Get Rapid Plans Ltd

Architectural Services

Phone: +44 7507 665812 or +44 7538 938251


Get Rapid Plans Ltd

Architectural Services

Phone: 07507 665812 or 07538 938251


Planning Permission

Planning permission is an indispensable requirement for property owners in London, ensuring that any proposed alterations or developments comply with the local Council’s regulations and guidelines. By securing planning permission, you not only adhere to legal requirements but also enhance your property’s value, making it more attractive to potential buyers or investors.

Beyond legal compliance, obtaining planning permission streamlines the development process, expediting the transformation of your property while minimizing delays and setbacks. 

At Get Rapid Plans, our expert team specializes in navigating the complexities of planning permission, providing tailored solutions that unlock your property’s true potential. Contact us now to embark on a transformative journey, harnessing the power of planning permission to elevate your property.


Householder Planning Applications

The householder planning application is the most common type for homeowners looking to make alterations or extensions to their existing properties. This includes projects like Rear Extensions, Loft Conversions, Conservatories, Garage Conversions, and other small to medium-scale developments.

Full Planning Applications

A full planning application is required for larger-scale residential developments or significant changes to a property. This type of application is suitable for New Builds, larger Extensions, or major refurbishments. Our team will prepare comprehensive plans and documentation to present your project to the local planning authority.

Lawful Development Certificates

If you are unsure whether your existing extension or loft conversion is lawful, you can apply for a Lawful Development Certificate to confirm its compliance with planning regulations. This certificate provides peace of mind and can be beneficial when selling your property in the future.

Prior Approval Applications

A prior approval planning application is a process that allows certain types of developments to proceed without the need for full planning permission. Instead, developers or homeowners must seek approval from the local planning authority on specific aspects of the proposed development. These aspects typically include factors such as the impact on neighbouring properties, highway access, and flooding risks.

Change of Use Applications

Change of use applications involve seeking permission from the local planning authority to change the designated purpose of a property or land. This process ensures compliance with regulations and planning policies for converting a building or area from one use class to another. Our team can expertly guide you through the change of use application, ensuring a smooth process and increased chances of approval.

For more information on the Planning Applications, Building Regulations and more, call us now for expert advice on 07507 665812

How Long Does It Take To Get Planning Permission?

The time frame for obtaining planning permission can vary depending on the complexity of the project and the local planning authority's workload. Generally, it takes around eight to twelve weeks to receive a decision. However, more complex projects or those requiring further negotiations may take longer.

Contact us now for a free consultation to discuss your proposal.

When Can I Start Construction?

Undertaking an extension is an exciting endeavor, but it's important to be aware that the timeline can vary due to multiple factors and uncertainties. While no project has a guaranteed duration, the time required for a residential extension typically falls within a range of 7 to 15 months, and sometimes even longer. This variation is due to the intricate processes, different professionals involved, and the unpredictable nature of construction.

It's crucial to understand that the timeline can change based on the scope and size of your extension. However, gaining a basic understanding of the potential journey can help you prepare for what lies ahead.

Design Phase: 1 - 5 Weeks

After selecting an architect, your project starts taking shape on paper. The duration of this phase depends on whether you have existing property drawings as well as the complexity of your project. If you have them, you and your architect can proceed with the design. If not, a measured survey might be needed to obtain the necessary measurements.

Planning Approval: 8 - 10 Weeks

The planning process requires patience. It can take 8 to 10 weeks or even longer for approval. During this phase, there might be revisions requested by the planning authority. It's essential to address any permission conditions to ensure your project can proceed.

Technical Design: 1 Week - 1 Month

With planning approval secured, the focus shifts to building regulations and structural engineering. This stage ensures the build adheres to guidelines and remains structurally sound.

Party Wall Agreement: 1 Week - 3 Months

If you're building near a shared boundary, a Party Wall Agreement might be necessary. While it can be straightforward, it's contingent on your neighbor's response. It's a crucial aspect to consider.

Tender Process: 2 - 4 Weeks

The tender process involves selecting a builder for your project. This period includes preparing documents and inviting quotes from multiple contractors, giving you the opportunity to evaluate costs and services.

Construction Phase: 2 - 4 Months

The construction duration depends on the complexity of your design, features, and the size of your extension. Elements like glazing can impact the time needed. It's advisable to choose a skilled contractor who can efficiently execute the construction.

Remember, this timeline is a guide, and your individual circumstances may differ. To avoid delays, thorough research is key. Consider hiring professionals who work efficiently and meet deadlines.

Ready to embark on your project journey? Contact us today to start planning your extension confidently.

