Date: 25th July 2013 (Revised and updated notes for potential clients)

The Planning Process, including the ‘Preliminary Enquiry’, the full ‘Planning Application’ and the follow-on ‘Building Control Application’.

(NOTE: this information might be a touch dull to read all at once, and so – why not skip down the pages until a heading appears that refers to your building project….): but if you want to fully understand the process, read all or most of it…….

i) The ‘Preliminary Enquiry’ is the very best place to start with any planning application: this early enquiry as to wether or not the project is ‘do-able’ (feasible) paves the way for the following two process’s.  It will also establish for certain wether the project can be planned under permitted development rights (which, if eligible, the property owner can move on strait away to the ‘Building Control (construction) Application’ and so saving planning fees of £172.00 and eight to ten weeks of waiting for a decision from the planners.  If the build does not come under permitted development, then a full planning application must be carried out.

(Note: A ‘Certificate of Lawfulness’ might be required if the development conforms to ‘permitted development rights’, though this can be done retrospectively for the sake of time saving: the fees would be similar to the planning fees above).

The time duration of the ‘preliminary enquiry’ is somewhere in the region of ten to fifteen days +, following the site survey, and depends largely on the workload of the individual planning office at the time.

The local borough or council fees for a ‘preliminary enquiry’ varies from district to district and can be ‘free’, £50.00 or up to £80.00 +.

‘Randolphe Palmer Design’ requires a 50% deposit of the architectural fees at the time of the measured survey: this fee covers the preliminary enquiry as about half of the work required for full planning is established at this point. If the preliminary enquiry shows a negative result at this stage, the client need pay no more architectural fees.

ii) The ‘Planning Application’ follows on from the preliminary enquiry and is handed in when all of the drawings and forms have been prepared to hand in as a full planning application .

This element covers all of the design and planning, the drafting - the agents duties and responsibilities, plus all of the relevant liaison with the local planners in order to create a successful application.

The time duration between the preliminary enquiry result and a full plans application submission is typically one to three weeks, depending on the workload.  The time frame of a planning application is a statutory eight weeks, following a few days with planning administration who take a (usually) short time to ‘validate’ (check) the application.

A typical house extension or a loft conversion ‘Planning fee’ is £172.00. Please see below for typical architectural design fees on a variety of common projects.

(NOTE: Planning for Grade I & II Listed Buildings Consent  and Conservation Area planning notes are available further down below).

iii) The ‘Building Control Application’: this element is the part that covers all of the construction drawings and will most often require some input by the ‘structural engineer’: (see iv) below.

These drawings will be used to a) allow the local building control team to validate all of the application, sometimes requiring amendments to the drawings before signing off ‘approved’: and b) for the builder to quote by, and refer to when construction commences.

On smaller projects (some pre-packed conservatories, some garages, and porches etc) a fast track building control system is available: the builder can apply for a ‘Building Notice’, also known as a ’48 Hour Builders Notice’. This notice might simply require the planning application plans to be handed in ‘with the notice’ to the building control planners or, on certain builds, the building control officers will request some extra structural information to accompany the 48 hour’notice.

The fees for a typical home-extension are some £545.00 (approx) including the building control application fees and the fees required by the ‘borough/DC for statutory site inspection visits during the construction period.

iv) Structural Engineering: - the structural engineering fees are based on the detail and overall structural input needed for the project: common projects range through £195.00 for a rear single-storey extension, and up to £950.00 for a two storey rear/side extension which might require pile foundations due to large trees close to the build. The client is billed direct by the engineers,  though all of the details and calculations are sent to ‘Randolphe Palmer Design’ to add to the final building control full plans application hand-in.

v) Design and architectural fees: for a variety of common projects:

(Note: all fees below are based on a typical three bedroom semi detached or terraced house and do not include the structural engineers fees: please see the paragraph above for approximate structural engineering fees)

a)single storey rear extension – all design fees = £580.00: add £250.00 for Building control design fees – Total = £830.00 (no vat).

b)double storey rear/side extension  - all design fees = £685.00: add £300.00 for Building Control design fees – Total = £985.00 (no vat).

c)loft conversion – all design fees = £750.00: add £240.00 for Building control design fees – Total = £990.00 (no vat).

d) new build three bedroom house = £1,250.00: add £350.00 for Building control design fees – Total = £1,600.00 (no vat)

e) garage conversion - all design fees = £650.00: add £240.00 for Building Control design fees - Total = £890.00 (no vat).

vi) Other fees that might arise, though most often don’t: normally, just the site survey is required to take all of the necessary details to create all three of the above planning elements: a typical site survey takes between one and three hours. A further site visit might be required to  double-check on surveying issues arising, and as such are not charged.

