Planning Permission for Extension and Conversion

Planning permission for an extension refers to the formal approval required from the local planning authority before constructing or modifying an extension to an original house. This permission ensures that the proposed extension complies with local planning policies, building regulations, and environmental considerations.

The purpose of planning permission is to balance the interests of the property owner with the impact on the surrounding environment and community. It ensures that extensions are conducted in a manner that is appropriate and sustainable. It takes into account various factors such as the size, design, location, and impact on the environment.

Considering and addressing ecological factors in a planning application for an extension is crucial for ensuring environmental sustainability and complying with relevant regulations. Consulting with ecologists, landscape architects, or environmental consultants can provide valuable expertise in assessing and mitigating the ecological impact of the proposed extension.

planning permission for extension

Obtaining planning permission for extension

The process of obtaining planning permission for an extension begins with a formal planning application to the local planning authority through the planning portal. A detailed site plan, proposal plans, and any relevant supporting documents should all be included.

Following this, a thorough evaluation of various factors will take place. The planning authority assesses the application, considering factors such as the impact on the local environment, compliance with planning policies, and potential objections.

It is important to note that extensions cannot be higher than the highest part of the existing roof. Also, single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by more than 4m. If new windows are in an upper-floor side elevation, they must be obscure-glazed and either non-opening or more than 1.7 metres above the floor level.

Planning applications need to align with local and national environmental policies and regulations. These policies may include targets for the protection of designated ecological areas, conservation of biodiversity, or promotion of sustainable construction practices. The application must demonstrate how the proposed extension supports these environmental objectives.

Permitted development rights allow certain types of extensions to be carried out without the need for full planning permission. It is important to check if your proposed extension falls within the permitted development rules or if planning permission is required.

This review process typically takes a few weeks to several months, depending on the complexity of the proposal. This is to ensure that the proposed extension is compatible with its surroundings and minimises any negative effects on the environment.

If the proposed development is approved, it will then receive a lawful development certificate which will list it as a permitted development meaning that work can take place.

The planning permission process can apply to any extension; It can also encompass changes to existing structures from a previous owner or land use. Verandas, balconies or raised platforms, and side extensions all require planning permission. This ensures that any alterations are in line with building codes, environmental regulations, and the overall objectives of urban and rural planning.

Ecological constraints in obtaining planning permission for extension

Ecological constraints often pose as a barrier to obtaining planning permission. These constraints arise from the need to protect and preserve the natural environment and its ecosystems.

The presence of protected species, such as bats, birds, or reptiles, or the existence of protected habitats, like woodlands or wetlands, can significantly impact the planning application. The planning authority will require an assessment to determine if the extension could harm or disturb these species or habitats. Mitigation measures may be necessary to ensure their protection, such as creating alternative habitats or implementing specific building design features.

Planning authorities often prioritise the conservation and enhancement of biodiversity. The proposed extension may need to demonstrate how it will protect and promote biodiversity. This can involve incorporating features such as green roofs, wildlife-friendly gardens, or planting schemes that support local flora and fauna.

Designing the extension to provide habitat connectivity and considering ecological corridors can contribute to biodiversity conservation.

In some cases, an Ecological Impact Assessment (EIA) may be required for significant extensions or developments in conservation areas. The EIA evaluates the potential impact of the extension on the local ecology. It considers factors such as habitat loss, disturbance to wildlife, or changes in ecological processes. The assessment provides recommendations for mitigating any adverse effects and enhancing the ecological value of the development.

If the property is located in an area designated as environmentally sensitive or protected, such as national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty, or wildlife habitats, specific planning permission may be required to ensure ecological considerations are met.

Who can carry out ecology surveys for planning applications?

Ecology surveys for planning applications are typically conducted by qualified ecologists or ecological consultancies. These professionals have the necessary expertise and experience to assess the ecological aspects of a site and provide accurate and reliable information for the planning process.

When engaging an ecologist or ecological consultancy to carry out surveys for a planning application, it is important to ensure they have the necessary qualifications, experience, and relevant licenses or permits, especially if protected species are involved. It is also advisable to select professionals who are familiar with the local ecological context and have a good understanding of the specific requirements of the planning authority in your area.

Working with qualified and reputable professionals will help ensure that the ecology surveys are conducted thoroughly and accurately. They can provide reliable data and recommendations to support your planning application and address any ecological considerations.

How can Collington Winter assist?

Collington Winter are passionate about ecology and provide a holistic and innovative approach to environmental management. Our ecological consultants are fast-paced problem solvers, working with clients to obtain planning permission for their developments.

We provide a range of ecological services to help our clients to identify whether there may be any ecological issues with their proposal plans during the planning permission process. These include:

We can comment on planning applications and identify any mitigation measures that may need to be taken if any environmental constraints are identified. If you are looking to apply for planning permission or listed building consent, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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