By the time most people decide that they definitely want that house extension, they usually want it tomorrow! Of course it’s a reasonable expectation to want things done in as quick and timely manner as possible, however, these days, we are used having everything we want when we want it. Takeaway delivered to our door at 1am! Parcels ordered at 9pm one night and in our possession the very next day! Getting the relevant permissions for your house extensions, however, takes a little more time so you need to pace yourself. There are some essential permissions required to be gained BEFORE you start to build. I will outline these below and give you an idea of the minimum timescales involved:
1. Planning Permission.
Your Pride Road Architect will be able to advise you at a free initial consultation whether or not you require planning permission for what you want to do to your home. Some extensions may fall within the permitted development criteria.
Obtaining planning permission should come after you have finalised the design, usually done at a Pride Road Concept Design Workshop.
The planning stage starts with an architectural technician coming out to your property to conduct a full measured survey. You should then allow up to 4 weeks for the production of the drawings on CAD. Once the drawings are finalised and approved by you they are ready to submit to your local authority. The local authority will take 10 days to validate the application and then 8 weeks to process it. Some councils caveat their validation letters saying that the decision may take longer than 8 weeks so bear this in mind when planning ahead! If the planners ask for any design changes or further information during this 8 week period then an extension of time is often required for amending and submitting drawings and the planners consideration of them.
So, what’s roughly the total minimum timescale for gaining planning permission? From survey to decision you’re looking at a realistic minimum of 14 weeks, or 3 and a half months.
2. Building Regulations.
The other approval you need is Building Regulations Approval. This is needed even if you’re not making external changes to your property as the main concern of the building officer is health and safety and checking that the proposals comply with the current legislation for building.
In terms of timescales, you should allow up to 4 weeks for the architect to produce the drawings package and then, once submitted, the timescales for building regulations approval can vary drastically depending on who you appoint as the building officer. If you go to your local council they will usually say allow 8 weeks for a decision (but, once again, this can take longer). If you go to an approved inspector, who are an independent company separate from the council, then they will ususally be able to give a decision more quickly, some say up to 3 weeks (and in some cases, in our experience, it can be even quicker than this).
So what is the minimum timescale for building regulations approval from start to finish? From production of drawings to decision notice you should factor in a minimum of 7 weeks, or about 2 months.
This takes the total timeline of gaining permissions to a total minimum of about 5 and a half months.
There is a way to make the process quicker, however, by running the planning and building regulations applications concurrently. There is a risk in doing this that if there are significant changes required by the planners then there will be some abortive costs in changing the building regulations drawings too. However if the project is not considered contentious and time is of the essence then it’s something you should certainly consider as it can reduce the total 5 and a half month (minimum) process to 3 and a half months.
If you want more information on how long your project will take to build click here.