How To Get Planning Permission First Time

7 August 2023

Sky House Tips and Tricks on How to get Planning Permission First Time

What is Planning Permission?

Planning permission is required when new buildings are being constructed or extensive changes are being made to an already existing building. This system is designed to control inappropriate development.

One of the major setbacks when starting a new project is not receiving planning permission. It can take up to 2 months for your planning applications to be approved so it is very unlikely you will want to repeat the process multiple times.

Will I Need Planning Permission?

If you are considering designing and building a new home or a subdivision then you will need planning permission. If you are going to be installing an extension then planning permission may be required depending on the size and level of Permitted Development rights on the property.

High Acres Barnet by IQ Glass UK

How To Create A Successful Application:

To ensure you receive planning permission first time you need to make sure to eliminate any problems that could prevent this from happening. Make sure you provide a good presentation with forms, plans, accompanying reports and information as well as the necessary fee. When applying it is also wise to reduce any conflicts that may occur with policy and planning officers’ opinions and political issues.

We do recommend employing a trustworthy building designer to create rough drawings for you to send to the council for feedback before sending over the complete drawings. This can reduce any problems with your final application, meaning you are more likely to receive planning permission the first time. When sending over your plans, make sure to include aspects such as ecology, heritage and trees.

Some councils may charge a fee on new builds or on extensions over a certain size, you will find this out at the pre-application stage. If you are taking on a self-build project then you should be exempt from this fee, however, you will need to make sure you have submitted the correct forms for this to be accepted.

If you would like more information on how to create a successful application, further advice is available from councils and the Planning Portal. When designing your drawings, you must make sure that they are to prescribed scaled and that you have not missed minor details.

If you have been given any advice at the pre-application stage then it is best to ensure that this has been indicated alongside your application.

Rondo V in Fumed Oak Project by Urban Front

Planning Policies

If your application is rejected it may be due to the planning officers conflicting with the council’s rules on development. This can easily be avoided by showing that your project conforms to the relevant criteria including design, access & parking and ecology & heritage.


Local Plans decide where new housing can be placed. You will need to make sure any issues are considered before your application is made including where your property is. This includes areas such as the green belt and sites of special scientific interest.


The design of your home will need to blend in with the surrounding area. If you are planning to design a building out of the ordinary for the space then you will need to provide a good argument as to why it is acceptable. Good illustrations will be very useful for pitching your concept.

The design is key in conservation areas, near listed buildings or in places with a distinctive character. By having a pre-application consultation you can eliminate any problems by already knowing the council are happy with your ideas.

Iroko Doorset on Oak Framed House by Urban Front

Neighbouring Impact

When putting together your planning application you will need to show that your new build or addition does not reduce privacy, light or cause unwanted noise and disturbance to your neighbours.

Home Access and Parking Restrictions

You will need to show in your plans that there are a safe means of access onto your property such as a drive with good visibility of the road. If you do not live in a cul-de-sac or a quiet estate then you will need to ensure that you have created a space for turning your vehicle on site.

If access is a problem then speaking to your local highway authority will provide you with solutions for each individual project.

Terano Door in Lotus Green by Urban Front. This property utilises a large access and parking area.

Problems with Trees and Hedges

If your project involves getting rid of trees or hedges then you will need to submit a tree survey and report with your application. Getting in contact with a local arboriculturist will provide you with relevant information on how each council’s tree officer approaches these issues.

Archaeological, Ecological and Heritage Areas

If you are in an archaeological, ecological or heritage area then you will need to send specialist reports along with your planning application to show that you have taken the area into consideration.

This is important and if ignored, you may have to resubmit your application. Do some research into surveys involving protected species as they can only be completed at specific times of the year. This could cause your schedule to be pushed back by a few months.

Heritage Project by IQ Glass UK - Yew Tree House

Issues With Flood Risk and Drainage

A flood risk assessment will need to be provided if your property is in a flood risk area. Information on drainage is also required and may cause delays on receiving your planning permission if forgotten about.

Additional Tips

When designing your new build or extension it is always best to keep your neighbours in the loop, gaining their support beforehand to prevent any problems during the process. It is also best to make sure that you make a good case in front of the planning committee and let your councillors know beforehand of your plans to increase your chance of success.

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