It can be tough to get planning permission granted in the UK. Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) will mainly take into consideration what their department thinks about your build, the plot of land, and how your build will affect the local community. But there are many different factors which can have an impact on whether an LPA decides to grant you planning permission. You are not allowed to build a home on a plot of land without planning permission and doing so is illegal in the UK. Read on to find out more about factors you should consider when trying to get planning permission in the UK.
Different Types of Planning Permission
Firstly, it’s important that you bear in mind that there are different types of planning permission you can get.
- Householder planning permission gives you permission to alter or extend a house within the boundaries of a property.
- Outline planning permission provides you with permission in principle, but doesn’t include specifics in the design of the build. Getting outline planning permission doesn’t mean you are allowed to go ahead with the building work, and if your detailed plans then deviate significantly from what you proposed in the original outline permission application, you will have to go and apply for full planning permission.
- Full planning permission gives you consent for a building project after detailed plans have been provided to the LPA.
Factors That Influence Planning Permission Getting Granted
The local authority will base its decision on granting planning permission based on material considerations. Here is a list of the material considerations your local planning authority may look into:
- Overlooking and loss of privacy for neighbours,
- Loss of light for neighbours or overshadowing,
- Impact on listed building and Conservation Area,
- The layout of the building,
- The build’s design, appearance, and materials,
- Government policy,
- Disabled accessibility,
- Nature conservation and protecting natural habitats,
Enhancing the Natural Environment
Local Planning Authorities today take natural conservation and protecting biodiversity seriously when deciding whether to grant planning permission.
New developments these days have to make commitments towards leaving the biodiversity of the plot of land in a better state than before and restoring ecological networks. This means compensating for losses in the land’s biodiversity caused by thedevelopment and replacing it with an increase in the natural habitat and ecological features which go beyond the original biodiversity of the land.
Article 174D of the National Planning Policy Framework of July 2021 actively encourages biodiversity net gain and developments enhancing the natural and local environment: ‘minimising impacts on and providing net gains for biodiversity, including by establishing coherent ecological networks that are more resilient to current and future pressures;’.
From summer 2021, DEFRA will use biodiversity net gain to assess the net gain enhancements for habitats located on and off site both pre and post development. If a development is seen to be destructive and detrimental for the local environment and wildlife, then planning permission may not be granted. To help convince the local planning authority that your development will be able to achieve a 10% biodiversity net gain so they will grant you planning permission, take a look at getting in the services of Biodiversity Net Gain Plan and their team of top ecologists to help.
The government has realised that there is a growing demand for more homes in the UK that are accessible and suitable for people with disabilities and in wheelchairs. As a result of the increased need for accessible housing, 10% of new homes in London built today by developers have to be fully wheelchair accessible. In its recent paper on the new ‘National Disability Strategy’, the government promised £1.6 billion in funding which includes £573 million specifically dedicated to improving the accessibility of homes. The government is working to require landlords in 2021 to be required by law to make ‘reasonable adjustments to the common parts of leasehold and commonhold homes’.
Therefore, a local planning authority may decide to reject the planning permission application for a housing development if it doesn’t feel there’s evidence in the plans of an adequate commitment being made by the developer to make sure a sufficient proportion of the homes built are accessible.
Previous Planning Decisions on the Landin Question
A local planning authority may do a lot more research and be more hesitant to accept a planning permission application if it can see that planning permission proposals for developments in the past have been rejected on that site. There may be things relating to the land that are very hard to change which have prevented planning permission from being granted in the past. For example, evidence of the land being contaminated and there being hazardous chemicals under the soil that the homes will be built on may be a red flag for the local planning authority, as this could pose serious health risks to residents.
The Building’s Design and Appearance
Another sticky point that may make the local planning authority decide against granting planning permission may be the design and appearance of the building and whether visually it fits in with its surrounding landscape and the local environment. Does the building’s shape make it stand out as an eye-sore meaning it isn’t in keeping with neighbouring buildings?
When a development reaches the community consultation phase and the details of plans for a development are publicly made available and posted in local newspaper outlets and so on, there may be kickback and protests from neighbours and community groups. Community campaigns and local residents en masse mobilising their feelings against a development going ahead will be taken into consideration when the local planning authority makes their decision on granting planning permission.
However, many developments still go ahead and manage to get planning permission applications for sites granted in spite of the uproar and criticism from the local community and its residents.
There are a broad range of on and off-site factors to consider when you are trying to get planning permission granted. Make sure you do lots of planning and research before handing over your planning permission application to your local planning authority.