Planning Permission and Building Regulation Approval - Yes or No?

May 23, 2017

When you sell your home you must provide all relevant Planning Permission and Building Regulation approvals and supporting paperwork to your Conveyancer.

You must provide e.g. listed building consents, Planning Permissions, Building Regulations consents and completion certificates.

These documents can relate to before you lived at the property but importantly any works carried out by you during your ownership.

But, how do you know if Planning Permission or Buiding Regulation was required?

Welcome to Day Welcome 23 of your Conveyancing questions answered – all in one place: Planning Permission and Building Regulations

Why The Fuss?

Over recent years, the red tape wrapped around Planning Permission has been so stretched pulled and twisted you can forgive yourself for not being up to speed with exactly what does or doesn’t require Planning Permission and/or Building Regulation Approval for your home.

Annoyingly perhaps, Planning Permission and Building Regulation Approval are not always required when you’re thinking of or adding to or altering your house or garden.

But, the consequences of not having proper approvals can be severe at worst and at best cause considerable delay when you sell your house or flat.

The Property Information Form

We have discussed this document already in the series Conveyancing questions answered: all in one place.

You can find all the questions you will be asked in Question 4.

The section asks you about Building works e.g. extension, loft or garage conversion, removal of internal walls

Question 4.2 continues

If Yes to any of the questions in 4.1 and if the work was undertaken during the seller’s ownership of the property: (a) please supply copies of the planning permissions, Building Regulations approvals and Completion Certificates, OR: (b) if none were required, please explain why these were not required – e.g. permitted development rights applied or the work was exempt from Building Regulations

So, you’ll need to be prepared if you wish to avoid any unnecessary delays.

Why the questions are important

Your Conveyancer will check the documentation carefully as part of their due diligence process.

Buyers, please note that where any alterations or improvements have been made since the property was last valued for council tax, the sale of the property may trigger a revaluation.

This may mean that following completion of the sale, the property will be put into a higher council tax band. Further information about council tax valuation can be found here.

How to Quickly Find Out About Planning Permission

So where can you find out quickly what does and does not need planning permission?

You may like to begin your research by going to a rather snazzy Government website at the Planning Portal.

The Planning Portal is the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource for England and Wales.

On the home page you are invited to click on to a marvellous interactive tool – the Interactive House

Planning  Portal Interactive House and Terrace

You have two choices of either a detached house or a terrace of houses with a shop thrown in as well.

When you click on Open the Interactive House you get a choice or front or rear and by hovering over a particular part of the house and garden the relevant information regarding planning permission will come alive.

What Planning Permission or Building Regulation is Required for a Roof?

So by clicking on the area of the roof you will be informed that:

You do not normally need to apply for planning permission to re-roof your house or to insert roof lights or skylights as the permitted development rules allow for roof alterations subject to the following limits and conditions:

- Any alteration to project no more than 150 millimetres from the existing roof plane.
- No alteration to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
- Side facing windows to be obscure-glazed; any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.
- The permitted development regime for solar panels has different limits on projections and in relation to protected areas.

And what about Building Regulations for a Roof?

Again you can expand the tab which will reveal there are two areas one where the roof is an existing roof or a new roof.

And before you can do anything to the roof watch out for protected species such as bats as further rules apply.

You will also find a helpful link to the new rules regarding the installation of solar panels

Interactive Front View of the House

All in all there are clickable areas on Chimneys; Satellite Dishes, Aerials and Antennae; Roof Windows; External Walls and Fascia; Burglar Alarms; Windows and Doors; Porches; Maintaining Drainpipes; Paving Your Front Garden; Trees and Hedges; Fences, Walls and Gates; Manhole and Drain Covers; Driveways and Hard Standings; Extensions and Additions; CCTV; Fuel Tanks; Sheds and Garages and last but not least Wind Turbines.

Pretty comprehensive, I’d say.

Interactive Rear View of the House

Out of sight but not out of Planning Permission range comes information on Conservatories; Dormer Windows; Maintaining Drain Pipes; Patios and Decking and last and perhaps least for most what planning permissions are required for Air Source Heat Pumps.

How Planning Permissions Affect the Sale of Your House

Selling your home is likely to be a stressful event so by having better information before you decide to do work on your home will be time well spent and help you avoid future delays.

We recommend you take the Planning Portal for a spin before making any planning permission or building regulation applications to your Local Authority.

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