Frequent Asked Questions

Q. What if my neighbors object to my plans?

Planning Permission is valid for 5 years. If you do not build within this time, you will need to make a new application and this will incur further fees.

Q. What if planning permission is refused?

Planning permission must only be refused for legitimate planning reasons. The local authority must give a written account of these reasons. If you do not agree with the planning decision you can apply for an appeal.

Q. How long is building regulations approval valid?

The Building Regulations Approval is valid for 3 years. If you do not build within this time, you will need to make a new application and this will incur further fees.

Q. Can I claim back the V.A.T?

You can reclaim the VAT on labour and materials, but not on the Architectural Services for the new houses, and some conversions such as those involving a change of use. You cannot claim VAT on extensions. If you are unsure, contact your local Inland Revenue office.

Q. Do I need planning permissions for all extensions?

Some extensions are allowed under Permitted Development. It is always advisable to check with the Planning Department first. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM)has produced a booklet called “Planning, a guide for householders”. This booklet outlines the rules of the planning system.

Q. Where can I obtain further information about planning and regulations?

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister produces many helpful free publications:

  • Building Regulations (explanatory booklet)
  • Planning Permission (guide for business)
  • Planning (A guide for householders)
  • A Householder’s Planning Guide for the Installation of Satellite Television Dishes
  • Local Plans and Unitary Development Plans
  • Outdoor Advertisements and Signs (guide for advertisers)
  • The Party Wall etc Act 1996 (explanatory booklet)
  • Protected Trees (A guide to tree preservation procedures)
  • The Right Hedge For You
  • Over the Garden Hedge

To obtain copied of the booklets, please contact:

ODPM Free Literature,
PO Box No 236,
Wetherby,
LS23 7NB

Or visit www.odpm.gov.uk/planning