Producing drawings for planning permission, Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual

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Producing drawings for Planning Permission
With modern CAD packages available for home computers, it is not very difficult to produce
your own drawings for a Planning Application providing care is taken to produce the required
scale drawings for a simple extension.
To check whether planning permission is required have a look at lanning Permission and
Building Regulations, if in doubt speak to the local Planning Authority. A Planning Application
costs money, so it is worth checking that there is at least a chance of gaining permission.
Another way to increase your chances of success is to speak to your neighbours to gauge an
opinion as to whether or not they are likely to object to your proposal. It is always far better to
take your neighbour's comments into account at an early stage rather than see them emerge
at a later date.
In addition to the plans, a form containing a list of questions needs to be completed, as does
a Certificate of Ownership.
The Plans must be to a recognised metric scale and show the proposed development in
enough detail to convey the details of the proposed extension. One of the hardest things to
remember is to take no detail for granted, the people making the assessment of the plans will
not know the property.
A total of five copies of the plans, questionnaire and ownership certificate will be required,
Three types of plan drawings are required:
1. The location plan
2. The site plan
3. The floor plans and elevation
Location plan.
This should be at a scale not less than 1:2500 and of sufficient size and detail to identify the
application site within the general locality. The site of the development must be edged or
shaded in red and any other adjoining land owned or controlled by you edged or shaded blue.
A north point must be shown on the plan. These plans are readily available from the
Ordnance Survey via local SITE PLAN agents, just give them the post code and they will
produce the required plan - all you will need to do is shade or edge the site.
Site plan. (the same as the location plan but on a larger scale)
This should be at a scale of not less than 1:500 and show the site and the immediate
surrounding properties showing the existing building and its grounds together with any roads.
The proposed extension should be shown and specifically identified by the use of shading or
colour. Any buildings on adjoining land should also be shown. Where possible the postal
addresses of houses on adjoining land are also shown. Any trees on the site should be
shown, including any which will need to be removed to allow for the extension.
Where the application requires a new access to a road or across any boundary, then their
position must be shown on the block plan.
Again SITE PLAN can be used to help produce the required plans.
Floor plan and elevations
These plans should be at a scale of not less than 1:100. They should indicate clearly what is
proposed and how it relates to the existing dwelling.
The elevation drawings should show:

What each side of the newly altered building would look like (known as the

Indicate the size and type of windows, doors etc.

The external building materials to be used.

The extension must be high lighted by colour or shading.
The floor plans should:

Identify the existing uses of the rooms in the building, e.g. lounge, kitchen, bedroom
etc. and also the intended use of the new room(s).

Dimensions (external) are only required for the extension.

Where a single storey extension is to be added to a two-storey building, only the floor
with the extension need be detailed.

The extension must be high lighted by colour or shading.
The materials to be used (roof, elevation, windows and doors) must be described by type and
colour, the easiest way is just by 'Roof to be tiles to match existing' or 'Windows to be painted
soft wood'.
In certain circumstances, such as an extension on the side of a building, it may be necessary
to produce a 'street scene' (i.e. a drawing showing the original property, the extension and the
adjoining buildings as viewed from the road) so that the impact of the new extension on the
street can be considered.
For some simple extension, a single drawing showing both the existing and the new works
may be acceptable, but it is probable easier to produce separate drawings so there is no
Submitting the application.
The completed forms, plans and fee must be submitted to the appropriate Directorate of
Environment Services.
In some cases, it may be helpful to your application to send a supporting letter explaining why
the extension is required. But bear in mind that everything you send in support of your
application will be public documents.
Always keep a hard copy of your application which you can refer to should there be any
Then sit back and wait !
The application should be acknowledged and you should be given a reference number.
If your application is incomplete or the Planning Authority needs anything clarifying, you will
be asked to supply further information.
The Planning Authority will advertise the Planning Application in the local Press and you will
be sent a notice to display to the street on the property. Any members of the Public
(neighbour or not) has the right to inspect the plans at the Local Authority and make any
Once the application has been accepted and registered, the Local Planning Authority has
eight weeks in which to make a decision (this can be extended with your agreement - it is
better to extend the time if you are asked to make changes, otherwise you may get a
The Powers that be make the decision.
Having gathered any comments and assessed the proposal against the relevant local
planning policies, the planning officers will formulate a recommendation. The final decision
rests with the Planning Committee of the local Council, however their powers are often
delegated to the local Planning Authority for simple applications. If any objections to your
proposal are received, your application will be considered by the Planning Committee.
Issuing the decision notice.
Following the decision, a formal notification will be issued to you which will indicate whether
planning permission has been granted or refused.
If planning permission has been granted, there may be certain conditions that have to be
complied with before, during or after the development.
If a planning permission has been refused, you have a right of appeal to the Secretary of
State and information is sent with the decision notice to guide you should you wish to take up
that option. You can also appeal against any condition which you consider unreasonable
although, if you do appeal, an Inspector will look at the principle of the whole development
and may decide that it should be refused in its entirety.
Where approval is granted, a copy of the approved plan(s) will be sent to you with the
decision notice.
Is Building Regulation approval required ?
Once you have (hopefully) received Planning Permission, you need to consider the
requirement for approval under the Building Regulations. If you do some additional plans will
be required, these plans need to be in far more detail than those required for basic Planning
Permission approval. They define the actual method of construction and must demonstrate
that the property will be built in a suitable manner to meet structural integrity, thermal
insulation, and ventilation etc.
You may wish to use the services of a professional architect to undertake this level of detail.
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