Planning Made Perfect.

Published on 26th February 2015

Planning permission


Formal permission from a local authority for the erection or alteration of buildings or similar development.

1. This planning permission application is such a headache.

2. Your planning permission application has been declined.

3. Argh! The stupid, nit-picking, pedanticism of the council planning permission board!

It’s funny how much stress a simple piece of paper can bring into your life, but there’s nothing like a planning permission application to grind your teeth to stubs. It’s not just the hair-splitting, although there’s plenty enough of that; it’s the jargon, the time scale, and the politics that really crush the spirit. The thing to remember is that planning permission is there for a reason – would you want your neighbour filling their garden with a three storey extension with windows overlooking your home? – and the way to get through it is to learn how to play the game.

5 Steps to Planning Permission Perfection
  1. Know the Rules – You can’t win the game if you don’t understand the rules, so do your research before you start. Unfortunately, because planning involves local politics and the rules can be open to interpretation, there is scope for inconsistencies, but if you start your project with the basics in mind you’re much more likely to succeed.
  2. Be Flexible – As the Rolling Stones once said, ‘you can’t always get what you want, but… you just might find you get what you need.’ Starting a project with intractable ideas is a guaranteed path to disappointment. If you begin with a good idea and an open mind, success if far more likely.
  3. It’s Good to Talk – Your neighbours can strongly influence planning permission decisions as they’ll have to live with the building as much as you do, so get them onside before you begin. Tell them your plans, ask for their views, be considerate, and explain how much disruption will be involved – honesty pays. If your neighbours don’t object, the planning board have one less reason to object too.
  4. Bend the Rules – Planning decisions should be made in accordance with local policies unless there is good reason not to, so if you have your heart set on something in a grey planning area, find a solid justification. You’re not guaranteed success, but reasons of accessibility, energy efficiency or functionality will cut more mustard than ‘I want it’.
  5. Ask the Experts – If in doubt, seek help. Negotiating planning rules and gaining planning permission are widely considered the most difficult aspects of building and extending a home. The easiest way to avoid the headache is to ask someone who knows what they’re doing. If you decide to build a glazed extension with Apropos we’ll take care of all aspects of planning permission for you. There’s no extra cost; it’s just our way of saying thank you.
If you’d like to discuss anything in regards to planning permission with Apropos you can call us on 0161 342 8206 or submit your drawings to
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