2021 – Larger living and working spaces. But what about planning permission?

Hughes Architects Residential extension

A combination of the coronavirus situation and the introduction of temporary changes to the Land Transaction Tax in Wales and Stamp Duty in England has resulted in a significant increase in homeowners moving or acquiring new property and land.

Many have decided to leave the city or urban life for countryside or more rural towns and villages where they can gain space to live and work remotely, while having the freedom of the outdoors.

Perfect location, but not the right property?

But this hasn’t meant they’ve necessarily found their perfect home. They’ve found a location and now they might need to extend, remodel, build from scratch or convert.

For us as architects, this has meant a steady increase in enquiries and work throughout Mid Wales and Shropshire for such projects.

In some cases, people have acquired property or land without realising they’ll need planning permission to create their dream home.

Interior Architecture Hughes Architects
Interior Architecture Hughes Architects

So how do you know if you’ll need planning permission?

It’s important to remember that should you go ahead with a project that does require planning approval and you haven’t obtained it you could end up in a costly situation – don’t think you can just go for retrospective planning.

Planning officers could demand you return the property back to as it was or alter it.

As the Welsh Government’s planning advice states: ‘If you build something which needs planning permission without obtaining permission first, you may be forced to put things right later, which could prove troublesome and costly. You might even have to remove an unauthorised building.’

This is where it’s best to talk to the local planning authority first, such as Powys, Shropshire, Ceredigion or Gwynedd county council.

If your property is in the Snowdonia or Brecon Beacons National Parks, then you need to go to those authorities on planning matters.

They can provide outline advice, but they will then need to consider more detailed plans before making any official decision.

Hughes Architects Residential extension
Hughes Architects Residential extension

Talk to an architect or planning specialist

The best advice for anyone considering external or internal alterations to a property is to consult a professional, such as the planning and architectural team at Hughes Architects.

In any case, in most cases you will need an architect’s plans for structural work or advice on internal remodelling anyway.

Additionally, we can deal with the planning and working with your builder and contractors, or help identify them.

As Doug Hughes, our Principal Architect and Managing Director, said: “In simple terms, it’s far better to undertake work properly in the first place than make a costly error.”

Hughes Architects has offices in Newtown and Welshpool, Powys and Aberystwyth in Ceredigion.

You can call us on 01686 610311, 01970 636019, or 01938 553436 or email enquiries@hughesarchitects.co.uk.