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Planning applications - exploding the myths surrounding planning


Submitting planning applications and gaining planning permission can be a minefield, not least for all the paperwork and time involved, but also because there are plenty of confusing misconceptions revolving around the issue.


We’ve uncovered some of the most common myths regarding planning to reveal all you need to know for your planning application:


“I’ll get planning permission because my neighbour did something similar”


Every planning application is reviewed in isolation, as each application has its own set of specific considerations. Policies can change, so just because a neighbour did or didn’t get planning permission before doesn’t always guarantee that you will receive the same outcome.


“I’ve altered my property before, they won’t let me do it again”


Each application is judged on its own merits, independent of any work which has been done to the same property before. So, whether you have previously gained planning permission to convert the loft space and now want to build an extension on the property, it should not make much difference to your new application. However, the accumulative effective of past works is likely be a considering factor.

“I need to make changes to the plan but the application has already been submitted”


If you find you need to make any alterations to the design or application, this can be easily withdrawn and then resubmitted for free. It is always best to make any changes at the submission stage, rather than once permission has already been granted, as this will require a whole new application. Substitute information/drawings can also be submitted as part of the original application, before using the “free second go”.


“Planning permission won’t go ahead because people have objected”


Although objections by any neighbouring premises are collated with a new planning submission, these are not the be-all-end-all for an application and they will not be the sole factor impacting on the final decision.


“You can’t submit planning applications for the same place more than a few times”


You can submit any number of planning applications, there is no limit.


“If planning permission fails it will create a black mark against my property which will cause issues in the future”


The biggest planning myth of all, the fabled ‘black mark’ does not really exist. If your planning application is refused there won’t be any impact on your property, you can make any changes and resubmit an application if you wish. If there has been a refusal on a property you can be confident that any case officers reviewing later applications will review the original case officer’s report and refer back to it for any future application.


“My application has got planning permission! Time to start the build!”


Depending on where you are based, there may be aesthetic conditions which your new development must meet. For instance, it may be a certain type of brick or tile must be used to be in keeping with the surrounding area. These need to be checked before the build can go ahead. Known as “pre-commencement” conditions, these must be fully discharged before work commences on site.


“I can make changes to the design once construction starts”


If a build deviates from the original design, then the construction no longer has planning permission. Any proposed changes will need to be resubmitted to the council for approval before any work can go ahead. There are a number of routes to achieve this, depending on the significance and impact of the changes made.


“My application didn’t get permission so now it never will!”


Having a planning application refused is not the end of the world. Sometimes this can be helpful to the design process as it identifies what is and was not acceptable in your first application. Resolving these issues and resubmitting the application may take you one step closer to gaining planning permission.


At NWD Architects, we can provide a comprehensive service covering all stages of a construction project from inception to completion, including planning applications. Contact us to find out more.


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