Getting Permission for Home Improvements

When it comes to getting work done on your home, you should always check whether you need to be given any permission or approval before making any changes.

Buildings Regulation Approval

You may need to be granted buildings regulation approval for changes to your home, even just for things like installing heating or extra radiators, or replacing any windows or doors.

You don’t need to get approval for all projects, as some things are exempt, such as the majority of repair work.

If you’re unsure whether you need approval for any projects you have planned, you can check with a building control body who can give you more information.

Alternatively, you can hire a contractor who is registered with a competent person scheme to carry out the work needed. In this instance, you won’t have to apply for buildings regulation approval as the tradesperson will self-certify that their work complies with building standards and will let your local authority know about any work they are doing on your behalf where needed. You can find a Competent Person by clicking here.

Planning Permission

If you are carrying out a bigger project where you are building something new or adding an extension to your property, you will usually need planning permission. To apply for planning permission you should contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA) via your local council.

Although this may feel like an inconvenience, if you decide to ignore these rules and go ahead with any changes without the required planning permission, you may be served an enforcement notice. This orders you to undo any unauthorised changes you have already made, which can end up both time-consuming and costly.

Not all changes will require planning permission, such as most conservatories and loft conversions. If you’re unsure whether your changes will need planning permission, you can check with your LPA.

You may wish to contact your LPA in any case before getting started on the planning permission application process; they can give you an indication as to whether your application is likely to be accepted and advise any changes you can make before sending your application which make it more likely to be approved.

Your local authority may ask for different types of surveys in order to grant you with planning permission (such as tree surveys, ecological surveys and arboricultural surveys). Therefore, you may also wish to hire a surveyor to help you apply for planning permission.

To find out more about planning permission in your area and what developments you may be able to carry out to your home, you can use the Planning Portal’s free guide.

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