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Architectural and planning services in Southampton

If you’re looking to renovate or extend your Southampton home but you’re unsure where to start, we’ve got the experience and expertise to help you get started.

4 min read

Whether you’re looking for architectural or design support, planning expertise or practical surveying insights, we’ve got each step of your home renovation journey covered. With over 6,000 projects completed and an industry leading planning approval rate of 91%, you'll be in excellent hands with Resi.

In this article, we’re going to look into some of the specificities of Southampton that could impact your proposed project and how to counter any obstacles that could emerge to give your plans the best chance of success.

How to prepare for a Full Planning Application in Southampton?

Before you begin to apply for a Full Planning Application for your Southampton home, there are some important steps you need to take that could improve your chances. First things first, we’re pleased to let you know that the figures suggest that the likelihood of your plans going ahead is good. In 2022, there were 33 Larger Home Applications and 100% of these were approved. There were also 547 Householder Applications, of which 94% were granted. While this is promising news, there are plenty of other ways to boost your chances of getting a Full Planning Application. Here are just a few:

#1 Check if your project doesn’t fall under Permitted Development

One of the best ways to get the ball rolling on your project is to check whether it can be carried out using Permitted Development Rights. Essentially, Permitted Development rights grant you permission to build certain extensions or renovations on your property if they fall within a series of restrictions. Southampton Council delves further into what Permitted Development is and how to check whether it applies to your project idea here.

#2 Have a look at your area’s specificities

Southampton has been ranked as the UK’s 3rd best city in the UK for green spaces. As a homeowner in the area, you’ll recognise the benefits of this, but there’s no doubt it can create certain restrictions when it comes to extending or renovating your property.  While there are no designated AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty) and it’s not impacted by a Green Belt, there are 20 Conservation Areas throughout Southampton that you’ll want to be aware of.

So, why do you need to be aware of whether your property falls within a Conservation Area? These areas are defined by either their architectural, historical or natural importance and, in an effort to retain their integrity, special protections are put in place to retain or enhance their condition. If your property falls within one of these areas, it could then restrict what you’re able or not able to do with regard to renovations. Read more directly from Southampton Council here.

In addition to Conservation Areas, there are over 450 listed buildings in the Southampton area including the 12th-century Medieval Merchants' House on French Street and Wyndham Court, the 1960s block of flats opposite the Central Railway Station. While it’s not impossible to extend or renovate a listed building, you will have to be extremely particular about the work you’re intending to carry out as there will be restrictions in place. Find out if you live in a listed building here and book a free advice call with our experienced in-house Planning team members for tailored advice regarding how to proceed.

Green spaces in Southampton

#3 Notify your neighbours

Because the majority of property sales in Southampton are flats, it’s likely that many inquiries or requests for home extensions or renovations will raise Party Wall matters. A Party Wall is a wall that’s shared with a neighbour: a partition between houses or flats. Due to the shared boundary and the conflicts that can arise from building work in neighbouring properties, it’ll be in your best interest to establish positive communication with your neighbours.

In addition to establishing a cordial connection with your neighbours, if you’re planning to undergo a home renovation or extension, you should also consider presenting detailed 3D drawings of your plans to your neighbours and establishing a Party Wall Agreement. To find out more about how to serve a Party Wall Notice, read this guide or book a free advice call with our in-house planning team.

#4 Secure an experienced designer or architect

At Resi, we don’t do things traditionally and part of our ethos is that you don’t necessarily need to hire an architect in order for your project to run smoothly. However, having either an architect or an experienced designer on board your home renovation or extension project can be hugely beneficial to the smooth running and outcome of your project.

We have a mixture of both in-house architects and designers. Our belief is that talented designers with quality experience are just as capable as qualified architects to design, plan and advise.

Here are just some of the benefits of enlisting an architect or designer:

  • High quality existing drawings
  • Increased chance of planning success
  • Expert knowledge
  • Greater chance of increasing property value

#5 Make your extension sustainable

Sustainability looks set to be a growing priority in home renovation and extension projects in the coming years. In Southampton, the council has developed a Sustainability Checklist that details a list of principles that are intended to determine whether your project plans either complement or support the council’s climate-tackling pledge. If you’re seeking planning permission for extensions and conversions of one unit or more that exceed 500 square metres, you are now required to fill out this checklist. If that applies to you, ensure that you discuss the importance of incorporating sustainability into your build plans with your designer or architect.

Resi, the design and architecture service you need

Resi project © Matt Gamble

To give your dreams of a home renovation or extension on your Southampton property the very best chance of being approved, created and built to an impressive standard, book a free advice call to discuss your ideas.

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