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Getting planning permission, how it varies depending on build

If you are planning on building a new property or doing major construction on an existing one, it is likely that you will require planning permission from the government. This applies to everything, from large commercial works to at-home DIY projects – but the process will differ depending on what you are building.

What is planning permission and why do you need it?

Planning permission is approval by the government to do any kind of construction beyond the bounds of the permitted development limits. These vary depending on the proposed location and whether the build is intended for private or commercial use.

Failing to apply for planning permission can land you with an enforcement notice to remove the work, and you could potentially face fines or even criminal charges if certain laws and regulations have been broken in the construction process.

Greater consequences with larger builds

Retrospective planning permission is when an application for planning permission is sent after the work has been carried out. In most cases, it is applied for due to the initial paperwork being either completed/filed incorrectly, or not being filed at all.

Retrospective planning permission is processed and treated the same way a regular application is, however, if it is rejected you may face an enforcement notice ordering you to undo all the work that’s been done. This is where there can be major differences depending on what the build is.

A small bike shed in your garden at home would be far easier to remove than a multi-storey car park. This means that big, expensive projects are often approached very differently to smaller ones, as the consequences of errors can be far greater

There are many factors that affect whether or not planning permission is granted, and they vary with different types of construction. Even roads can require planning permission, and the deciding factors for those will not be the same as for a home conservatory.

One thing that is considered in an application will be the environmental impact of the build. For most home or small scale projects, this is not an issue, whereas a road will likely have a large effect. The natural landscape may need to be cleared to make way for extensive amounts of materials such as tarmac, metal railings, or street lights.

Not only would the construction release large amounts of carbon emissions, but the impact of the continuous use of the road would be considered as well. The effects of a build’s continuous usage will often need to be considered in the applications of larger and particularly commercial or public-use properties.


A major difference between the planning permission applications of different buildings is the amount of time and money put into the application itself. As mentioned before when doing a large construction such as a road, the environmental impact of the work must be considered in an environmental impact assessment.

In order for this to happen, data must be collected and analysed. This is often fairly laborious, costly and can delay construction by quite some time. Whether or not an EIA is necessary is yet another way types of construction differ.

Generally speaking, the larger a project is, the more likely it is that there will be complicating factors that require time and resources to be spent on them.

All in all, no matter the size of your project it is always best to hire, or at least consult a professional architect who can guide you through the process of a build. They will be able to advise you about your project as well as assist with any paperwork, ensuring that everything is filled in and filed correctly so that construction can begin quickly and progress smoothly. Get in touch if you think KJ architects could help you with your build.



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    Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
    T: 01638 662393
    Getting planning permission, how it varies depending on build