Wednesday, 27 May 2015

How long does Planning Permission take? Maybe?

Hi All,

Just a quick indication of how long the design and planning process should take in the UK... However, these durations are general and don't include any addional time for ammendments required by the local authority (should any be needed).

Architectural Design: 4-6 weeks
Architectural design for a typical domestic project normally takes between 4-6 weeks, depending on size and complexity of the scheme.


Planning Permission: 10-14 weeks
Planning approval may take up to 12 weeks (typically) however if the proposal requires several adjustments, modifications and revisions this may be greatly extended. 

Once approved the project is required to be completed within 3 years  - if not then a new application is required. Please also note that if the proposed scheme applies to a property that has Permitted Development Rights then Planning Permission may NOT be required - see previous post for further information.


Important Note: Whilst we are more than happy to submit planning applications on clients behalf at no extra cost, unfortunately, given the volume of applications, status updates to applicants are not available from the practice  without an additional fee. Once the planning application has been submitted the status can be established easily, by the applicant, via the local online planning portal or by contacting the Local Authority directly. However, if any issues arise as regards potential concerns the Planning Department will normally contact the practice in an attempt to alter the scheme to satisfy any objections and/or local planning recommendations.


Building Regulatons: 3-4 weeks
The building control elements of the process are very flexible - allowing the contractor to modify drawing specification (with the agreement of the Building Inspector) for compliance on-site. Please note that separate fees are due for the initial application and on-site inspections. However, it is possible for projects to commence construction almost immeduatley with as little as 48hours notice from the initial application being submitted. 

Building Regulation applications may also be submitted at the time of the planning application - allowing concurrent processing and approval thus reducing the duration prior to starting construction. Again, once approved the project is required to be completed within 3 years - if not then a new application is required.

So in conclusion the entire architectural design and approval process can be quite lengthy - alternativly it may only take as little as 14 weeks... however, my advice would be to start the process as early as possible to enable adiquate architectural design, development, thought and feedback - to ensure design intent and to avoid poor interpretation of clients requirements, wants and needs.

As alway please do not hesitate to contact us should you require any further information...

Thanks for reading - ME

Mark English Architecture
Architectural & Building Engineering Practice


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Why should I use an Architectural Practice?

If you require design for a domestic project, generally, what most people do is ask about and eventually obtain the contact details for a local draftsmen or cad technician either from a friend or out of the local rag...  this, without wishing to cause any offence, generally results in an uninspired standard out-of-the-box design has been used a million times before or one that is just a duplicate of the neighbours - hey there's nothing wrong with that if it's what you want!

Anyway, if you use an Architectural Practice or Architectural Professional you'll get a unique, tailored and well crafted creative architectural solution designed to integrate within the existing property from a wholistic perspective - not just bolted on without thought.


Build costs are normally identical for say a 6x3m extension - it's almost the same number of bricks, roof tiles, amount of plaster and windows...  It's only difference is the architectural form. 


Good domestic architecture will add value to your home via desirability and increased visual impact!


Architectural Practices explore design options - whether it be traditional, modern or a fusion, establish client needs and desires whilst complying with planning frameworks and building regulations.


To generalise, Architects are very creative but sometimes lack technical design skills whist Architectural Technologists combine technical knowledge and architectural design. Not to be biased, ideally a multi-disciplined practice is best combining Architecture and Architectural Technology - one that integrates Structural Engineering is even better!  www.markenglish.co.uk

Either-way its important to meet at least 3 professional practices/individuals - think of it like a job interview, ask questions, discuss your needs - what you want the space to do and feel like, review examples of previous work and talk to existing/previous clients.

All the best! - ME

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Do Loft Conversions require Structural Engineering?

Question: Do loft conversions need or require any structural engineering?

Answer: Almost every proposal for a loft conversion requires the modification of the existing roof structure to remove any obstructions within  the proposed loft space.

Make sure you a competent structural engineer to carry out the design... This is REALY IMPORTANT! 



The photo above shows a 'fink' type truss, these are normally found in modern properties, where the existing common rafters have been strengthened - by fixing a larger timber along side to prevent excessive sagging once the struts are removed, and intermediate volumes are installed, in the form of a dwarf-wall, to transfer the roof load to the supporting steel beams. These steel beams also support the independent timber floor joists.


