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Planning support and architectural designers in Sevenoaks

Living in Sevenoaks and thinking of extending your home? Resi provides planning support and architectural designers to guide you through the whole process.

7 min read

Living in Sevenoaks and thinking of extending your home? Resi provides planning support and architectural designers to guide you through the whole process.

We have everything you need when it comes to planning and design advice if you’re looking to extend or renovate your Sevenoaks home.

Whether you’re looking for practical guidance, cost insights or helpful tips for how to secure planning permission, this is your one-stop-shop for making your renovation happen in Sevenoaks.

We’ve completed over 6,000 home extension projects around the UK and our planning approval success rate is at an impressive 91%. In our 6 years of experience, we’ve become the UK’s largest architectural practice. There’s nobody better suited to bring your ideal home to life.

Improve, don’t move in Sevenoaks

If you’re fortunate enough to own a home in Sevenoaks, you’ll likely be aware of (or unsurprised by!) its presence on The Sunday Times’ ‘Best Places to Live in the Southeast’ list in both 2021 and 2022. A huge 60% of the District lies within the Kent Downs or High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a figure both remarkable as a standalone fact and made more so by its proximity and commutability to London.

On a good day the journey between Sevenoaks and Central London can be as fast as 22 minutes, making it a picturesque haven for city workers. According to figures obtained by Zoopla at the time of writing, house prices in Sevenoaks are above the UK average at £461,141 for a regular terraced house (follow the link for updated figures). In comparison to London’s dizzying average of £842,093 for the same type of property, the annual fee for a season ticket between the two places of around £4180 seems like a drop in the ocean. Given this contrast, the case for investing in home renovations in Sevenoaks rather than moving into the capital becomes ever more clear.

Whether or not you’re a commuter, Sevenoaks poses the unique opportunity to live in a beautiful area with a bustling centre and charming neighbouring villages. It also offers excellent schools, independent shops, atmospheric restaurants and thriving social sports clubs. With all this on your doorstep, extending your home could be a huge opportunity to improve your existing home and increase its value.

How to prepare for your home extension project in Sevenoaks?

Minimise the risk of rejection, delays or inflated budgets for your home extension project by getting to know the process and understanding what’s behind each step.

First things first, design is crucial. Every other aspect of your project will depend on the quality and details of your drawings. Let’s dive in and explore the steps it takes to get your project plans over the line.

#1 Plan for budget and avoid delays

Before you can get accurate cost estimates for your project, you’ll need detailed architectural and quality technical drawings. The more accurate and specific your drawings are, the better the level of detail you’re passing on to your builder and the better chance of receiving accurate cost estimates. This is vital because a good drawing will inform how long your project will take to be completed, what materials you need and even whether it might be a good idea to vacate your home while the work is being carried out.

#2 Prepare for planning permission

At Resi, we’ve completed 44 projects in the Sevenoaks area so we’re well poised to get your project idea approved.

In 2022, Sevenoaks council reviewed 1042 planning applications. Make the Planning Officer’s life easier by submitting highly detailed designs. This will help prevent your plans being misinterpreted and requiring clarification.

There were 26 applications for the Larger Homes Extension scheme, 98% of these were approved. This is an option for building larger extensions under Permitted Development rights under the prior approval large extension system. Learn more about the specific guidelines for this scheme here. The good news is that, if your property is eligible for this scheme, 98% of these application were approved

From our data in Sevenoaks, it can take an average of between 8 to 13 weeks to get a response from the council. They currently have a good record when it comes to deciding applications on time – 90% were decided on time in 2022.

The first step is to get a detailed drawing of your existing property so your proposed extension design can be compared against it. This is a good way of determining whether your plans are likely to impact on your neighbours and jeopardise your chances of obtaining planning permission.

Consider Sevenoaks land specificities

Listed Buildings

Be aware of the land specificity for different areas of Sevenoaks. If you live in this richly historic area, you’ll have noticed the diverse period buildings – from Tudor-style houses to Victorian villas, Georgian townhouses and impressive Edwardian homes. Sevenoaks has over 1650 Listed Buildings. They can be selected for their historical, architectural or national significance and it’s important to be aware of them as there are specific rules and regulations put in place as a protective measure. If you live in one, it’s not impossible to get planning permission but it is more difficult and you’ll benefit from our Planning Team’s expertise when it comes to securing it.

The Green Belt, Conservation Areas & Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty

The majority of the Sevenoaks district falls within the Metropolitan Green belt and 60% of the district lies within the Kent Downs or High Weald Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. There are also 41 Conservation Areas within Sevenoaks. These designations can place specific restrictions on what your rights are when it comes to planning and developments in the area. For example, Heaverham Conservation Area covers 3.1 hectares and contains 5 Listed Buildings. This Conservation Area lies within the Metropolitan Green Belt and is part of the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. However, as long as they fall within a strict framework, extensions or alterations are still possible – that’s where our experience comes in handy. This is a complex matter and you should seek our in-house expertise if you’re really serious about that extension.

Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Sevenoaks

#3 Check for Permitted Development eligibility

For some more simple, standard extensions you may not necessarily need to apply for full planning permission. There you’ll be able to build your extension without asking Sevenoaks District Council first. But the rules are strict when it comes to Permitted Development. To make sure your home extension is legal you can read the Sevenoaks District Council residential Extensions Supplementary Planning Document or get guidance from our experienced Planning team.

One of the most effective ways to future-proof your extension under Permitted Development is to get a Lawful Development Certificate from the council. This paperwork is to ensure your project is legal at the point of construction which could also be important for future buyers if you plan to sell your property – or if a new neighbour complains about the proximity of your extension.

#4 Check for Party Wall Agreement

This is something that Sevenoaks District Council will look out for. While there are a number of detached properties in the area where Party Walls aren’t shared and you won’t require a Party Wall Agreement, there will be some that require your neighbour’s approval (and a Party Wall Agreement) to avoid any conflict or surprises down the line.

Our advice: get detailed designs and even 3D drawings, pop around for a cup of tea and discuss your plans with your neighbours before applying for planning. Get them on board to avoid wasting time and money.

How much do home extensions cost in the Sevenoaks area?

There’s no one-size-fits-all for extension prices because each property and project is unique. While we can offer ballpark figures, it’s not exact and will vary depending on various factors – from your existing property to the size of your desired extension, the materials you’d like and which contractors you choose. With that in mind, here are the cost estimates from the Resi team for Sevenoaks:

  • Single-storey extension: £40-90K
  • Two-storey extension: £155-285K
  • Rear extension: £60-110K
  • Side extension: £40-120K
  • Wraparound extension: £75-110K

A Resi extension

How can Resi help?

We’re here to help with all things costs, planning, and financing when it comes to your renovation or extension ideas:

  • Try our Quick Quote Calculator to get a sense of how much your project could set you back
  • Try our free Value-Added Calculator to get an idea of how much value could be added to your property with your proposed works
  • Try our free online Permitted Development Tool to find out if you can build under Permitted Development rights or if you’ll need planning permission
  • Try our free online Finance Form to compare the latest loan rates for your project (Resi has access to 90 different lenders)

If you’re ready to move forward with your project, book a free advice call with our in-house home extension specialists.

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