Other work relating to the design of the new build can usually be done via e-mails  (or sometimes posting out hard copy of the designs) between the planners, the designer and the client.

  1. vii)Permitted development: - a link to the planning portal is added below for your use: meanwhile I have added a general list of what is acceptable under permitted development planning.


Under new regulations that came into force on 1 October 2008 an extension or addition to a house is considered to be permitted development and not requiring an application for planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

1) No more than half the area of land around the "original house" would be covered by additions to buildings.

2) No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.

3) No extension higher than the highest part of the roof.

4) Maximum depth of a single storey rear extension to be three metres for an attached house and four metres for a detached house.

5) Maximum height of a single storey rear extension to be four metres.

6) Maximum ridge and eaves height no higher than existing house.

7) Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house

8) Materials to be similar in appearance to the existing house.

9) Upper-floor, side-facing windows to be obscure glazed: any opening to be 1.7m above the floor.

Notification of a Proposed Larger Home Extension (General Permitted Development) details can be found further below -


About ‘Randolphe Palmer Design’: - it is my intention to bring to people clear and well structured planning at an affordable price. As a sole trader working from a home (farm) based office, I can fight the recession by lowering my prices by around a genuine 30 to 40% as compared to my prices of the last boom years, 2007/ 2008.

Working on my own, I am able to offer a one to one personal service to the client: it is in essence true to say that ‘the buck does stop with me’. I am answerable for the ‘three’ planning stages listed above, come what may.

Interested persons can visit my website at: - for those wishing to view past and current/ongoing works, please go to the ‘Successful Applications’ page: (please note that this page is due to be updated Aug 2013).

Citiwize business description :

‘Randolphe Palmer Design is a Gt Dunmow (Essex) based design & architectural service for clients in Essex, Suffolk, Herts, London and the home counties.

These services include preliminary enquiries, planning applications, building control applications and structural engineering: Grade I & II Listed Building Consent planning and Conservation Area Consent planning.

PRELIMINARY ENQUIRIES: (‘the starting point’ for most planning applications)-

The essential foundation stone for any planning, large or small, is to initially create a preliminary enquiry for any given scheme. This launches the project by presenting planners with an outline of what the client requires and, it is at this stage in the process that we find out if a project is viable/feasible in the long term. This early process ensures the client does not waste time and money on an ultimately unworkable project...

Grade I and Grade II  Listed Building Consent planning: details can be sent to prospective clients  as a PDF file and a link is available (below) to the Listed Building English Heritage web- site):

Conservation Area Consent planning: - details can be sent to prospective clients as a PDF file and a link is available (below) to the Conservation Area Consent guidance from the English Heritage web- site):

Useful notes for potential clients: -

The Planning Portal has an excellent ‘guide’ to planning and includes some building control information by way of an ‘interactive house’ at:

Design planning drawings - which might relate directly to your own building project - are available on request: these might include plans and elevations ‘existing & proposed’,

and any commendations or special features relating to the individual designs.

‘Randolphe Palmer Design’ recommends Michael Catt of ‘Liberty Builders’ (Herts): Michael is a competent and reliable builder and a friend. His contacts can be found on his website at -  

‘Randolphe Palmer Design’ offers a 20% discount on the figures quoted for OAP’S and registered disabled persons.

Professional qualifications:

Randolphe Palmer BA (Hons)

A sole trader creating architectural designs for over fourteen years; graduated from the University of North London (now the Metropolitan University), School of Architecture & Interior Design (SAID) July 1999. The office was set up in August 1999 and continues to improve as the years go by.

Please e-mail for a quotation to include ‘all’ of the costs and fees involved for a planning and building control application.

(When e-mailing, please add a brief description of the kind of build you are considering undertaking).

Details updated 7th January 2014.


Notification of a Proposed Larger Home Extension

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) Schedule 2, part 1 (Class A.1(ea))

Guidance Notes for:

Notification of a proposed larger Home Extension (new government planning guidelines)

Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (as amended) Schedule 2, part 1 (Class A.1(ea))

This guidance note is to help home owners with the completion of the prior notification to notify a local planning authority of the intention to use the permitted development rights ( .pdf) to build a single-storey rear extension of greater than four metres up to eight metres for a detached house and greater than three metres up to six metres for any other type of house outside Article 1(5) land* and sites of special scientific interest.

