This is a collaborative post.
Any knowledgeable property developer will inform you that no two property development projects are the same, and even the most similar projects can reach different outcomes due to multiple factors. Sadly, this is also the case with planning permission, and no matter how familiar you are with the process, you may experience difficulties unbeknownst to you.
The planning permission process is highly volatile and can be affected by a range of unforeseen circumstances that can cause delays to your proposed development or, worst-case scenario, get your application rejected. From your neighbours’ complaints to the building regulations, there are multiple aspects, both naturally occurring or otherwise, that, unbeknownst to property developers, can affect the outcome of their planning permission application.
In this article, we outline several surprising aspects that could affect whether property developers will have to apply for planning permission and whether your application is successful or not. If you’re aiming to give yourself the most streamlined development process possible, we advise property developers to be wary of the following factors before works start:
Nature, Wildlife And The Surrounding Environment
Perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects that can affect the outcome of your planning permission application is nature, wildlife and the environment surrounding your proposed development. Considering how your proposed development could affect nature, wildlife and the environment surrounding it is essential as the effects of building developments can quickly destroy it and hundreds of animals’ homes with it.
But providing that due care is extended towards nature, wildlife and the surrounding environment, housing developments can be built in a way that doesn’t compromise the biodiversity net gain of an area and promotes greener homes. Depending on the environment surrounding the property you intend to develop, it might be home to potentially protected species protected by various regulations and legislation.
To avoid any complications arising due to surrounding nature, wildlife, or the environment, it is recommended that property developers contact their local planning authority or use the government’s Planning Portal for area-specific advice. However, if you’re still confused after checking with your local planning authority, we recommend seeking professional advice from ecological specialists such as ecologysurveys.uk.
As well as providing expert advice, their team of ecologists can carry out a range of surveys to determine the environmental impact of your proposed development. Some of these surveys are required to apply for planning permission successfully to determine whether the development will have a positive ecological impact and, if so, how to minimise the risk. For more information, browse their website for a complete list of their services or contact a team member directly to discover how they could assist you today.
More valid words have never been spoken than Matthew’s infamous biblical verse, ‘thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself,’ regarding your neighbours and planning permission. One of the most renowned causes of a hindrance with the planning application process is problems stemming from your neighbours.
You’ll find that your neighbours will be concerned about your proposed development because they will be worried about whether your proposal will affect them, their property or the area surrounding their land. Suppose that part of your proposal includes a loft conversion? In that case, your neighbours might be worried that the conversion will infringe on their privacy or lose natural light.
To dispel any worries, it’s essential that you sit down with your neighbours as soon as you decide to develop and walk them through everything that you intend to do. Ensure that you include everything, no matter how small, so they can’t claim that anything was hidden from them later.
Doing so will give both them and you the chance to voice any worries civilly before they can escalate. Some property developments don’t require planning permission to go ahead. Still, we recommend informing your neighbours whether your proposal requires planning consent or not because they will be asked for their opinion as part of the application process.
Another factor that could affect the outcome of your planning permission application is building regulations. In simple terms, planning permission encompasses the appearance of the development and its impact on the environment and neighbouring properties. At the same time, building regulations/building control approval deals with the technical/construction aspects of the build. It ensures that all works are carried out to a high quality to promote health and safety.
Unlike planning permission, many types of building work require building regulation to go ahead. Whether the job is commercial, domestic, or industrial, building regulations are needed to protect those involved in and around the proposed works and cover additional aspects such as energy conservation, fire escapes and much more.
These regulations must be strictly adhered to; failure to follow these rules or not to get planning permission may lead to an investigation or an enforcement notice. Breaches of regulations may happen in the following circumstances:
- The developer has failed to obtain planning permission for a project that required consent.
- The work hasn’t been carried out following the consent granted.
- The conditions outlined in the planning permission have not been met.
It’s worth getting an opinion from a property development expert if you come across any snags, as they may be able to provide you with resources or funding to overcome them. Lincoln Frost, for example, has 20 years of experience in real estate development which could be put to use in ensuring no building regulations are compromised.
Rights Of Way
Unbeknownst to most property developers, if your proposed development obstructs a public right of way, then this can also be a factor that can work against your planning permission application. As soon as it is discovered that a public right of way runs throughout or could be obstructed by your proposed development, it would be best if you informed your local council as quickly as possible.
Once your local council has been informed, alternate routes can be made, diverted, or closed while the work continues. However, obtaining planning permission doesn’t automatically permit you to move, obstruct or interfere with the path until the council has ordered the course to be diverted, closed, or blocked.
While the council is reviewing the closure/diversion of the right of way, the public will also be informed via an advertisement, and objections will be able to be made. You will only be able to begin work once all objections (if any) have been considered and confirmation of the order is granted.