Planning a home improvement project can lead to a brilliant addition; not only does it give you more space, whether it’s for your belongings or extra family members, but it adds to the property value too. However, with certain types of development you will need the relevant permissions before you start any work.

If this is the case you will need to submit a property planning application to your local authority before you start. This article shall look at the basics of the process of submitting a property planning application.

Why Property Planning Applications?

It may seem like unnecessary red tape, but a property planning application really is essential. Not only is it vital for you as a homeowner, to ensure that you won’t run into any problems with your extension, but also to ensure that there are no problems for other people or the local council.

Checking that the ground you wish to extend into is fair game is a must to ensure that you don’t run into any problems later down the line. You may think that extra bit of space in front of your house is the ideal place to put a conservatory, but if the proposed extension would therefore be too close to the road you may run into issues later on, such as blocking lines of sight for passing traffic.


Planning a property needs to be done properly.

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Not only is it important to submit a property planning application for your sake, but for the sake of others too. Proper property planning takes into account the height of extensions for example to ensure that there is no breach of a neighbour’s privacy. It even includes the aesthetics of your extension for the sake of others; let’s say you want to attach a very out-of-place modern extension to an old cottage in a community consisting primarily of similar buildings, it may be declined for the sake of the village and others in the community. Many consider this to be a fair decision; after all, the additional housing value of other properties from being located in an idyllic quaint hamlet may be decreased if you ruin the ambience with your extension.

Do You Need to Submit a Property Planning Application?

Generally speaking, there are some projects that shouldn’t really require any form of planning permission. Anything that doesn’t extend beyond the boundaries of the existing property is usually fine; many interior renovations therefore can proceed without a planning application. Equally some extensions don’t need any planning permissions, such as some conservatories. However, it’s always worth checking beforehand, just to be sure.

If there’s any concern that your project will interfere with or runs close to any boundaries of your property, it’s worth submitting a planning application. If you have any concerns regarding the structural stability of the ground to be built on or the proposed extension it’s also a good idea to submit an application. In general, it’s always best to submit one if you aren’t sure, just to check that everything can go ahead as planned. Seek the advice of an Architect’s firm if you are in any doubt, they will have substantial experience of the planning process and you could save a lot of money later on!

Different Councils, Different Rules

The last thing to be aware of is that different local councils have different rules when it comes to submitting planning applications. Not only are there different rules in terms of proximity to boundaries or aesthetic limitations, different areas pose different hindrances to construction.


A well finished property is very satisfying.

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 For example, if you live in low-lying land which is prone to flooding there will be more stringent restrictions on building works. Equally if you live in an area populated by endangered or protected species, there may be further limitations. As such, it is always good to submit a planning application or at the very least get in touch with your local council to ask if there may be any issues regarding your project.

How it Works

The application process is a simple one, after you have submitted your application, the local authority will review it and within roughly 21 days will respond with permission, a flat refusal and the grounds for doing so, or suggestions as to what needs to change to get approval.


Submitting a property planning application is a simple and necessary process for most home extension projects. It’s not always necessary, but it’s best to check with your local planning authority to be on the safe side.

Image credits: Eric Fischerand archer10 Dennis