How to Prevent Planning Permission Refusal

  • 20-10-23
  • min read
  • Blog
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Planning permission is an essential part of any building project, particularly when extending your home. If you’re planning to build an extension, you’ll need to obtain planning permission from local planning authority before starting work. But if the local planning authority refuses your application, what are the next steps? In this article, we discuss how to prevent these issues during the design and planning phase. We also look at what actions to take if planning permission is refused. However, each case is unique, and the local planning authority will consider a range of factors before making a decision.

Non-Compliance with Planning Policy

It is important to research the local planning policy and guidelines to ensure compliance before starting the design process. This will help to ensure the proposed extension meets all relevant requirements and procedures. Your architect should have experience with local planning policy and can advise on the best approach. In addition, it’s important to engage with authorities early in the design process to get their input on the proposed extension.

For example, an architect can help prevent height restrictions by designing an extension in proportion with the surrounding buildings. This may involve reducing the height of the proposed extension or altering the roofline. This will ensure it is in keeping with the surrounding buildings. Architect’s can also alter the extension’s footprint to create a setback from the street or neighbouring properties.

Impact on the Area’s Character

It is important to consider the design and materials used to prevent an extension from having a negative impact. The extension should be sympathetic to the existing architecture and surrounding area. They can advise on the most appropriate materials and finishes based on the local architecture. For example, the extension should use brick if the surrounding buildings are made of brick.

It is also important to consider the scale of the extension and ensure that it does not overpower existing buildings. Architects can design an extension in proportion to the surrounding buildings. This may involve altering the size and shape of the extension, so it complements the existing buildings in the area. An architect can advise on the best location for the extension to ensure it doesn’t dominate the surrounding properties.

Overlooking & Loss of Light

To prevent your extension overlooking the neighbour’s property and impacting their privacy, consider the proximity and height of the extension. An architect can help avoid this issue by designing an extension that considers the privacy concerns of neighbouring properties. The design should also ensure that the neighbours’ natural light is not excessively impacted. This may involve adjusting the size and placement of windows or including additional features such as privacy glass.

Parking and Traffic Issues

Addressing parking and traffic flow concerns early in the planning process can increase the chances of obtaining planning permission. The extension should not result in a significant increase in parking demand or negatively impact traffic flow. However, it may be necessary to provide additional parking or make changes to the design to mitigate any potential issues.

Conservation Areas & Listed Buildings

UK planning law protects conservation areas and listed buildings. This means any development proposal within or affecting them will undergo additional scrutiny. It is crucial to consider the property’s heritage value and its surroundings during the design and planning phase. This will help to ensure that the proposed extension meets the required standards.

If a property is in a conservation area, an architect must carefully consider the impact of the proposed extension. This may involve using materials that are sympathetic to the existing buildings and construction methods that are in keeping with the original design or local architecture. It may also require a more subtle approach to the design, with consideration given to the scale, massing, and detailing of the proposed extension.

In both cases, working with an architect can be invaluable in navigating the complexities of planning law and designing a practical and visually appealing extension. In addition, an architect will have experience working with conservation areas and listed buildings and be able to advise on the best approach to obtain planning permission.

Drainage and Flood Risk

To prevent drainage and flood risk issues, it is important to consider the impact of the extension on drainage and water run-off. The extension should not increase the risk of flooding or cause drainage problems.

Architects can incorporate features like permeable surfaces or sustainable drainage systems like rain gardens to manage rainwater and reduce water run-off. In addition, architects can work with engineers to develop designs to mitigate the risk of flooding, such as elevating the property, using flood-resistant materials, and incorporating water-resistant barriers. This will increase the chances of obtaining planning permission and protecting the property and its occupants in case of a flood event.

Ecological Impact

In some cases, there may be ways to mitigate the impact of a proposed extension on the local environment and ecology, such as incorporating wildlife-friendly features or using sustainable materials and construction methods.

Architects can conduct a site survey to identify the presence of protected species and develop designs that will not cause harm to them. For example, they can incorporate features like bat boxes or bird nesting sites into the extension’s design.

They can also work to develop designs that minimise the impact on existing habitats. For example, they can incorporate green roofs or walls into the design to provide additional habitat for wildlife. To replace any lost trees, they can also integrate existing trees into the design of the extension or plant new ones. Architects can ensure that the proposed extension is environmentally responsible and sustainable by taking these steps.

This may include off-street parking, or even reducing the scale of the extension to minimise its impact on traffic flow. Some local planning authorities may require a traffic impact assessment as part of the planning application process. This assessment will consider the impact of the proposed extension on traffic flow, parking, and safety in the area.

Health and Safety

To prevent health and safety issues, it is important to consider the extension’s impact on residents’ health and safety. Ensuring the extension does not impact access to neighbouring properties. Does not compromise the structural safety of the local area and poses no risk to public safety. Therefore, they should plan the design of the extension accordingly.

Architects have the necessary training to understand and interpret planning policy and guidelines, allowing them to offer advice on designing an extension that conforms to health and safety requirements. With their experience in working with local planning authorities, they can assist in navigating the planning application process. They can liaise with the planning authority on behalf of the client, presenting the design proposal and addressing any concerns or questions that may arise during the application process. This can streamline the process and increase the chances of obtaining planning permission.

Planning Permission Refusal: The Next Steps

It is important to carefully review the reasons for refusal and consider the options available for addressing these concerns. Working with an architect can be helpful in navigating the planning application process and developing a design that meets all relevant regulations and guidelines. Here are some next steps you could follow:

  • Review the reasons for refusal: You should review the reasons why planning permission was refused, as this will provide you with valuable information. It will also help you modify the design proposal to increase the chances of approval. Therefore, it is crucial to perform this review.
  • Consider submitting an appeal: If you believe the planning decision was unjustified, it may be possible to appeal to the relevant planning authority. You should submit your appeal within the timeframe and provide evidence to support your case.
  • Modify the design proposal: Based on the reasons for refusal, the design proposal should be modified to address the concerns raised by the planning authority. This may involve adjusting the extension’s size, scale, or design or providing additional information or evidence to support the proposal.
  • Re-submit the planning application: Once the design proposal has been modified, it can be re-submitted to the planning authority for consideration. Again, it is important to explain the changes made to the proposal and how these address the reason for refusal.
  • Consider alternative options: If planning permission is refused, it may be worth considering alternative options, such as modifying the existing property instead of building an extension.

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