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Everything you need to know about your local authority

If you're not sure what the role of your local authority is during the planning process, check out our blog.

2 min read

When it comes to extending, you’ve probably run your project past everyone you can think of. Your partner, your parents, your kids, friends, co-workers… but have you thought about your planning officer?

Your planning officer is basically an extension of your local authority, and in case you didn’t know, they’re going to play a big role in your extension. In fact, they pretty much hold its fate in their hands. Here’s how...

What is a local authority?

A local authority is a Government body that works in your area to provide a range of vital services. They come in various branches: county councils, city councils, London boroughs, the list goes on!

For extending your home, you’ll be dealing with the planning department, who have to review all applications for home development, or creation. You won’t be able to start building until they give approval, and if you do start building before that point, you’ll potentially have to tear down what you’ve constructed, plus face some heavy fines.

Planning applications

In order to get your extension the green light, you’ll have to submit a planning application. You can do this yourself, or you can get a planning agent - typically your architect.

In order to be successful, a planning application will include:

  • Existing and proposed floor plans, elevations along with block and site location plans
  • Supporting documentation, including certification of ownership and a design and access statement
  • Completed planning application form

On top of this, you’ll also have to pay a fee to your local authority. For this reason, it’s advisable that you get approval first time round, otherwise you’re just eating into your budget. Having your architect manage your application is the best way to ensure success. Not only because they’ll make sure your paperwork is of the highest standard, they can also talk to the planning officer, who’s reviewing your project, and make any alterations to the design that the officer suggests.

Other home services

Along with planning permission, your local authority might also be able to help with other home improvements. However, it’s worth pointing out that each council works differently, and some offer services that others do not. They may also have conditions on who can and can’t receive these services.

If you’re looking to adapt, improve, or repair your home, the council might offer…

  • Advice
  • Builder recommendations
  • Free or low cost surveys
  • Discounted tools or materials
  • A grant or loan

The Government has also constructed a helpful planning guide, for every homeowner looking to extend to use. The Planning Portal not only offers expert advice, it also helps you find your local council, and submit planning to them.

Looking to improve your home?

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