Following on from last week’s blog, you may have the vision and have found what you consider to be the ideal property, so now you want to negotiate the right price and make some changes.
If you do not want professional help but want to investigate for yourself the possibility of obtaining planning permission before you purchase – can you?
Will you need planning permission?
People are very good at critiquing a property within a few minutes of entering someone else’s house and are able to quickly find fault with any or all aspects of the house but having the vision to see the potential and opportunity is a rare quality.
You may want to make major structural alterations and building works to the new property or you may only wish to make minor alterations. If it is the latter, this may fall under what is called “permitted development”. This is based on size (less than or no larger than a specified number of square/cubic meters), impact and location. If the former you will need planning permission and this is not always granted for many reasons.
Where should I start finding out about gaining planning permission?
Start by going along to the local planning office and looking into the planning history of the property you are contemplating buying.
Knowing the history of recent planning, or changes affecting the property will help you.
Ask to speak to a planning officer or ask if they make appointments to discuss specific planning issues.
Most local planning authorities use an on-line pre-application planning process where you complete some forms supported by scaled drawings. The planners will then give you their views and a good indication of whether an application is likely to be supported or rejected.
Allow approximately 15 working days for a response. Hopefully the reply will include any reasons why the pre-application is not acceptable or fails to comply with their regulations.
Be warned that the building application process for permission to make changes is a slow and sometimes excruciating procedure. It may take a minimum of three months before you get a response!