If you’re an individual looking to build your own home or a developer pursuing a new residential project, you’re probably in the midst of a very stressful planning process.
Obtaining planning permission for a new build house is no straightforward task, requiring hours of painstaking research, writing and design – not to mention the hours of review and collaborative problem solving necessary to ensure a successful application.
Without the proper resources and professional help, you may find yourself bursting at the seams amidst a pile of jargon-laden policy papers. On the one hand, you certainly can’t skip the process, as you can’t build a new house on land without the proper planning permission. On the other hand, you may not be able to afford doing it yourself, as you risk losing countless quid on a long and painful process.
So what are you supposed to do?
It’s always a good idea to seek the help of professional architects and planning consultants – a team who have a thorough understanding of the planning permission process and all the complexities surrounding such a process. You may also want to familiarise yourself with the planning permission stages.
To that end,in this article we will touch on some of the fundamental questions that can lead you towards obtaining planning permission for a new build house.
First, let’s get our definitions straight. What exactly is a new build house?
It’s precisely what it sounds like: It’s a residential building that didn’t exist before in any way, shape or form – this doesn’t include conversions or changes of use of existing buildings.
You may be familiar with this term, as new build houses are always in the news. The government has been trying to boost the number built in order to stabilise the housing market in the UK. A new build house will involve:
Whether this new house is built for you to live in, to sell on or to invest in, you will need permission – unless of course it has already been granted.
When you get planning permission, the local authority grants you the rights to build a certain property of a certain size on a certain plot. In order to obtain planning permission for a new build house, you’ll need to submit a planning application with the help of professional architects and planning consultants.
When a decision is made on a planning application, only certain issues are taken into account. These are often referred to as “material planning considerations”. The material conditions below may be related to your project and it is for your planning authority to decide what weight is to be given to these material considerations in your case.
Remember: Your project will be subject to national and local policy requirements, so it’s always good to prepare yourself with plenty of research.
With so many properties on the market to choose from already, it might seem like a strange decision to build a new home.
It means going out there and finding the land, gaining permission and then sourcing a builder to complete the project within your budget. Buying a pre-built home might seem a lot less stressful, so why pursue planning permission for a new build house in the first place?
There are both aesthetic and functional benefits to having a house that was designed specifically for you. From wall colours, furniture, and lighting, to layout, furnishings and centrepieces, we will ensure that the design meets the needs and aspirations of the brief both in terms of decoration and practicality. Because you’ll be involved in the process from day one, the property will meet all your needs and grant some wishes too
Need to incorporate space for a wheelchair or adapt your house single-floor living – just let us know. If you want a home with a large kitchen then you can set that as a priority in the design process. If you want precisely the opposite, a separate kitchen and dining room, then that can be flagged up in the design. Want three bathrooms? Not a problem – let your architect know, and they can try to incorporate it.
You can also save a lot of money by building (or having someone build) your own house. When you buy land without planning permission and then gain permission yourself, the land’s value will automatically increase. This means you can buy the land, gain permission and sell for a profit without even doing the building work.
However, building a new house – rather than buying from a developer or buying a house that someone already lives in – can be a cost-effective way of obtaining a new property. If you plan right and negotiate well, your new house can provide you with valuable equity and you can end up saving money.
As you make your way toward planning permission, you will need to seek out the help of professionals – people who can help you optimise your chances of success Below are a list of people that you’ll come across in your new build journey.
The first person that you might think about speaking to is a planning officer from your local authority. These people are usually quite generous with their time and they may arrange to meet you at your site to talk through any proposals you have. If you have specific ideas about what you want then you can run them past the officer who will give you a sense of what to expect from the application process.
This gives you somewhat of a head start. If they tell you something is prohibited, then leave it out. If they give you ideas on what will make the application pass, then write these down. The more information you have at this stage, the more likely it is your application will pass. Remember, you won’t have spent any money on the build yet.
You will need the help of a skilled architect. Their advice is invaluable, and they can help you get your ideas down on paper. What’s more, a knowledgeable architect can help you get your application over the finish line.
To do this, they will listen to what you have to say, taking note of your pain points and your desired outcome. They can help you find a solution that fits your needs and the needs of the council.
To that end, they should have experience submitting applications to your local planning authority and inform you of any relevant restrictions and opportunities in the neighbourhood. They can also advise you on which materials to use to increase the chances of a successful application. With a skilled architect, you can achieve your goals while meeting the standards of your council. And most importantly, save more money than they charge for their professional services.
That you’ve gained planning permission for a new build house doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to build. This depends entirely on the type of planning permission that you have sought and been given.
There are two main types of planning permission.
We will start with outline planning permission. This is like sticking your toe in the water to see if you stand any chance of getting planning permission for your new build house. You can submit this type of application as a test in order to determine if it’s worth it to pursue detailed planning permission.
The detailed permission gives you the green light to begin work. It allows you to build exactly what is on the plans and make your dream of building your own home a reality.
When putting together this type of plan, your architect’s designs must be perfect, taking into consideration everything mentioned above – from your planning authority’s restrictions to your desired results. With the right architect and the right designs, you’re well on your way to achieving planning permission for a new build house.
When the plans are ready, approved by you and drawn up by your architect, then you will submit them to the relevant planning authority. There is a fee to pay for submission, and it starts from £300. To be certain, you should check with your local authority to find out exactly what you have to pay.
They have 8 weeks to make a decision. In this time, they will:
This will allow for a fair decision to be made. The 8-week period is not set in stone, but there are some strong incentives from central government to make this happen. In less than two months, you will know the status of your application.
The benefit of the 8-week period is that you get to know the decision quickly. The downside of this is that planning departments have little time to consult with you, request amendments or negotiate as they might have been able to do in the past.
If your application doesn’t pass, you can appeal against the decision. This is a free process during which a neutral party – someone not involved in the original decision – will review your application. Appeals don’t succeed on a regular basis because the criteria laid out in front of the original planning authority will be the same as the ones used by the person hearing the appeal. It is better to get it right the first time, with the support and guidance of a professional who has been through this before.
If you are building more than one new build house, then you’ll have your own set of problems. The basis of the decision is the same, but on a larger scale.
So things like parking become even more important if you are producing a number of houses rather than just one. The traffic management around the site will also need to be considered. Also, remember that the neighbours have a right to a peaceful life during the construction of the new build properties.
As a developer, you should definitely seek the assistance of a skilled architect, as the costs are higher and the risks are even greater. Make sure you understand all there is to know about how to get planning permission for a new build house on a large scale before you submit an application.
At Urbanist Architecture, our team of architects, designers, engineers and planning consultants are well-equipped to transform your ideas into a reality. Don’t hesitate to contact us today to get started.