Planning Permission – What is it?

Before you are entitled and permitted to extend or alter the external appearance of your property/premises you are generally required to seek planning permission.  Any new build house or commercial premises or change of use will also need planning permission.

Basically speaking Planning Permission confirms you are able to carry out the works detailed on your proposed final design drawings and used in your planning application.

There are situations where planning permission is not required and this is referred to as ‘General Permitted Development’.

People often feel that once planning permission is in place that they can vary the design from the approved drawings.  The reality is that you cannot.  The drawings that are approved under the planning permission are what you are entitled to build – nothing more and without revision.  This is why we take care to discuss your requirements at the early stages in our initial visit and throughout the process until a final design is agreed.  Revisions can be made to alter the drawings after planning permission has been granted but this will require a further process which can lead to a minor amendment application or even a new planning application being submitted depending on the revision.

A planning application normally takes eight weeks from the validation of the planning application to a final decision.  This can be extended if objections are received and the planning application is referred to committee.

At the end of the process you will have confirmation of ‘can we complete the proposals or not’.

We always work with the client to maximise the potential of obtaining planning permission.  We give straightforward advice and use our experience to make clients aware if there are issues that may be raised at the application stage or prevent a planning permission being issued.

We are proud that we have successfully advised clients and obtained planning permission on a varied workload on hundreds of applications.

Building Regulations

Planning application drawings do not include any technical or working drawings that will be required for the builder to successfully complete the build.

A separate application is made to the Local Authority that takes due regard for the compliance with building regulations.  These are obligations set out and governed by central government that are designed to ensure that buildings are built safely and are comfortable to be in.

Any queries are resolved during this process and the Local Authority issues you with a Full Plans Certificate.  This gives formation confirmation that any queries are resolved and the works are designed to comply with the building regulations.

A builder may start work after 48 hours after the submission of the application and this is sometimes carried out on smaller projects however we would normally recommend getting the full plans approval prior to the start on site. This may prevent any abortive works.

Building Regulations change constantly and through the process of completing many applications we are continually updated on new aspects of the regulations.

The building regulation application involves the production of drawings at a larger scale (normally 1:50) and will normally comprise floor plans, sections, elevations and a specification of the works which lay out the technical detail required to comply with the building regulations.

This will provide the level of information that a builder will need to properly price and complete the works.

Bradbury Design carry out a large amount of residential extensions, loft  and garage conversions and are increasingly involved in commercial and educational projects.

Permitted Development Rights

There are certain alterations, extensions and conversions that can be carried out without the need for planning permission.

Typical projects that can be carried out without planning permission are:

  • Garage conversions
  • Loft conversions
  • Single storey rear extensions
  • Double storey rear extensions

These are subject to certain criteria and are not relevant on all occasions.  We can advise you on this.

The majority of housing (excluding flats) enjoy the benefits of ‘General Permitted Development’ however this is not a given and needs to be confirmed by a local authority.

Some or all of these rights can be withdrawn under an ‘Article 4 Direction’ which the Local Authority sometimes implements to retain areas of special character, facades, townscapes or space planning. These rights may not be relevant if you have a listed building or if you are within a conservation area of area of special character.

You are sometimes able to complete works that may be hard to achieve under a planning application as the Local Authority have no way of influencing the proposals as long as certain criteria are complied with.

The criteria can be viewed in an interactive house that can be viewed on the government Planning Portal website through the following link.

This provides clear information on what is allowed without obtaining planning permission and also provides details of requirements under the ‘Building Regulations’.

Some householders like to have legal confirmation that the works fall under their rights within ‘General Permitted Development’.  This can be achieved by applying for a ‘Certificate of Lawful Development’.

This also attracts a smaller fee than a householder planning application.

The Party Wall Act 1996

If you intend to carry out building work which involves any one of the following activities you may have a legal obligation to notify people under Act of your intention to carry out building works.

  • work on an existing wall or structure shared with another property
  • building a free standing wall or a wall of a building up to or astride the boundary with a neighbouring property
  • excavating near a neighbouring building

If the work falls within the Act you must notify all Adjoining Owners and serve them notice.

Fulfilling the obligations of the Act is not a design issue however we have attached a link to the Communities and Local Government website for your information and to notify you of your responsibilities.

The link provides direction to a downloadable booklet that has been produced by the Communities and Local Government Department to explain in simple terms how the Party Wall etc Act 1996 (the Act) may affect someone who either wishes to carry out work covered by the Act (the Building Owner), or receives notification under the Act of proposed adjacent work (the Adjoining Owner).

If you have any concerns with your obligations under the act we will happily discuss these with you.

Customer Log In

We are pleased to provide you with an additional service that we believe will greatly help you in the smooth running of your project.

Each project will be allocated a Username and password so that you can use the website as a platform to view draft and final issue drawings.

Clients sometimes seek opinions from friends and colleagues and we believe that this gives instant access to clients wherever they are.

Furthermore you will be able to pass details on to your builders and suppliers who will be able to access project data without the need and expense of numerous drawing copies.

Projects will left on the website for an agreed time and extended with agreement.

This is a free service offered at the discretion of the Bradbury Design Ltd.

Other services

After the initial visit a quotation will be prepared for the works as discussed.  This will normally involve the planning and building regulation applications.

We can also help you with the many other aspects of your project including site inspections and project management, recommendation of local builders and product sourcing.


We can put you in touch with builders who we have worked with on previous projects and who take on board on own philosophy of client care, quality and approach to business.

There are no legal ties between the companies but we aim to simply put you in touch with builders who, in our opinion, produce a good quality of work and are good decent people.

Drawings and specifications can be sent out to builders who would be expected to provide a competitive written quotation based on the information provided. These can be sent directly to you or directed through ourselves.  You can then pick up one of the quotes or alternatively use your own contacts.

We would always recommend meeting your builder as you will get an initial feeling and impression on whether you can work together.

It is important that you are aware that we receive no financial gain or kickback for recommending the builders but we know that many people do not know builders on the outset of their project and are therefore happy to help if we can.

Site visits

We are more than happy to visit to check on your builders progress or if there is a matter of concern.  We can quote for this as a single fee or complete the visits on a weekly basis dependant on the level of input you require.

The works will be inspected from a local authority building inspector at key stages throughout the build however clients sometimes look for a more regular visit.

The number of visits or time spent on site visits will vary depending on the complexity of the project and level of input you feel comfortable with.

Anything else

We have a great deal of site experience and can advise on many issues prior to and during the build.  If you think that there are any matters that you need help with please contact us and we will endeavour to help.

Structural Engineering Services

There are many projects that we require the services of a structural engineer and we have built up a close working relationship with Stephen Bacon Design Ltd.  Steve’s typical workload for Bradbury Design Ltd involves the design of steel beams to enlarge openings and foundation design.

Stephen Bacon Design also offers a wide range of structural engineering services.

These can be targeted to cover any aspect of a project, from initial conception through to construction detailing.

Stephen Bacon Design specialise in designing economic yet elegant solutions for all construction projects. This principal applies equally to all of their work, from the smallest of projects through to the largest.

Stephen Bacon Design offers the following structural engineering services:

  • Structural design of new buildings to be constructed from steelwork, concrete or masonry.
  • Structural design for building extensions.
  • Structural design for strengthening works and refurbishments.
  • Structural surveys.
  • Foundation designs.
  • Retaining wall solutions.
  • Preparation of structural specifications.

Stephen Bacon Design Ltd