When considering an extension to the home, a large shed or building a new house, most people will be aware that they probably need to check if they need planning permission. Building without planning permission is not worth the risk as it will only turn into a much bigger headache further down the line when the local council serve an order requiring that whatever has been built is demolished.
House owners can invest in Indemnity Insurance to cover for some types of work just in case they do fall foul of planning regulations, but it is still no fun to have to put all the effort into building work only to have to take it apart later.
What people are less aware of is that even relatively minor work such as replacement windows or doors may require special permission from the local council, and there may be specific rules that they have to follow.
For example, Saltaire is a “World Heritage Site”. As such, City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has published a Sustainable Saltaire document advising people of the Planning Requirements in Saltaire.
The document states that all Saltaire housing is Grade II listed, which means that ‘the householder must apply for “Listed Building Consent” from Bradford Council when considering certain works to their property. Consent will only be granted if the proposed works will not impact on the character of the building and will not impact on any view into or out of the World Heritage Site.’
Would be renovators are advised on “What can and cannot be done in The World Heritage Site” and there are rules and regulations covering a whole boatload of potential work from loft insulation and floor insulation to double-glazing which is not permitted.
That’s right; double-glazing is not permitted in Saltaire. The planning rules state that a householder’s options will depend upon the existing windows in the property. If they have an original sash window dating back circa 1850-70, then this is of particular historic and architectural importance and must be retained and repaired. If it is beyond repair then Listed Building Consent is required for replacement and the replacement must be a single-glazed sash window to match!
Furthermore, householders are looking at stepping into a minefield if they are considering renewables. Technologies cannot be installed on roofs as they will be visible from the road so that means no photovoltaic panels, solar thermal panels or wind turbines.
In fact, Saltaire’s planning rules are so all pervading that householders in the area may well have difficulty getting Indemnity Insurance; they are expected to take the time and effort to ensure they are getting it right first time before carrying out the work. Such is the price to be paid for living in an area of historic importance.
For most people living in more ordinary neighbourhoods, rules and regulations still apply and it is always a wise move to check before carrying out any modifications to the home. Changes that are commonly overlooked are loft conversions and any work that effects load bearing walls.
There is a government website that people can visit to be on the safe side before getting work done to their home. The site is called The Planning Portal – www.planningportal.gov.uk.
Remember, while a reputable builder may very well raise an eyebrow if you are asking for work to be done that is questionable, it is your responsibility to ensure that any work carried out on your home is permitted.
Building work can add real value to your home as well as bringing extra benefits such as extra space but do it right, and ensure you have permission first. It is better to find out before you start the work than later on when you receive a letter from the council or, worse still, if you find out just as you are about to sell the house.
Like all organisations, local councils can make mistakes. If you think that work done on your house is being questioned unfairly, feel free to get in touch, and we will be happy to help.