Clients will often ask ‘do I need planning permission?’ The answer is dependent on a large range of factors. Is the building listed? Do your requirements comprise ‘development’ or change of use? The location of your property – is it in a National Park or Site of Special Scientific Interest? Are there any planning restrictions in your area? Applying for planning consent is a complicated process and one which at its quickest can take eight weeks, but normally is significantly longer.
With some of our projects we are only employed to achieve planning permission, this may be if a client is hoping to sell their house or site. Planning Permission will significantly increase the sales value of a property.
The depth of research is extensive
As an RIBA Chartered Practice we do much more than simply ‘knock out drawings’. When we are approached by a new client there is significant background research and analysis is carried out for the project. On appointment we will consider the site:
What is the planning history?
What is the village plan for the area?
What is the local plan of the relevant local authority
What are the current national policies in relation to the site?
Have there been recent relevant appeals which can provide a basis for developing policy?
Additionally, we will look at permitted development rights. Finally, we will need to ascertain if there are any restrictions on the site. Once all this research is undertaken we then move on to consider the client’s requirements and what they are hoping to achieve with their budget.
Ancillary reports and surveys
In addition to the above research there are now quite onerous reports which also need to be commissioned to support a planning application. These could include a Landscape Impact Assessment, Ecological surveys (bats, newts etc.), Heritage Impact Assessment, Transport Report, Dark Skies Lighting Assessment. Where necessary we work alongside specialist consultants to commission the reports required at the correct time. Clients are often baffled at the amount of work which needs to be commissioned to simply seek approval to build an extension onto their listed house.
James has completed 60 homes over 20 years, including conversions, extensions, refurbishment and new builds in both urban and rural settings. The planning process has become more complicated over this time.
If you are considering building work on your home or looking to buy a property with a view to carrying out improvements and undertaking building work it is worth talking to an architect before you go ahead with your purchase to avoid disappointment.
JWA is a dedicated team of architects working with James Wells. Based in West Sussex we design for new build homes, extensions, barn conversions and orchestrate plans for historically important listed buildings to work in the 21st Century. Our sister practice James Wells Commercial handles design for commercial projects including hotels, bars, restaurants and offices.
We handle projects with a construction value of £400K upwards.