Useful Information

Permitted Development Allowance

Depending on your type of property and the planning restrictions in your area some properties can have a loft conversion or extension without applying for planning permission. Permitted development allowance is the amount the property can be extended without planning permission being required. The table below is purely intended as a general guide, it is advised you contact your local authority planning department to ascertain whether or not planning consent is required for your property.

Permitted planning development for houses in the Essex area


The allowance applies to all existing and proposed extensions and additions to your property. They also apply to any existing buildings lying within 5 metres of your property, such as a garage.

Planning & Local Authority Building Control


Should you require planning permission we can complete the appropriate forms and submit them. Planning permission normally takes 8 weeks but depends on your Local Authority. We can if required liaise with the Local Authority to monitor the progress of your application and act accordingly.
Whether planning permission is required or not, before any work commences on site full plans and Engineers calculations need to be submitted to your Local Authority Building Control (LABC) for Building regulation approval. A statutory commencement notice must also be submitted, to inform the LABC that work is about to commence at your property. Building inspectors will then visit the site regularly and they will do the final inspection and certification when the job is complete.

Restrictive Covenants

In some areas your local authority may have some control over how you change your home's appearance or use, through Restrictive Covenants. This is in addition to Planning and Building Control consents.
Before you carry out an alteration to your home, install new windows, build an extension, or convert a loft or a garage you must get covenant approval. Again we can help you complete and submit the application. A fee is payable, usually 1% of the cost of the work (£35 minimum fee) but this may depend on your local authority. To find out if a Restrictive Covenant applies to your property contact your Local Authority Planning Department.

Party WallAct


The Act provides a framework for preventing and resolving disputes in relation to party walls, boundary walls and excavations near neighbouring buildings. Anyone intending to carry out work of the kinds described in the Act must give Adjoining Owners notice of their intentions.
The Act contains no enforcement procedures for failure to serve a notice. However, if you start work without having first giving notice in the proper way, Adjoining Owners may seek to stop your work through a court injunction or seek other legal redress. Adjoining Owners cannot stop someone from exercising the rights given to them by the Act, but may be able to influence how and at what times the work is done.

The principal categories included in the Act are:

Works physically affecting the party wall between twoproperties.

Works physically or indirectly affecting an adjoining building

Excavations and/or building works that could have an effect upon adjacent but remote properties.

If you are not sure whether the Act applies to the work that you are planning, you should seek professional advice.

For further information visit
www.odpm.gov.uk/partywall-1966. alternatively we can supply you with the ODPM Explanatory booklet with your estimate if required.

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