Party wall Act 1996
Planning & Building Regulations
Planning & Building Regulations for England and Wales:
One of the many benefits of employing a builder on any home improvement project is that they can help with the hassle of any planning permission, building regulations approval and Party Wall agreements that your project may be subject to. However you should always bear in mind that as the
Homeowner you have overall responsibility to ensure that the project complies
with all relevant
rules and regulations. As well as your builder, your local council's planning office will be able to advise you on what permissions you require.
Changes to permitted development rights in 2008 mean that many home extensions will not require planning permission providing that they do not change the external appearance of the house and remain within the rules of permitted development.
Most homeowners are now able to build a loft conversion and a ground floor
rear extension without having to apply for planning permission. In simple terms a householder will be able to build a single
storey ground floor rear extension provided that:
- The extension does not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house by
than four metres in the case of a detached house or three metres in the case of any
- The height does not exceed four metres or three metres where it is within two metres of the boundary of the house. In addition a householder can also build a loft conversion provided
- The cubic content of 'the extended roof does not exceed 40 cubic metres in the case of a terraced house or 50 cubicmetres in any other case.
- Materials used are similar in appearance to the existing house.
These changes also benefit homeowners who have previously extended their home. Where a property has benefited from a single or two storey extension, the new permitted development allowances will allow a loft conversion to be installed without having to apply for planning permission.
Similarly, where a property has benefited from a loft conversion being
installed, most single-storey extensions, and in some cases a two-storey extension, can be constructed without the need for planning
permission. The changes will help homeowners to avoid the long delays, inconsistencies and frustrations commonly associated with the planning process.
lf you do need planning permission remember to allow at least two months for it to be granted.
Whether or not planning permission is required, anyone wanting to carry out building
work is required by law to make sure it complies with the relevant Building Regulations.
These are designed to ensure that the finished building is safe, healthy and energy efficient. The general rule of thumb for building regulations is that if the project will affect the fabric, or structure, of the building then building regulations will apply. lt is worth checking with your local building control department before work begins, because if building regulations do apply to your project, you must
give details of the work to your local building control department at least two days before work starts on site.
It is vital to the smooth running of your project that you keep
yourneighbours onside. Discussing your plans with them will ease the way if you need a Party Wall
Agreement. Details of the proposed work
must be officially notified to the effected neighbour and no work may start until all neighbouring parties
have agreed in writing to the notice. lt is normal practice to record the state of neighbouring properties before work starts and again at the completion of the work. You are responsible for making good any damage.
In England and Wales work carried out on a part of your property which adjoins your neighbours must comply with the Party Wall Act 1996. The Party Wall Agreement covers work which might have an effect on the structural strength or support function of any wall on the boundary line, including garden walls.
If your property is listed or in a conservation area you will need to apply for
planning permission for certain types of work which do not otherwise need on
application. Check with your local planning office at the outset.
A listed building will also need Listed Building consent for any work, inside or
out, that affects its character or setting. Altering a listed building without consent is a criminal offence, so seek professional advice from on architect, surveyor or builder specializing in old buildings and consult your local planning or conservation officer before making any plans.
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