Is Now The Right Time For Home Improvements

Changes to the current Building Regulations will soon be published but it is very likely they won’t take effect until April 2014, if previous changes are anything to go by.

  • Plans/Drawings

“Therefore now may be a good time to think about any possible extensions or changes to your existing property”, says Peter Welch, Planning & Design Consultant at JHWalter in Lincoln.

Peter commented, “The expected changes will be aimed at energy conservation, which is obviously a good thing, but this could also affect build costs.  So, for those wanting to build with a limited budget, it could make a difference.  These changes however do not affect Planning, as Planning and Building Regulations are two separate processes”.

He continued, “Under recent changes to the planning process, in most cases it is possible to build a 4m single storey rear extension to a detached property without the need for planning permission. There is also an option to extend up to 8m, although this would require you to apply to your Council on a more informal basis. For attached properties (semi or terraced) it is 3m with a possibility to go to 6m via the same scheme. In all these cases, Building Regulations approval will be necessary even if planning approval is not.

The less formal application to the Council is a national government initiative and there is no application fee, but it is time limited and only available until 30th May 2016. It is fundamentally a prior notification scheme, and the Council will consult with your neighbours. If there are valid objections, this could result in you having to submit a planning application in a more formal way.

Residential extension Planning is all about scale, appearance, and the impact on neighbouring properties, where as Building Regulations is more to do with structural integrity, health & safety and environment issues, which is where the latest change to Building Regulations come in.

Building Regulations approval is extremely important.  It provides security, reassurance and peace of mind.  It also provides your builder with up-to-date information regarding the latest requirements which in turn reduces the likelihood of costly errors”.

Peter Welch provides advice to clients requiring a complete design and planning service to achieve planning permission in addition to obtaining the necessary Building Regulations approval and guiding clients through the process.

For further information visit the Planning Portal.