Guide to Planning Permission

DIY Planning

Britain’s planning system still provides for you, as an ordinary citizen who does not have the same specialist professional planning knowledge as a planning officer,  to ‘Do It Yourself” – at least notionally. Following the guidelines set out in this section will make it much easier to prepare and submit your own planning application for an extension to your home or other building

Planning Specialisations

‘Planning’ has many different names, branches and specialisations, like:

  • Town Planning,
  • Urban Planning,
  • Environmental Planning,
  • Spatial Planning,
  • Economic Planning,
  • Regional Planning,
  • and so on....

All are interrelated and overlapping. However, most usually your contact via your local planning authority (LPA) will be with a ‘Development Control Officer’.


Planning & Development Control

Your Planning and Development Control Officer will be a specialist in dealing with the application of local planning policy and the local plan, and following the wishes of the elected members (councillors). They are concerned with all types of structure and use of land and property. And they have to interpret often quite large and intricate planning decisions, documents and plans.

Who Decides to Grant Permission?

Although the responsibility for deciding whether or not to grant planning permission usually rests with the planning committee of local councillors / elected members, for smaller matters, like small house extensions, the committee may delegate limited powers to determine the application to the development control officer for the area in which the proposal is sited.      

Planning Pressures

It is perhaps not surprising to find that most planning Development Control Officers work under quite a lot of pressure.  Given the increasing number of people who want to alter, enlarge, or create new buildings, the amount of information they have to obtain and the people they have to consult for each application, like the water authority, utility boards, highways authority, conservation officer, and so on, not to mention your neighbours, as well as the range of things they have to report on for each application, they are often overstretched and in undersupply.  .  

Preparing Your Planning Application

So, against this background for making your application for grant of planning permission it is best to be well prepared.  If the planning officer (DC Officer) for your area feels that you are wasting her or his time by not being properly prepared, you can’t really blame them if they are reluctant to ‘give you the time of day’. It is also easy to understand why they might prefer to deal with technically competent professionals who can provide them with good clear, detailed information that addresses all the things that they have to take into consideration.

This is what you need to try and achieve.  

While your DC officer will be happy to discuss your extension ideas, either in her/his office or at a local ‘planning clinic’ for best results you are probably best to go armed with at least  professional looking proposals.

Low Cost Professional Planning Help

Preparing detailed architectural plans, drawings and other documentation is an expensive business. But if you are not an artist or draftsperson you would be well advised to get someone to at least interpret your rough sketch ideas so that they look professional when you take them to your local planning office.

Obtaining Planning Permission

Contact us about how our LOW COST planning service can ease the strain Click here to submit your enquiry online, or Call +44 01291 437050
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