How To Get Planning Permission

You've found the plot, you've designed the perfect house for your needs (and hopefully those of the local authority) and now is the time you've to put it to the test with a planning application.

For many self builders this can be a stressful and frustrating period. It may seem that the local council is deliberately holding up your build and disrupting your life but they have a duty to ensure that the development is in the public interest.

So here are a few tips you may find of use.

Employ a professional

Having an architect, planning consultant, surveyor or designer may ease the planning process. Many professionals have a good working relationship with the planning officers and should a dispute arise, it is easier for them to negotiate a compromise. Bearing this in mind, whoever you employ should have a GOOD relationship with them and a successful track record in successful applications.

Applying for planning permission

Many plots are sold with some form of planning permission. There are different types of planning consent click here.

Applying for planning permission

To apply you will need to:

i) fill in an application form
ii) submit plans and elevations
iii) submit a copy of an Ordnance Survey site location map and a site layout plan
iv) submit a list of external materials to be used
v) a covering letter listing everything enclosed
vi) the application fee (around £270)

A receipt of the application will be sent to you within three working days but a decision is normally made around eight weeks after applying - the planning office will tell you how long it will be before a decision but can also request an extension. Once the decision is made, a notice will be sent out within two days.

You should maintain contact with the planning officer. Should a refusal seem likely, you can withdraw the application as this will prevent a negative outcome being on record.


If the worst happens you have three options:
i) Appeal - If you feel the decision was unfair, you can appeal to the Secretary of State. You will need legal representation and expect to wait up to a year for a decision. Forms are available from the Planning Office.
ii) Resubmit - you can take the recommendations on board and resubmit your application. If you resubmit within 12 months, there is no charge.
iii) Find another - hopefully easier- site!!!

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