Would you like to find out the most common reasons for planning permission refusals?
Many of our readers may be aware that planning permission can be refused for any number of reasons and that a rejected application can be a major setback to the financial plan for your development. That’s why we’ve analysed over 1,000 planning applications to determine the most common reasons for planning permission refusal.
Below, you’ll find the top 10 reasons given by planning officers for refusing this kind of applications.
After that, we’ll touch on some of the actions you can take if your application is refused. Armed with these key insights, you can be even more prepared for your next development project.
Let’s get started…
Very often, planning permission refusal happens because the proposal is not possible in principle. To determine whether a project is permitted in principle, you must follow two stages:
A majority of permitted development applications would fall within this category.
Take the following example: For many flat conversion projects, there is a minimum requirement for the gross internal area of the original property. If the property doesn’t meet this basic size requirement, the project is not possible in principle. This means the proposal cannot pass onto the technical detail stage, when more nuanced decisions are made with regard to the proposed project.
If you want to open the 10th cafe bar on a 100-metre-long street, you will have to prove that this is what the community needs, as planning permission refusal is often given when you are unable to demonstrate the need of your development.
Very often change of use applications are determined to be unsuitable for this reason.
Consider whether your development is situated so as not to cause any harm or overshadowing to the host building or the neighbouring properties.
The impact of the proposal’s location is crucial to assessing the planning application.
One of the reasons leading to planning permission refusal is a negative impact on the neighbouring amenity.
Fact: Local authorities are obligated to protect living standards of local residents, so make sure you follow the local design guides. All types of planning applications fall into this category, whether a single-storey rear extension of a dwelling house or a new build.
Non-compliance with the quality of accommodation in terms of minimum space standards and amenity requirements accounts for the majority of refusal reasons for flat conversion applications.
Conversion of a family dwelling house into flats, HMO or other non-residential institutions can result in a loss of a family home, which is the most common reason given for refusing this type of planning application.
It is very often connected with the impact on the neighbouring amenity and the need of preserving housing stock of a particular size.
The effect of the proposal on the area’s character and appearance often refers to proposals that change the pattern of development in the area.
This reason is most likely to be found in refusals within conservation areas but may be found elsewhere as well.
Traffic generation and increased pressure on car parking can usually be found as a reason for planning permission refusal on projects involving a change of use from a single dwelling house to HMOs, flat conversions or new-build developments.
Therefore, if your project involves one of the above schemes, it is crucial to ensure that sufficient parking provision is provided.
Building materials are essential to the development, so it is important that they do not constitute a potential safety hazard. Using building materials which harm the environment during or after construction must be strictly avoided if you don’t want your application to be refused.
Even though research and knowledge on such substances is well documented, it is perfectly possible that you may come across potentially dangerous materials, due to constant innovation in the technology and production of such materials.
Although a lot of green belt land has great potential for development, Local Planning Authorities strongly oppose any schemes involving any potential harm to nature reserves.
To avoid a green belt application bring refused, the proposal must be of an exquisite design and provide a complementary and sustainable addition to the housing supply.
If your planning permission application gets refused for any reason, there are a few options at your disposal:
For starters, it’s important to remember that the planning authority will often inform you of their decision prior to actually issuing the decision notice. And since the decision isn’t final until the notice is printed and distributed, you may withdraw the application at the very last moment.
By withdrawing the application, you can avoid a refusal and go back to the drawing board, taking into consideration the council’s concerns. If you believe you’ve adequately addressed the planning authorities concerns, you can then re-submit your application. This can be helpful, as being branded with a refusal may sway future decisions regarding the property.
If you’re dead set on the proposal you’ve submitted, and you think the local planning authority was wrong, you may also choose to appeal the refused application.
Once you appeal, the application will be sent to a Planning Inspectorate, who will then consider your proposal for an average of six months. During that time, the interested parties will have their chance to submit evidence and present their case, and there may be a public inquiry. There is obviously no guarantee of a successful outcome when it comes to appeals.
These are just a few of the more common approaches to handling a refused application, but of course, it’s always better to avoid refusal in the first place. By keeping in mind the top 10 common reasons for planning permission refusal, you may have a better chance of obtaining planning permission for whatever project you’re pursuing.
In order to develop a bespoke strategy, tailored to your particular situation, it’s worth seeking out the assistance of a skilled architect knowledgeable about the planning application process. As you’ve read, at Urbanist Architecture, we always consider the potential obstacles of any proposal. We ask ourselves: why would planning permission be refused for this particular project? To help us and our clients in this endeavour, we’ve instituted a FREE Initial Feasibility Checklist.
We strongly believe that the best way to determine the feasibility of your project is to establish whether your site has the right ingredients for securing planning permission – and to do this before proceeding with your project. All our for than 500+ successful clients have followed this basic principle.
Reach out to us today, so we can help you determine the best path forward for your development proposal.