, by the time a Planning Application is necessary we will know whether to apply for Planning Permission of a Lawful Development Certificate.

A Lawful Development Certificate is the consent we apply for in the event we consider the project "Permitted Development". The reason we will always obtain this certificate on your behalf is to protect you from any unecessary delays when you come to sell your property. This ensures that when you hand your documentation over to your Solicitor, all your ducks are in a line and there are no last minute problems that could loose or delay your sale.

So in simplistic terms if your proposal is Permitted Development we apply for a "Lawful Development Certificate", if not we apply for "Planning Permission"

If Planning Permission is required it will be judged against the Councils Planning Policies that a relevant to your proposals. These policies are relatively consistant thoughout the Country with the emphasis varying depending upon location.

Click on the link below "to show Planning Considerations" to give you a brief indication of what your Planning Application will be judged against.

Set out below is a brief simplistic list of the type of work that is Permitted Development and would require the benefit of a Lawful Development Certifcate.

  1. No more than half of the land surrounding the original house should be covered by additions or other buildings
  2. Your extension should not be higher than the highest part of your property's roof
  3. If your extension is to be built at the rear and is one storey high, it must have a maximum depth of 3m for an attached house and 4m for a detached house (Measure the depth from the rear wall of your property)
  4. The maximum height of your extension at the rear should be 4m
  5. If you are planning to build an extension of more than one storey, the maximum depth to go for is 3m from the rear wall of the property and including the ground floor
  6. The maximum eaves height of your extension should be 3m when it's built, and within 2m of your property's boundary
  7. The maximum eaves and ridge height of your extension should be no higher than your existing property
  8. If you wish to build a single storey side extension without planning permission you need to opt for a maximum height of 4m and with a width of no more than half that of your existing property
  9. Any two-storey extension should reach no further than 7m to the rear boundary of your property
  10. The roof pitch on any extension higher than one storey, should match the pitch of your existing home
  11. Opt for an extension built with similar materials and a similar appearance to your existing home
  12. The extension should not have any verandas, balconies or raised platforms
  13. If you are building in upper floor or side-facing windows, they should be obscure-glazed and any opening of this kind should be 1.7m above the floor
case study: Roof re-design of Ford Lane

This property had been converted in the 70’s to look like a house from the front, and a bungalow from the rear. Our design involved removing the existing low pitched roof and replacing it with a traditional plain tile roof with a room located within. The garage was converted into living space and a detached garage was constructed. The result – a very desirable, attractive and modern property.

new front view

new front view

original rear view

original rear view

original rear view

new rear view

original rear view

original front view

original rear view

drawing plan of Ford Lane
(click image for larger view)