Planning Glossary

Attwells Solicitors are committed to quick, jargon-free law. We have produced this useful planning glossary to help.

What is planning?

The planning system seeks to manage the use of land and ensure that new development, whether large, such as new houses, shops, etc, or small, such as new windows, sheds, etc, occurs in the right place. In order to ensure that this takes place, most forms of new development require planning permission.

What is planning permission?

Planning permission is required for certain forms of development and changes of use of land and buildings. It requires the submission of a planning application to the local Council.

How does building regulations differ from planning permission?

Building regulations relate to the construction and design of buildings to set standards in order to ensure the health and safety of people. Essentially, planning permission determines whether new buildings are in the ‘right place’ and building regulations makes sure that they are built to required standards.

We are able to assist you with any enquiries you may have in respect of planning permission. For building regulations, you may wish to speak to…i.e. Shore Engineering

What is involved in the planning application process?

A planning application is submitted to your local Council and involves the submission of an application form, plans (including a plan identifying the site, existing plans and proposed plans) and the application fee.

Once submitted the Council will check the application to make sure that they have all the information necessary to consider the proposal. Following on from this, the Council will notify neighbours in writing and/or placing a site notice at or near to the site. The Council also notify the Parish Council.

A Planning Officer will visit the site and then consider any responses received from neighbours/the Parish Council before considering the proposal against the Council’s Local Plan. Following this, the Planning Officer will write a recommendation to either a Senior Officer or the Planning Committee and then a decision will be issued.

What happens if my application is refused?

If an application is refused, there is a right to appeal the decision. The appeal is dealt with by the Planning Inspectorate, who appoint independent Inspectors to consider the appeal.

Do I need to own the property if I am applying for planning permission?

No. It is not necessary to own the property that is the subject of the application, but if you do not, you will need to ‘serve notice’ on the owner alerting them to your intention to make a planning application relating to their land.

What is a listed building and how does having a listed building affect me?

A building is listed if it is of special architectural and historic interest and requires protection for future generations. The listing covers the whole building and can also include other buildings in the garden.

Listing means that there is additional control over what alterations can be made to the building, both internally and externally. Listed building consent, which is a similar process to a planning application, is required for most types of work in relation to alterations to listed buildings.

What is a Conservation Area and how does it affect my property?

Conservation Areas, like listed buildings, are designated to protect the special architectural and historic interest of a place. The designation provides additional protection to an area to preserve the historic and architectural interest of the area.

Living in a Conservation Area can mean that you may need to submit an application for works that ordinarily wouldn’t need permission. In addition, the local Council will need to be notified before works to trees can be carried out.

Will I need planning permission to work from home?

Possibly. Depending on the nature of your work, planning permission may be required. For example, a business with many visitors to your property may require planning permission to operate from your home.

What happens if I have carried out development without planning permission?

If work has been carried out that needs planning permission, but doesn’t have planning permission, then it is considered to be unauthorised or unlawful and could be subject to an investigation by the Council.

The development can be regularised through a planning application, or if the development has been complete for over four years, the development would be immune from action by the Council.