Do I Need Planning Permission?

Wondering about the need for Planning Permission? It's an important aspect of many developments, involving the approval of your local council. Here's the scoop: you'll either require Planning Permission or a certificate of lawfulness.

Let's dive into scenarios where Planning Permission is usually needed:

  1. New Building Developments: Most new constructions fall under this category.
  2. Extensions to Flats or Maisonettes: When adding or extending a flat or maisonette, Planning Permission is generally needed. (Note: Internal alterations or changes that don't impact the exterior appearance might be exempt.)
  3. Dividing Your House for Separate Use: If you're carving out part of your home as a separate dwelling or hosting a dwelling like a garden caravan, Planning Permission applies. (Exceptions exist for letting rooms to lodgers.)
  4. Business or Commercial Use: Opting for a business space within your home, such as a workshop? You'll typically need Planning Permission. The same goes for creating commercial vehicle parking on your property.
  5. Contradicting Original Planning Permission: If your changes deviate from the original planning permission terms, you're back in the Planning Permission zone. For instance, erecting fences on an "open plan" estate with restrictions.
  6. Impeding Road User Views: Any work that obstructs the view of road users may require Planning Permission.
  7. New or Widened Access to Roads: Planning Permission could come into play if you're looking to create new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

    However, some alterations won't necessarily demand Planning Permission, like interior changes or minor exterior work such as installing telephone connections or alarm boxes. Keep in mind, though, that exceptions might arise for buildings within conservation areas, listed structures, or those of heritage significance.

    Factors influencing the need for Planning Permission can be quite diverse and hinge on local authority plans. Considerations encompass neighbours, design, covenants, listed buildings, conservation areas, trees and wildlife, building regulations, rights of way, adverts and signs, ancient monuments, environmental health, licensed sites, and roads and highways.

    For comprehensive guidance tailored to your situation, teaming up with professionals is key. With your vision and our expertise, navigating the realm of Planning Permission becomes a breeze.

    Is It Possible to Know if Planning Permission Will Be Granted Before Submitting An Application?

    It's important to acknowledge that predicting the outcome of a planning application isn't a guaranteed science. However, enlisting the expertise of a professional planner can significantly enhance your chances of success while gaining a comprehensive understanding of potential development avenues. Enter Get Rapid Plans – your strategic partner in this journey. We prioritize transparency and effectiveness, ensuring that we only take on projects with viable prospects, and we're forthright in communicating this to our clients.

    Each planning officer in the department interprets regulations and guidelines uniquely, making outcomes somewhat unpredictable. But that's where Get Rapid Plans shines – we offer you the power of experience and knowledge, leveraging our proficiency in liaising with local councils, negotiating financial agreements, and navigating complex planning issues on your behalf.

    While local councils provide a "Pre Application Advice" service, it's worth noting that the advice given isn't legally binding. Unfortunately, they might deviate from their initial suggestions, leading to frustration. Here's where our expertise stands out: we conduct rigorous feasibility studies and site appraisals to assess the potential of each development. This not only ensures a transparent process but also saves time.

    The planning landscape is ever-evolving, with policies subject to constant updates. At Get Rapid Plans, we stay at the forefront of these changes, ensuring our knowledge remains current through continuous professional development and diligent research.

    Uncertainty is the name of the game, as exemplified by the instance of a front-facing dormer application. Despite neighbours having similar features, changes in policies could lead to varying outcomes. We've got your back – our consultants offer insights into the likelihood of success, based on thorough analysis of policies, constraints, and material considerations.

    Permitted Development rights are also under constant review, and we stay in tune with the latest discussions and policy implementations.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we excel in uncovering development potential and providing tailored advice for optimal chances of planning permission. Remember, securing planning permission not only opens doors for property enhancement but instantly escalates property value – a substantial incentive for developers and homeowners aiming to sell.

    Unlock the potential of your projects with Get Rapid Plans – where expertise, transparency, and success converge. Get in touch today for a FREE phone consultation: Call us at 07507 665812. Your planning journey starts here.

    What Types of Extensions or Conversions Can I Get Planning For?

    Certainly, there's a diverse array of extensions and conversions that can potentially transform your property. At Get Rapid Plans, we're here to guide you through the possibilities, ensuring you make informed decisions that align with your vision and budget. Here's a glimpse into the options available:


    1. Single Storey Rear Extension: Enhance your living area with a rear extension, providing more room for relaxation and activities.
    2. Single Storey Side Extension: Expand your space laterally, creating room for new functionalities and experiences.
    3. Loft Conversion with Dormer Roof Extension: Turn your loft into a functional space with the addition of a dormer roof extension.
    4. Hip to Gable Roof Extension: Elevate your living space by transforming your hip roof into a gable design.
    5. Basement Extension: Dig deep to create additional rooms or living space beneath the ground.
    6. Garage Conversion: Repurpose your garage into habitable rooms, unlocking new possibilities for your home.


