Beginners guide to planning application

When it comes to grant-aided farm projects, you will find that you will need to apply for planning permission before any work can begin. Usually, this is required even before grant applications can be made, although in some cases the planning applications can be made whilst the grant application is being prepared.

More often than not, planning permission for agricultural buildings can be obtained in one of two ways:

  1. Via a Notice of Intent (NOI), which takes 4 weeks from submission and is a deemed consent if no decision is issued by the planning authority.
  2. Via a full planning application, which should be determined in 8 weeks for a minor scheme, often going over 8 weeks.

Once approval is granted it lasts for 3 years. Any consent that is more than 3 years old that hasn’t been commenced is inoperable and to start work would be a planning breach as unauthorised work. So the permission from the approval your dad got in 2005 will no longer be valid, and you will need to start again.

Another important detail to remember is that the works approved need to be constructed as approved. The drawings aren’t simply a loose guide to follow, deviating from what has been approved can render the consent invalid and lead to an enforcement situation, which is the last thing you want.

When instructing NWA to carry out planning applications on your behalf you need to know exactly what you require in most aspects of the proposal:

  • Materials
  • Use of the building
  • Location of the building
  • Size
  • Doors and openings
  • Rooflights required or not
  • Material colours

Changes to these during the construction process can be dealt with by a non-material amendment application or you run the risk of an enforcement action which could lead to the demolition of the building.

Planning is time-consuming and authorities often miss the 8-week deadline and for a full application there is no deemed consent. If you have grant application deadlines you must start the planning application early. We have known applications take over 3 months for agricultural buildings, longer for residential applications.

In summary, the main things to note are:

  • Know what you want
  • Start early
  • Consents last only 3 years
  • Changes during the construction can be problematic

At NWA Architectural we will advise you on the type of application to make. We offer advice on how to avoid common mistakes in the application or the build. We offer fixed-fee quotes and carry out pre-application discussions on most projects. We can prepare the necessary supporting reports required by most planning authorities.

To arrange a pre-application discussion or a fixed-fee quote, please contact our in-house specialist today.

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