Most useful life lessons include aspects of planning. Whether this is revision for an exam, preparing a big work presentation or a car journey to an area you’ve never visited before, preparing for the process will help you expect the unexpected when the time comes!

This is no different in the housing sector, as obtaining planning permission is a crucial tick in the box of ensuring your new structure is safe, secure and in the best interests of those around it. Without planning permission, you are running the risk of wasting time and money on a project that doesn’t meet the regulations of your local council, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry, right?

Still confused as to why planning permission is needed? Read on and we can tell you more.

When do I need to apply for planning permission?

Planning permission is a must if you are looking to make wide scale changes to your property, or add a new building altogether. It is a document provided by the local authority that permits you to carry out your desired project, giving you the green light to make a start.

Any smaller alterations can usually go ahead without planning permission, as they can be made under Permitted Development Rights. Unsure about whether you need planning permission or not? The experienced team at St Helens Law can help today.

If you have the relevant documents to hand regarding your planning application, you should look to apply as soon as you can. The decision can take up to eight weeks to make, so be sure to accommodate this time with any prospective tradespeople.

What does the planning permission process involve?

Two of the most common types of planning permission are:

  • Outline Planning Permission
  • Full Planning Permission

Outline Planning Permission provides your local authority with your intention to build a new property on a piece of land that you own. For many, it is preferred to apply for Outline Planning Permission initially, as this application is usually far less detailed. It purely gives a brief profile of your project, so you know whether any further work can be completed.

Full Planning Permission may be needed if you are looking to provide your building with structural alterations to change its use or extend your property into something bigger. It may also be relevant when planning on creating a building in your garden or demolishing an existing building on your land.

If you need assistance when deciding which applies to you, get in touch with the most reputable housing solicitors in St Helens.

An application should include any fees involved, a plan of the site as well as any potential elevations. It should also provide a signed ownership certificate and a Design and Access Statement.

What happens after I receive planning permission?

The local authority will then evaluate a plethora of “material considerations” to see if they are happy with your planning application and are willing to give you permission. These include (amongst others):

  • Traffic
  • Noise
  • Loss of privacy for neighbours
  • Disabled access
  • Nature conservation
  • Design, appearance and relevant materials

Received permission? That’s great! You now have three years to start your project before you will need to reapply. You can now continue as normal and go full steam ahead towards potentially creating your dream home. Once you have planning permission you can use this in your corner if your project is ever contested in the future.

The opinions of neighbours should be taken into account whilst in the planning permission process, but, contrary to popular belief, they often have no bearing on its outcome. Although you may be unpopular with those around you due to the ill-feeling, they can very rarely stop the application from being accepted by the authority.

Get in touch today

Here at St Helens Law, we specialise in property law. So whether you are in need of planning permission and don’t know where to start, or you have a big project in mind and need a solicitor for buying a house in St Helens, we can be of assistance. Receive the legal help you deserve today with our team of friendly experts, benefitting from our well-respected service as soon as you’re ready.

Give us a call on 01744 742360 or drop us an email at for a swift response. You can also fill out our online form and request your FREE 30 minute consultation with one of our team.