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Planning support, architects and building support in Guildford

Want to extend your Guildford home? This guide is for you: find out where to start with your planning application, how to find architects and more.

5 min read

If you’re looking to extend or renovate your home in Guildford, we have the team you need to get started. Whether it’s support with planning, creative design guidance or introductions to local contractors that you’re looking for, we have experienced ARB registered Architects as well as Technologists, and designers on-hand to help you each step of the way.

Add extra space to your Guildford home with an extension

Guildford residents will be familiar with its quintessential English charm, vibrant centre and convenient connection to London – it’s no wonder that Guildford topped the coveted Sunday Times Top Places to Live charts in 2023. Just a 40 minute train journey separates Guildford from the centre of London, making it ideal for young families that need ample outdoor space and a speedy connection to the capital. The Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is also just a stone's throw from Guildford, with standout nature reserve Newlands Corner just 4 miles from the town centre. This means that residents in Guildford enjoy the best of city and country living – and at a fraction of a cost of living in London.

An average terraced house in the nation’s capital can go for £834,475 while, according to property experts Zoopla, the same in Guildford is approximately £483,439. In addition to being more affordable to buy, it could also be more affordable to extend and create even more space in your home.

How an extension in Guildford could benefit you

An extension could be a great option for you if you have a growing family and need more space or if you’re hoping to add extra value to your property. Depending on the type of project you undertake, you could also significantly improve your sense of wellbeing at home with factors like adding extra light and open-plan spaces, as well as energy efficiency. According to data from our 2023 Happy Home survey, one of the most significant indicators of how much we enjoy our homes was how much they cost to run. Therefore, it’s well worth investing in ensuring your home’s energy performance is as optimised as possible.

Improving energy efficiency in our homes is also a priority for Guildford local council, who have pledged their support for retrofitting homes that require obtaining planning permission. To find out whether you’re eligible for this service, contact your Local Planning Authority (LPA) or get in touch with our experienced in-house Planning Team for a free advice call.

Getting an extension in Guildford

How much does an extension cost in Guildford?

While the price for each extension type will vary hugely depending on your existing property and the size and scope of your proposed extension, we are able to offer some ballpark figures from our experienced team to give you an idea of how much it might cost to get a house renovation in Guildford:
- Single-storey extension: £21K - £76K
- Two-storey extension: £93K - £210K
- Rear extension: £62K - £115K
- Side extension: £62K - £93K
- Wraparound extension: £76K - £210K

How to get planning permission for your extension project in Guildford

While recent figures would suggest that it can be challenging to get planning permission for extensions in the Guildford area, it’s by no means an unachievable task. Last year, 22 Larger Home Extension Applications were made and only 37% of these were approved. These are applications made for larger single-storey rear extensions that can be built under ‘prior approval’ as long as they fit within certain measurements. That being said, some extension projects won’t even require planning permission – in 2022, 338 applications for Permitted Development were made. These projects, if approved, are able to go ahead without a full planning application.

Consult Guildford Borough’s advice pages regarding whether your extension can be carried out under Permitted Development. Alternatively, if you’re new to the process and would appreciate some further guidance, book a free consultation with our experienced Planning team. With a 91% planning approval rate to show off, plus years of planning application expertise and experience, they could be the difference between your extension plans going forward or not.

Take into account Guildford’s specificities

If you’re seeking planning permission in Guildford, it’s in your interest to take note of the area’s specificities so you can successfully counter any opposition to your extension plans that you might face. This includes factors like Guildford having 24,000 hectares of greenbelt land and part of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty falls into Guildford. In addition to this, there are numerous Conservation Areas within Guildford.

This means that they represent historical, architectural value that needs to be protected. Great pains are taken to improve or enhance these features and, as a result, there are certain regulations and restrictions in place that could prove to be an obstacle for your extension plans.

If you’re unfamiliar with the particular rules around your postcode and property, and how they might impact your proposed extension ideas, book a free consultation with our Planning team and begin your renovation journey.

Guildford specificities

Apply now

When it comes to house extensions, time is of the essence and the sooner you begin the necessary steps to get your planning permission, the sooner you’ll be able to begin your build. This is particularly true for some areas over others. Unfortunately, in recent years, Guildford council has been sifting through a backlog of applications. This is largely because they received around 500 more applications than their historic average in 2021. Application numbers remained high in 2022.

The impact of the increase in applications has meant that Guildford council have seen significant delays in approval time frames. From January to March 2022, for example, only 26% of applications were decided on time and, in 2022 overall, only 68% of applications were decided on time.

How to find good architects and builders for your extension in Guildford?

Your architect should be able to advise you on recommended contractors or else you can get in touch with our Connect team. They’ll introduce you to tradespeople in Guildford who have been vetted against a range of criteria amongst which are: whether or not they are Trustmark or FMB affiliated; whether they have the relevant insurances in place; an assessment of their past work; meeting minimum financial standards; and finally, references from both previous customers and trade.

Try out our Local Professional Search tool today or, if you’re unsure of which professionals you need at this stage in your renovation journey, book a free advice call with one of our experts.

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