While having your planning application refused may feel like the end of the world at the time, hang tight! It’s not the end of your home improvement dreams, merely a bump in the road.
With the right architectural knowledge and expertise by your side, it’s possible to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.
It might sound obvious, but preventing a problem is often easier than fixing one, and it’s no different with planning permission. That’s why we recommend ensuring you’ve got the best professionals behind you right from the get go, to help ensure you don’t face rejection in the first place.
If you are choosing to go with an architect, which is recommended, it’s advisable to spend time searching for a reputable practice, and to not just pick the first, or the cheapest option found. Obtain at least 3 quotes, and be sure to read reviews, ask friends, and speak with the company itself, in order to know you’re dealing with a reputable practice.
Top tip: Be wary of No Win No Fee architectural practices when beginning your planning phase, as there are only two explanations behind their strategy - either their services are less likely to achieve approval, or they’re overpriced.
If you need help finding an architect, you can check out our handy tool here.
Why does an application get rejected?
A lot of the time, the reason an application gets rejected can be narrowed down to one factor. Here are some of the most common:
- Your build overlooks other homes, causing a loss of privacy
- Your build overshadows a neighbour, causing loss of light
- Your build’s appearance is out of character with the existing property
- Environmental concerns
Sometimes, your chances of rejection are even based on the affluence of your local area. A recent study by Resi has shown that planning authorities in the wealthier areas of London tend to have higher approval rates than those in areas with a lower average property value. Unfortunately for the homeowner, this postcode lottery is something that is out of the individual’s control.
What do I do if my application is refused?
If your application has been refused, there are few routes you can go down…
- Submit another application, free of charge, within 12 months of refusal, with appropriate design changes.
- If you think the council has unfairly refused your plans, you can appeal to the Secretary of State.
- Likewise, if the council has taken over 8 weeks to respond to your application, you can put forward an appeal.
In most cases, the best course to follow is simply submitting another application. Putting forward an appeal can take months, and is often very costly. Not to mention, there’s no guarantee after all that waiting and money anything will come of it.
How can an architect help?
More often than not, there will be a specific reason as to why your planning application was refused - examples of which are listed above.
This is where having an architect by your side comes in handy, as they can find a reason for refusal from the planning officer and work out how to modify your plans in order to ensure this does not happen again. While even then approval is not guaranteed, with your amended plans and elevations the likelihood for further refusal can be reduced.
Your architect can also alert you to any further additional costs that may arise, and can help with your next steps, once planning has been secured.
If you’re struggling with your planning application, why not speak to an architect? Book in a free consultation call with one of our expert advisers today.