When designing the steel beams consideration must be given to lateral torsional buckling as the beam is unrestained and potentially allowed to twist when loaded.

Anyway, you can find an Engineer from CABE, ICE and IStructE or send the drawings to us and we'll do your structural design...

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Do Loft Conversions require Planning Permission?

Question: Do Loft Conversions require Planning Permission?


 

Answer 1: No Planning Permission is Required - if the loft coversion only has roof window - VELUX Windows

Answer 2:
No Planning Permission is Required - if the loft coversion proposaln has REAR FACING dormer window(s) and/or Velux Windows, HOWEVER, this is only the case where Permitted Development Rights (PD Rights) are in place.



To be permitted development any additional roof space created by dormers must not exceed these volume allowances:
* 40 cubic metres for terraced houses.
* 50 cubic metres for detached and semi-detached houses.


If Permitted Development Rights have been removed - then a Planning Application WILL BE required.

You can check your PD Rights by contacting the Local Authority Planning Department.
Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required. The permitted development allowances described apply to houses not flats, maisonettes or other buildings.

Please note: In any event if the loft conversion is to be a habital space it is essential that a Building Regulation Application is submitted to Building Control with details of insulation, structural engineering and other technical requirements.



Answer 3: Planning Permission IS Required - If the loft conversion proposal has front facing dormer windows.

Velux Cabrio Windows are a great alternative to a front facing dormer window - and they don't require planning approval - if PD Right are in place on the property.


Further info can be found on the Planning Portal - Loft Conversions

OR check out the Planning Portal - Animated Guide

If you're unsure then please do not hesitate to get in touch - Thanks

Do Garage Conversions require Planning Permission?


Question: Do Garage Conversions require Planning Permission?

Answer: Planning Permission NOT required UNLESS the Permitted Development Rights have been removed - In this case Planning Permission WILL BE required.

You can check your PD Rights by contacting the Local Authority Planning Department.
Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required. The permitted development allowances described apply to houses not flats, maisonettes or other buildings.


Please note: In any event if the garage is to be a habital space it is essential that a Building Regulation Application is submitted to Building Control with details of insulation, floor build-up and other technical requirements.

See photo below of what can be achived when a garage space is converted...


Further info can be found on the Planning Portal

As previously stated, the conversion of a garage, or part of a garage, into habitable space will normally require approval under the Building Regulations.

Do I Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory?




Question: Do I Need Planning Permission for a Conservatory extension?

Quick answer: It depends on the proposed size, location within the site and the area you live - but they are NOT exempt from planning permission.

Firstly, if your Permitted Development Rights (PD Rights) have been removed then you WILL need Planning Permission no matter what.


You can check your PD Rights by contacting the Local Authority Planning Department.

Then, for a semi-detached property, if the conservatory or extension is single storey and at the rear of the property then you can develop up to a 3m projection OR 3m-6m with extended PD Right until 30th May 2016.

If located at the side of the property then if may be up to half the width of the existing/as built/original building.

It make no real difference to the planning process or PD Rights if the development is a Conservatory OR an extension.

IMPORTANT: Please make sure that a least 75% of the roof area is glazed and a minimum of 50% of the wall area is glazed otherwise Building Control will require an application, foundation and structural details, possible heat-loss/thermal calculations and this will also attract a Building Control inspection fee.

Further info can be found on the Planning Portal - Conservatory Guide

OR check out the Planning Portal - Animated Guide it's great!

If you're unsure then please do not hesitate to get in touch - Thanks

New Permitted Developement


I'm sure that you've heard the rumours about being able to build a domestic extension with a projection of up to 8m... Well, it's TRUE!!

The revision of the new permitted development right mean that from 30th May 2013 until 30th May 2016 single storey domestic extensions located at the rear of the property may be up to 6m (if the property is terrace or semi-detached) or 8m (if the property is detached).



Unfortunately you just can't go building anything 'willy-nilly' - there are a few restrictions:

1. Development must be drawn-up and architectural details submitted to the Local Authority (no fee other than site location plans)

2. The proposal will be subject to consultation - this means that your neighbours may object to the development.

The process, from the day of submission, should take approx. 42 days, however, approval is not guaranteed - so be careful to keep you grand designs realistic and in accordance with the PD Framework.

In addition to the above other conditions apply - information can be found on this Planning Guide for the larger home extensions.

As always, for further information please de not hesitate to contact me.