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We’re constantly receiving queries from eager Epsom property owners who are looking to invest in home improvements like property extensions and loft conversions, but are unsure about what type and extent of work is allowed under permitted development rights. C Dingle likes to go beyond what is typically expected of builders, bathroom fitters and kitchen fitters, by providing expert and no-obligation advice at every juncture. While we are always happy to talk this over on the phone, we thought that with the advent of our new blog, we’d take it on ourselves to put up an article that demystifies the seemingly arcane topic that is planning permission.


If you’re more interested in discussing how our builders, kitchen fitters and bathroom fitters can help deliver a project for you – whether it be the aforementioned property extensions and loft conversions, or one of the other projects detailed on our services page – feel free to skip out! Instead, pick up the phone and dial 01737 831 300. We have a fantastic reputation around the Epsom area, but keep in mind we also serve the wider Surrey area.


The Epsom Area’s Trusted Builders Demystify Planning Law


For ease of digestion and to allow readers to hop to sub-sections they’re interested in, we’ve divvied this up into questions and sections, starting from the very basic question of…


What is planning permission?


Consent from Epsom’s local planning authority to build a brand new property, or have builders significantly alter an existing property (e.g certain loft conversions and property extensions). It is often a legal requirement, and not having it could incur significant fines and mean a property improvement has to be knocked down or reverted.


Do I require planning permission?


Permitted Development rights allow you to make certain alterations without applying for permission. It has a lot to do with the size of the project, and the type of rights you have. Some properties, for example listed buildings, can only be altered under very specific circumstances.


Smaller property extensions will often fall under Permitted Development, but those which drastically increase the square footage of your home will need the green light. Loft conversions that don’t involve alterations to roof structure are usually fine, while those that require part of the roof to be rebuilt (e.g mansard loft conversions) will also need to go through the official process.

As so many factors play into whether you should lodge an application (and obviously you don’t want to unless it’s 100% required), we recommend you contact our builders, bathroom fitters and kitchen fitters for bespoke advice. We’ve assisted countless Epsom property owners with obtaining permission, so it’s really part and parcel of the service we provide.


What are the differences between outline and full permission?


Essentially, outline permission allows you to construct a dwelling under a number of restrictions/conditions which need to be read and properly understood. It is usually obtained prior to full designs being drawn up for the end property. Full permission is more relaxed, and is usually granted when detailed blueprints have been submitted for review.


How much does it cost to lodge an application?


It depends on what you’re applying for and where you live. If you’re looking to construct a new build in Epsom, then it’ll be around £462 (subject to fluctuation). Smaller projects our builders, kitchen fitters and bathroom fitters take on, like property extensions and loft conversions, are a bit under half that price.


How do they decide if you get permission or not?


There’s a long list of factors which a planning authority will consider, including:


  • Whether the project will infringe on others’ privacy
  • Obstruction of light or overshadowing
  • Nearby parking
  • Highway safety and impact on traffic
  • Whether you’re in a Conservation area or near a listed building
  • Layout and design of building (including appearance and materials used)
  • Current governmental policy
  • Previous planning decisions in the local area


But this isn’t exhaustive. If you want help preparing an application, we’re more than happy to help!


When can I expect to hear back by?


There’s no set date, but Epsom authorities usually get planning applications back between 10 and 12 weeks. When you have your eye set on loft conversions, property extensions or even the new build  we hope to construct as your chosen builders, kitchen fitters and bathroom fitters – the wait can be excruciating! But keep calm. This is the quiet before the storm of construction begins… Enjoy it!


They’ve said no! What can I do?


While around 3 of every 4 applications are given a stamp of approval, failure does happen. You can always amend a plan and re-submit it once you’ve addressed the reasons that caused you to fail (which will be detailed). We can help in this process. Nearly half of all refused applications are later granted permission following appeal, if you’re not willing to budge on a certain detail.


Does planning permission expire?


Yes. You’ll need to get going with the property extensions, loft conversions or similar projects you’ve gained permission for within 3 years. After this, you’ll face the sad fact of having to reapply! While we make sure our Epsom clients don’t find the whole process too much of a chore, it’s still not ideal. So be sure to call in our builders, bathroom fitters and kitchen fitters to get cracking ASAP!


Want to discuss getting permission for loft conversions or property extensions on an Epsom property? Call your local builders, kitchen fitters and bathroom fitters on 01737 831 300.

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