Tag Archives: architect

Do I need Planning and is Building Regulations the same thing?

Believe it or not, I get asked this very question every once in a while. To those in the know the answer is simple but for those that are embarking on their first development it can be confusing.

In a nut shell; these are two different departments with two different applications each requiring different information. Chances are you will need them both.

Sometimes your development will fit into what is called Permitted Development, which is a whole other blog. This is when planning permission is not required. And if this is the case you can skip to the second part of the question; building regulations.

Building regulations is often inevitable. This is a set of minimum standards developed by the government to ensure buildings are safe, warm and suitable for all, plus a few environmental things thrown in to boot. With the right details and specifications, this statutory application process is always approved.

Planning permission, on the other hand, is a consideration of the development in relation to its surroundings and setting. Here appearance matters rather than construction method. Sometimes this application can be refused for reasons that sometimes do not seem fair.

Both applications can be submitted by individuals, lay people if you will, or they can be supported and delivered by an agent; an architect, perhaps. The benefit of using an agent is their experience and education on each subject. An architect can certainly bring value to a project in this regard with sound advice and strong justification.

So, if in doubt about planning or building regulations, the best thing to do is speak to an architect. Not only could they procure both applications on for you, they may even make the process easier and much less stressful for you.

Tagged , , , ,

5 good reasons to employ an architect

Why would you employ an architect?
An architect is a building designer. They train for 7 years (as much as a doctor) to understand design within the built environment. They are skilled in many areas including; building design, planning policy, building regulations, building contracts and construction law to name a few. With such a high skill base why would you employ any other professional to design your building? Here are five very good reasons to employ an architect on your next building project:

1. Creativity. An architect sees opportunities that can improve your property both financially and through quality of space. They are problem solvers, trained to find solutions. Architects look at the bigger picture and design space specifically to your needs.

2. An architect can handle the paperwork on your behalf to save you having to negotiate the planning maze or try to understand the building regulations. They can also advise you on any other professionals you may need for your project.

3. Architects are trained professionals governed by a code of conduct. Every architect is registered with the ARB (architects registration board). Some are also members of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects). Both organisations have a code of conduct for members to abide by. These codes are created to protect you as the customer and ensure you get the highest quality service from your architect.

4. Architects can support you while your project is being built. They can act on your behalf with great construction knowledge to ensure quality is being delivered by the builder too. They can provide routine valuation certificates (sometimes with the aid of a Quantity Surveyor) to ensure you are not over paying for the work completed on site.

5. An architect will consider the design quality of a space through a number of factors; how the space is intended to be used, site constraints, planning policy, best construction practice, what materials would be best to use and how to control costs.

Bizzy Blue Design Ltd is an RIBA Chartered Architects practice. It provides the highest level of design and architect’s services to its clients. Working primarily in the residential sector they also support commercial projects and historic & listed buildings. The personal one to one service brings a tailored service to each individual client maximising the potential of their project.

Tagged , , , , ,

Will the new Permitted Development rules benefit you?

After much deliberation the government has finally released the ‘revised’ permitted development rules.   As part of a scheme to induce economic recovery they believe that allowing larger domestic extensions under permitted development, among other sector changes, will help boost the UK economy.   Let’s have a look at what the changes are and how they will affect domestic extensions:

The changes to Permitted Development come into force from 30 May 2013 and will remain in place for three years.   After this time it is assumed that these new rules will expire and the policies will revert to the original format, which can be found at this link.

The principle change for domestic extensions will be the length of permitted extensions.   The original policies allow detached houses to extend by 4m, subject to other policies, without the need for planning permission and all other dwelling types by 3m.   The new rules will now allow 8m for detached houses and 6m in all other cases.

One policy that seems to be unspoken, however, is the width of those extensions.   The original policy wording discusses extensions being less than half the width of the original house to be classified as permitted and it has to be assumed that the same principle will apply with the new rules.   That could make for one long thin extension on the back of your house.

Another key factor to be aware of with the new ruling is that these larger home extensions will be required to go through what is called a Neighbour Consultation Scheme.   This is in the form of a submission to the local authority where they will inform all neighbours of your proposal allowing them to object if they feel it is necessary.   The local authority will then decide whether any objections are reasonable, probably based upon current planning policy guidelines, and refuse the proposed scheme if deemed detrimental to neighbouring amenity.

It is important to fully understand the full guidance of permitted development before ploughing ahead with a new 6 or 8 metre extension as there are many other policies that may apply.   It does seem clear that this new ruling will only apply to single storey extensions, which does keep it reasonably simple.   Another consideration is that your extension will require building regulations consent irrespective of permitted development or planning approval.

So does this change in permitted development have the power to aid our slow recovering economy?   Time will tell, though one question might be; does making larger extensions possible under permitted development make them any more affordable?

If you would like more guidance or advice on an extension to your home please contact Bizzy Blue Design who are fully qualified to take you through any of the processes mentioned in this blog.

Tagged , , , , ,