The dos & don’ts of planning permission.

Published on 19th February 2014

Glass Extension by Apropos

If there are any two words likely to bring a shiver to the spine of an experienced home renovator, they are planning permission. Forget dry rot, subsidence and dodgy contractors; planning permission has turned more heads grey. At Apropos we deal with local Planning authorities everyday and we’ve picked up a tip or two throughout the years.

If you’re thinking of enhancing your home with an Apropos glass extension, we can handle the hassle for you, but if you have something bigger, or brickier in mind, read on…


  • Be sympathetic – Your design can be gloriously avant garde, but try to maintain the character of the surrounding area – keep the same roofline, avoid garish colours and obtrusive materials; while a reflective cladding may seem the essence of elegance to you, your opposite neighbours may not wish to bask in your reflected glory.
  • Consider privacy – Yours, your neighbours, your home’s future owners. Planning authorities are much more likely to approve a structure if you can show that your life-enhancement project won’t infringe on anyone else.
  • Discuss your plans with your neighbours – If you can overcome objections at a friendly, informal level without antagonising anyone local, the council can have fewer objections.
  • Think forward – Contemplate who may own your home when you leave it. You might not need a garden or parking spaces now, but future owners may well do. Planners need to know that your property provides suitable amenity for the future.


  • Make assumptions – While many renovations can be carried out without planning permission, it always pays to check. A skylight would, for example, pose no problems in many homes. In a conservation area however, the way a building looks from the street is integral. It takes half an hour to research; it takes a lot more time and money to undo.
  • Build now, plan later – It takes, on average, eight weeks for a decision to be made once a planning application has been submitted. In the scheme of things, that’s not long to wait. It’s certainly not worth the rod for your back that building without permission could create.
  • If things don’t work out, do not ignore an enforcement notice – the biggest don’t of all. You can always appeal against a decision, and often with a little tweaking you can reach a suitable arrangement, but if you carry on regardless you wouldn’t be the first person to have their gorgeous new home unceremoniously destroyed.

If you’d like to stay in touch you can order your free copy of our 2014 brochure here or to speak with someone directly call; 0161 342 8206.

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