Do I need Planning permission? (Article 2)

Prepared 30 May 2019

Following on from our article in April 2019 on the new planning regulations, we consider further updates and planning regulations as follows:

  1. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) order 2015 has of 30 May 2019 been made permanent.
  2. We looked at the effect these regulations and other Local Authority requirements have on the following:
  • Kitchens and Bathrooms
  • Doors and windows
  • Wind Turbines

At this stage it is worth repeating Responsibilities and general advice as follows:

Responsibilities: 

As with all building work, the owner of the property in question is ultimately responsible for complying with the relevant Local Authority’s planning and building regulations.

Failure to comply with these rules and regulations will result in the owner being liable for any remedial action. Use the Guild of Master Craftsmen’s website: findacraftsmen.com for craftsmen who will be aware of these issues.

General advice to all property owners is to discuss your building proposals with your Local Authority Planning and Building Control departments.

Further considerations before commencing any building related work are as follows:

  • Building Regulations approval
  • Health and Safety
  • Party wall etc Act 1996
  • Listed Building consent
  • Rights of Way

 

Kitchen and Bathrooms:

Planning Permission

A planning application for installing a kitchen or bathroom is not usually required unless it is part of a property extension.

If your property is a listed building, you should check with your local Planning Authority.

Building Regulations

A replacement kitchen or bathroom is unlikely to require building regulation approval.  However, any new drainage or electrical work may require approval under building regulations.

If a kitchen or bathroom is to be installed in a room where there wasn’t one before then building regulations approval are likely to be required to ensure the room will be properly ventilated and the drainage and electrics meet the necessary regulations along with structural stability and fire safety.

 

Doors and Windows

Planning Permission

Planning permission is not usually required for repairing or replacing doors and windows. However, if the building is listed or in a conservation area you should consult your local planning authority.

Building Regulations

Since April 2002 building regulations have applied to all replacement glazing. These regulations apply to thermal performance, safety, air supply, means of escape and ventilation.

External doors and windows are classed as controlled fittings and as a result of this classification building regulations set out certain standards to be met when replacement is required.

It is allowable under these regulations to use a registered installer working under competent person scheme (BSI, CERTASS OR FENSA). In this case Local Authority building control will not be required.

To clarify, if a person who is not registered replaces any external door or window, they will need to apply for building regulation approval. On completion they need to apply for a certificate of compliance.

Thermal Heat Loss: Dwellings are required to be energy efficient.  Steps are to be taken to reduce heat loss through glazing.

External doors and windows must comply with building regulation requirements. These regulations set a requirement for the amount of heat loss through glazing and framework this is measured as a U-value.

Safety Glazing: Is required as follows:

  • Any glazing below 800mm from floor level.
  • Any glazing within a window that is 300mm or less from a door and up to 1500mm from floor level.
  • Within any glazed door up to 1500mm from floor level.

Ventilation: Windows and doors provide ventilation to rooms within a dwelling.

Ventilation will be required to rooms and certain rooms require more ventilation than others. For example, kitchens and bathrooms require higher levels of ventilation (usually mechanical fans and opening windows).  Trickle ventilation and/or opening windows are often adequate for other rooms.

Fire Safety: Two aspects need to be considered:

  • Fire spread between properties through unprotected areas.
  • Means of escape in case of fire.

External doors and windows may need to have fire resistance and (in the case of doors) be self-closing. Some windows will need to be fixed closed.

Means of escape, when replacing windows, the opening should be sized to provide the same potential for escape as the window it replaces.

Means of escape should be considered for any new window to be installed in an extension or existing dwelling.  It is good practice to replace all first-floor windows with escape casements.

Criteria for means of escape windows:

  • Width and height: Either of these not to be any less than 450mm.
  • Clear openable area: No less than 0.33m sq.
  • Sill height: No less than 800mm and no more than 1100mm from floor level.

Access to buildings: When replacing any main entrance door in a dwelling that has been constructed since 1999, ensure the threshold is level otherwise it will not comply with building regulations.  This is to enable wheelchair access.

 

Wind Turbines

Planning Permission:

This subject was relaxed under planning laws under the 2011 legislation. One wind turbine is now considered permitted development subject to the following conditions:

  • The wind turbine must adhere to the MCS planning standards.
  • The installation must not be sited on safeguarded land.
  • One turbine is considered permitted development and the property must not have an Air Source Heat Pump installed already. Otherwise you need to ask for planning permission.
  • The highest part of the wind turbine blade must not exceed 11.1 metres.                   The distance between the ground and the lowest part of the wind turbine needs to                      exceed 5m
  • The turbine’s height + 10% is the distance that the wind turbine needs to be from the boundary of your property.
  • The swept area of the wind turbine cannot exceed 3.8m2
  • If you live in a conservation area/world heritage site, the closest part of the wind turbine needs to be further away from any highways than the closest part of the house.
  • Permitted development rights are not applicable for an installation on a listed building or on a building in a conservation area/world heritage site.
  • The blades cannot be coated in a reflective material.
  • When no longer needed for Microgeneration, the wind turbines are removed as soon as practically possible.

 

If in any doubt contact your local authority planning department for further advice.

Building Regulations:

Building regulations will normally apply.

Size, weight, and force exerted on fixed points should be considered.  Electrical installation will also need to comply with the relevant building regulations.

 

Disclaimer:

Please note this is a general guide and not a definitive source of legal information.

The Guild of Master Craftsmen would always recommend that you contact your Local Authority before carrying out any of the above work.