3d outside house design

What do you Need for Planning Permission

Obtaining planning permission isn't difficult if you're properly prepared. Preparation mostly comes down to getting all your paperwork in order and ensuring that everything is available at the time you need it.

You should generally focus your efforts on providing all relevant plans and supporting documents, and ensuring that you have the funds for the application and the proposed development itself.

1. Plans

architectural drawing on a property

You will not only need to provide detailed plans to obtain planning permission, but you must also ensure that they follow a specific format. There are other requirements to observe as well.

Don't underestimate the effort that goes into ensuring that the plans you submit with your planning application will be approved. Many cases of rejected applications are usually related to the submitted plans.

You will need two types of plans in general:

  • a location plan
  • a block plan

Neither of those is optional, so make sure to prepare both ahead of time. You will also need several copies of each - you'll typically need as many as five separate copies when submitting your application.

Location plan

Your location plan must show how your construction will align with the environment around it. Because of this, the location plan needs to include all surrounding roads and buildings and must make it clear how your permitted development will impact them.

Your local authority may reject an otherwise valid location plan for seemingly mundane reasons, such as failing to use the correct scale. Consult a specialist if you're not sure how to approach this. Your local planning authority might also be able to provide you with some assistance.

Block plan

The block plan is a more detailed overview of the construction project and must focus on specific details related to it. For example, it should show how your permitted development will measure up to other nearby buildings, whether there are any potential issues with its boundaries, and so on.

You should also go into as much detail as possible with regards to internal roads and pathways, planned tree planting, and other similar features. If your project is going to intersect any public spaces, your local planning authority may also want to see this reflected in your block plan.

The more detailed your block plan is, the better. Don't be afraid to include smaller details that may not seem relevant to you at the moment. You don't know what your local authority will be interested in specifically.

2. Supporting documents

Building regulation drawings

Your planning application must also include some supporting documents. These commonly include an ownership certificate and agricultural holdings certificate. Note that the agricultural holdings certificate is always required, regardless if your development actually includes any agricultural holding at all.

If your building goes above a certain height (currently 7 storeys or 18 meters), you will also be required to submit a fire statement. For lower buildings, this can be omitted. Don't make the mistake of submitting it "just in case" - make sure that it's actually required in your case, otherwise you might actually lower your chances of approval by annoying your local authority clerks.

3. Design and Access Statement

If your planned development has any potential access issues, you should address them in a Design and Access Statement. It's also a general requirement for any large-scale developments.

The main purpose of this statement is to prove that the proposed design won't have a negative impact on the surrounding area.

It's a mandatory requirement for your planning application if it has the potential to be disruptive to its surroundings. In some cases, your entire planning permission might hinge on a properly drafted Design and Access Statement.

4. Funding

Finally, you also need funds, both for paying the correct fee as well as to finance the construction project itself. Your planning permission might be denied if you're unable to prove that you're adequately prepared to cover all financial aspects. Sometimes the project might end up costing a lot more than you initially expected, making it important to be flexible with your funding.

The exact fee will vary depending on the type of planning permission you're trying to obtain. Familiarize yourself with the fee structure and ensure that you submit your application with the exact required amount accompanying it. You don't want to run into an avoidable delay just because you were short on your fee.

The sooner you start preparing all of these points, the smoother it will be to obtain your planning permission. As long as you take care to arrange everything in advance, it should be an easy and straightforward process. In many cases, any delays encountered along the way could have been avoided with some additional planning and preparation.

Clara Annesley

Writing about construction, Interior design and renovation.