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Do I need an architect for planning permission?

If you're wondering if an architect is required for planning permission, give this article a look. You might be surprised by just how handy they can be!

3 min read

Planning permission, if you’ve never taken on a home project before, it’s likely you’ve heard the horror stories. Tales about unruly planning officers, restrictive councils, and multiple refusals. That’s to say nothing of trying to work out how you even apply for it in the first place.

If you’re struggling to understand how planning permission works, you might have stumbled onto articles referencing architects and wondered if these home experts are needed. Have no fear, we’re here to clear things up…


You are neither required by law to have an architect submit your planning application or design your home. In fact, anyone can put together a set of floorplans.

Does this mean you should avoid architects altogether? Again, no. Here’s why…

Why you should get an architect onboard

Finding an architect who will handle the planning process on your behalf is one of the best things you can do for your home, especially if you’re adding either an extension or creating a loft conversion.


Well firstly, they’ve been there and done that. An experienced architect will have submitted hundreds of planning applications, and will, therefore, have experience in not only making sure the nitty-gritty details are correct but will also likely have a personal relationship with your local authority. As much as it sucks, planning applications have an element of the subjectivity to them. One council can approval what another rejects, that’s why it pays to know those in charge, as it means your architect will anticipate what has a history of rejection.

At Resi, we’ve submitted over 1000 planning applications. This experience means our current approval rate is 93%!

There's more than just planning permission out there

Not all projects require planning permission. In fact, your home could benefit from permitted development rights.

This government scheme allows you to extend your home providing certain conditions are met. These conditions are concerned with…

  • How far back you extend
  • Whether any previous alterations have been made
  • The height of your conversion or extension
  • Where your extension sits
  • What type your home is
  • Where you’re located in the UK

Learn more about your permitted development rights here.

Because of their technical nature, it can be hard to navigate what does and doesn’t sit within this scheme. That’s why having an architect on board is such a blessing. They’ll be able to assess if your permitted development rights are applicable for your project and ensure you don’t fall foul of the rules.

Though planning permission isn’t required, we would still recommend getting a lawful development certificate if using this alternative planning route. Luckily, this is also something an architect can handle on your behalf.

Conclusion: top 5 reasons to use an architect

Still not sure an architect is right for your home? Consider these top five reasons why architects can make your project a dream, instead of a planning nightmare…

  • Time: by having an expert by your side you’re more likely to secure first time approval, meaning no lengthy reapplication processes.
  • Ease: at Resi, we’ll not only put together your planning package but we’ll also liaise with the local authority on your behalf.
  • Better design: architects are thee experts in home design, by having one put your designs together you’re more likely to get the most space for your budget, as well as better returns when it comes to selling in the future.
  • Value for money: while paying a professional to come in may not sound cost-effective you have to think how much money could be saved by securing approval first time round. This avoids the costly process of rejection and means you won’t have to keep readjusting your designs.
  • Expertise on hand: should your project come under contention, some nice planning officers will alert the architect you're working with so quick design changes can be made. This means you can get it over the line first time around.

Want to learn more about how an architect can benefit your home? Book a free consultation our team. No matter your project, we’re always on hand with expert advice, just a phone call away.

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