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Top 5 Planning Permission Tips for an Oak Frame Building

When you are looking to build an oak frame building, one of the top concerns is always around planning permission.  The good news is that under the Permitted Development system there is a lot more you can do without needing planning permission than ever before.  However here are five tips on planning permission to help you wade through the maze.

Chat with a planning consultant

One of the first steps to take is to work with a professional planning consultant and see what comments and recommendations they make about the project you are planning.  This will help you decide if it is feasible or if you are going to run into problems. This will include looking at the design plans, the plot if you are building an entirely new building and also any conditions put down by the local authority.  Some types of property will also need a specialist to consult – listed buildings are one that has their own rules

Look at design priorities

When a plan first starts for a building, you need to have design priorities.  These help you consider the size and scale of the building and also to find out what elements are the most important and what you could compromise on if there is a need.  Planning permission may not be granted for all the aspects of your initial design, so it helps to see what you can amend or compromise on to get the project to move forward

Get a professional to make the application

Applying for planning permission is a slightly complex process and that’s why it can be advisable to get a professional involved to help you with the process.  A planning adviser can actually make the entire application for you and this can save time and amendments. That’s because they will have ideas about the local authority regulations and how to overcome any problems that may surface

Try a pre-application

Before jumping in with a full application, the best place to start could be with a pre-application.  If you consult with the local authority planning department and make a pre-application, you can find out potential problems at an early stage.  This is a particularly useful step if you plan to build a house from new or are in a sensitive area such as a Conservation Area where extra rules will apply to normal applications

Remember the right to appeal

A ‘no’ to your application doesn’t have to be the death of the project.  You do have a right to appeal and can also submit an amended proposal that handles any concerns detailed in the original application.  You can do this within 12 months of receiving the decision without there being any additional costs from the local authority as long as the principle of the proposal hasn’t altered.

What can you do without planning permission?

If you are looking to amend an existing building or add an extension, there is a number of things you can do without the need for planning permission.  Some of the examples of projects that fall under Permitted Development include adding a single storey extension, an oak framed extension such as a conservatory, garden room or orangery and changing the use of integral garages.

It is worth noting that whatever you do, even if it falls under Permitted Development, it never hurts to check out with the local authority to make sure that the work is okay.  This is especially true in conservation areas, with listed buildings or other special areas where the normal rules of Permitted Development might not always apply.

How New PD Rules Apply to Planning Permission for Oak Framed Garages

Earlier we mentioned that you can do more than ever before without planning permission these days, and that is certainly true. But how, if at all, does the recent relaxation of the rules impact someone who wants to erect one of our 1, 2 or 3 car detached oak garages on their property? Let’s take a closer look at that now.

What is Covered by the New More Relaxed Planning Rules

The new relaxed permitted development rules certainly allow for more different types of projects to proceed without planning permission. But there are still limits on what can be done, especially in conservation areas. When it comes to oak framed garages in particular the new rules allow homeowners to engage in garage conversion as long as the project stays within the following parameters:

  • All work must be internal work. That is, you cannot make changes to the exterior of a detached garage without permission, but you can gut the garage and completely change the nature of the interior space to your heart’s content as long as you…
  • Do not introduce materials that are not used in the main house. This rule tends to be open to interpretation by different county and local councils, which only points to the importance of having a qualified professional on your side during the project planning phase.
  • You cannot enlarge the garage. You can do what you want to the interior of the garage, but any changes you make to the inside cannot expand the floor area or otherwise increase the size and position of the existing garage. That is, the existing exterior walls and roof must remain untouched.

While these new, more relaxed planning rules will be good news for those who want to renovate their detached garage, or transform the space from car storage to a home gym or family recreation space, you’ll notice they don’t mention anything about not needing planning permission for oak framed buildings.

Therefore, it is safe to assume that in most parts of the country you will need planning permission for oak framed garages before you go ahead and start assembling your Trade Oak 1 or 2 storey wooden garage kit. You should, in fact, expect the process of receiving planning from the local planning authority to take at least 6 weeks, and integrate that amount of time into your project schedule.