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Choosing a Surveyor

Our Service

1. Drawings

We provide drawings for Planning Permission Applications, Building Control compliant drawings and Engineer’s Structural Drawings backed up with Calculations. 

We believe that drawings should be properly reviewed before they are sent to the clients to ensure that they are error-free and fully compliant with all legal requirements. Clients expect to pay just once and in return, receive a drawing pack that is both accurate and comprehensive and that is precisely what we deliver.

2. Planning

Applications to the local authority to extend a house, convert a loft, etc. or erect a structure within the curtilage of the grounds, e.g., constructing an outhouse to the rear garden, are all subject to planning permission, except where Permitted Development rights exist in which case a Certificate of Lawful Development is best obtained. When evaluating an application we will advise on your Planning rights and how you can best make use of them. Below, are some common Planning terminologies which you will find in our report:

Permitted Development: This allows householders to undertake various works to their house without applying for formal Planning Permission. These works include ground floor extension works, loft conversion works, construction of front porches and rear outbuildings. Permitted development rights are very prescriptive in terms of the allowable sizes and heights etc. These rights are more permissive than Householder Planning Permissions but are not always in effect so this is checked by us at the initial stage.

  

Householder Planning Application: Where Permitted Development does not cover the proposed works or where the Permitted Development rights have been removed, a full Householder Planning Application needs to be made.

Certificate of Lawful Development: Where the proposed works fall under the Permitted Development rights a Certificate of Lawful Development is obtained. This safeguards the householder’s position, by checking that the proposed development is indeed lawful and will not later become subject to Enforcement action by the Local Authority. It also acts as proof to any future buyer of the house that the works were undertaken lawfully.

Larger Home Extensions: Whilst Permitted Development includes rights that allow extensions of 3 or 4 m deep (3 m for terraced houses and 4 m for semi-detached or detached houses), the rights under Larger Home Extensions allows rear extensions to be built to double these depths, i.e., to a depth of 6 m on a terraced house and to a depth of 8 m on a semi-detached or detached house. These rights are not always in effect so this is checked by us at the initial stage.   

Prior Approval: Larger Home Extensions require that an application be made to the Council for Prior Approval.

Neighbour Consultation Scheme: When the Local Authority receives an application for a Larger Home Extension, they consult neighbours and if an objection is raised the Council will often refuse the application. If there are no objections, they will provide Prior Approval.

Appeals: Where Planning Permission is refused, there is the option to appeal. Usually, it is preferrable to re-submit the application with amendments rather than appeal, but there can be times when appealing the decision is the better option. Appeals can also be made against other Council decisions e.g., a refusal to issue a Certificate of Lawfulness for Permitted Development.

Appeals and Re-submission: Appealing and Re-submitting amended Plans are not mutually exclusive and there can be times when it is worthwhile to explore both options at the same time.

Section 73 Appeals: If Planning Permission was granted subject to the fulfilment of various conditions, an appeal can be made to have the conditions removed. This mechanism is often used when the original Planning Permission to build a new house was conditioned on all Permitted Development rights being removed and the householder wishes to appeal this in order to extend the house in accordance with the normal Permitted Development rights.

Enforcement: Where works have been undertaken without Planning Permission or without a Certificate of Lawful Development or where the works did not adhere to the Conditions contained within the Planning Permission or exceeded the allowable heights or sizes, the Council may serve an Enforcement Notice requiring the building to be removed. Enforcement Notices can be appealed. 

3. Party Wall Compliance

Drawings are checked in-house to ensure that they are compliant with the requirements of the Party Wall Act. Clients can be assured that there will be no additional costs to bring the drawings up to the standards required to satisfy the Party Wall Act. Please see our Cost and Fees page for more details.

4. Free Initial Advice

 

Our Initial advice is based on the specification of the works that the clients wishes to undertake, Planning law and what is permitted by the Local Authority and we take all these into consideration to advise on the best way forward.

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