*(Land within a National Park, the Broads, an area of outstanding natural beauty, an area designated as a conservation area and land within World Heritage Sites.)

A homeowner wishing to build a larger single-storey rear extension must notify the local planning authority by completing and submitting the Notification of a proposed larger

Home Extension ( me_extension.pdf) and provide the necessary required information to inform this process.

It is not possible to undertake this process retrospectively.


In May 2013, secondary legislation was laid before Parliament which increased the size of single-storey rear extensions which can be built under permitted development. It also introduced a light-touch neighbour notification scheme.

This guidance note provides information about how the scheme works.

For a period of three years, between 30 May 2013 and 30 May 2016, householders will be able to build larger single-storey rear extensions under permitted development.

The size limits will double from 4 metres to 8 metres for detached houses, and from 3 metres to 6 metres for all other houses.

These new larger extensions (i.e. if they extend between 4 and 8 metres, or between 3 and 6 metres) must go through the following process2:

1.  A homeowner wishing to build a larger single-storey rear extension must notify the local planning authority and provide:

a.   a written description of the proposal which includes the length that the extension extends beyond the rear wall of the original house, the height at the eaves and the height at the highest point of the extension.

b.   a plan of the site, showing the proposed development.

c.  the addresses of any adjoining properties, including at the rear.

d. a contact address for the developer (the householder) and an email address if the

developer is happy to receive correspondence by email.

1 See paragraph A.1(ea) of Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as inserted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013, available at 2 See paragraph A.4 of Class A, Part 1, Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, as inserted by the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (England) Order 2013, available at


Planning Portal - Notification Guidance                                                                                  V1

A plan drawn to an identified scale will assist the authority in assessing your development proposal. Plans can be bought from one of our accredited suppliers using our Buy-a-plan service (

There is no fee in connection with this process.

2.  The local authority may ask for further information if it needs it to make a decision about the impact of the development on the amenity of adjoining properties.

3.  The local authority will serve a notice on adjoining owners or occupiers, i.e. those who share a boundary, including to the rear. This will give the address of the proposed development and describe it, including the information in 1(a) above. It will also set out:

a. when the application was received, and when the 42-day determination period ends long neighbours have to make objections (which must be a minimum of 21 days), and the date by which these must be received.

A copy of this notice must also be sent to the developer.

4. If any adjoining neighbour raises an objection within the 21-day period, the local authority will take this into account and make a decision about whether the impact on the amenity of all adjoining properties is acceptable.

No other issues will be considered.

5. The development can go ahead if the local authority notifies the developer in writing either:

a. that as no objections were received from adjoining neighbours it has not been necessary to consider the impact on amenity, or

b. that following consideration, it has decided that the effect on the amenity of adjoining properties is acceptable.

Please note: restrictions on permitted development for extensions continue to apply (

6. If the local authority does not notify the developer of its decision within the 42-day determination period, the development may go ahead.

7. If approval is refused, the developer may appeal.

8. The extension must be built in accordance with the details approved by the local authority (or, if no objections were raised or the local authority has not notified the developer of its decision, the details submitted), unless the local authority agrees any changes in writing.

9. The development must accord with all other relevant limitations and conditions which apply to other rear extensions allowed under permitted development (

These are set out in Class A, and include for example, the requirement that the extension must be constructed using materials of a similar appearance to those used in the construction of the rest of the house.

10. To benefit from these permitted development rights, the extension must be completed on or before 30 May 2016. The developer must notify the local authority in writing of the date of completion.

Planning Portal - Notification Guidance                                                                   V1


‘Refused’ planning:

This can be a seemingly complex issue, though often, a much cleaner and more ‘tailored’ design can achieve a positive result. I would suggest a route by way of: i) upgrading and improving the design, so that it conforms to current planning policies -  and ii) begin by sending the planners a ‘Preliminary enquiry’ to ascertain wether or not the scheme is viable in there eyes – and if not, to what extent can the design be improved to make it so….


The Planning Appeals link to the ‘planning portal website’ is:

Appeals are perhaps best placed when in the hands of ‘town planners’ business’s:

about 35% of planning appeals prove to be successful.


Last updated: 25th July 2013