    1. Conversion of a House into Flats: Transform a single dwelling into multiple independent flats, maximizing use.
    2. House into HMOs / Bedsits: Create a house of multiple occupation (HMO) to accommodate different tenants.
    3. Conversion of Offices into Flats: Repurpose office spaces into comfortable living units.
    4. Changes of Use: Alter the use of your property, from retail to offices, or even residential, based on your needs.
    5. Garage Conversion to Habitable Room or Self-contained Unit: Turn a garage into a functional living space or separate unit.

    Wondering about your property's potential? Our FREE advice session will help unlock the hidden possibilities within your space. We're ready to provide a no-obligation quote for our comprehensive services – from crafting architectural drawings to assembling application documents and securing planning permission

    Let's have a chat about your plans and aspirations. Our team is thrilled to offer tailored advice for your proposed extension or conversion. We'll guide you on whether planning permission is required or if your project falls under Permitted Development.

    Contact us today to set your property transformation in motion.

    What Is Permitted Development?

    With Permitted Development rights, you gain the privilege to undertake various enhancements within your house, including loft conversions, side extensions, rear extensions, and even transforming your garage – all without the intricate web of planning permission.

    The foundation of these rights traces back to the 1995 Town and Country Planning Act (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, ushering in a new era of property empowerment. Over time, amendments have been introduced, refining and adapting these rights to suit evolving needs.

    It's important to understand that Permitted Development rights predominantly extend to houses, leaving out flats, maisonettes, and certain other structures. Listed buildings and properties within conservation areas also stand outside this sphere.

    Stay attuned to the possibility that local planning authorities could curtail specific Permitted Development rights through an Article 4 direction. This directive compels you to seek planning permission for projects that would otherwise fall under permitted development. Article 4 directions emerge when preserving the character of a designated area becomes paramount, often within conservation zones. You might already be aware if your property is under such a direction, but seeking clarification from the local planning authority is prudent if any doubts arise.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we're your compass when determining whether your proposed extension aligns with Permitted Development criteria and holds the label of "lawful." If your project fits within the parameters of permitted development, the next step involves an application for a "Certificate of Lawfulness" or a Certificate of Lawful Use from your local council. This application entails a meticulous set of scaled architectural drawings showcasing both the existing and proposed property layouts and changes. Our seasoned consultants are well-equipped to compile the required documentation and drawings, ensuring they meet the rigorous standards of your local council.

    Contemplating the legality of building works is crucial – whether for seamless property transactions or to guarantee your project adheres to planning control regulations. While obtaining a 'Lawful Development Certificate' (LDC) isn't mandatory, it offers invaluable assurance to property owners. For instance, if works were performed on your property without planning permission and you're considering selling in the future, an LDC ensures a smooth transaction, sparing complications.

    Residential extensions under lawful development applications incur a fee of £103, while Change of Use applications and those involving flats or HMOs are subject to a fee of £462.

    A property might inadvertently breach planning rules but enjoy exemption from enforcement if "Established Use" is evident. This often occurs when properties are extended or converted without prior permission. In such cases, a Lawful Development Certificate can be sought from the council, highlighting evidence spanning 4 years for residential extensions and conversions, or 10 years for commercial and alternative uses.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we're committed to amplifying your property's potential through the realm of Permitted Development. Discover a world where your visions align with reality. Connect with us today to embark on your journey to an empowered property transformation.

    How to Apply for a Certificate of Lawfulness?

    Permitted Development – the passport to crafting meaningful changes within your home, all without navigating the intricacies of planning permission. This empowerment, embedded in the 1995 Town and Country Planning Act (General Permitted Development) Order 1995, Article 3, has evolved over time, with Get Rapid Plans at your side, ready to guide you through the complexities of Permitted Development Rights and planning requirements.

    Let’s delve into the essentials:

    Permitted Development empowers homeowners with the liberty to enact minor transformations like loft conversions, side extensions, rear extensions, and garage conversions, all without the planning permission fuss. While these rights predominantly extend to houses, it’s vital to note that flats, maisonettes, listed buildings, and properties within conservation areas fall outside this domain.

    The recent years have ushered in notable changes in residential extensions. For instance, the extension of a single dwelling at the rear can now span from 4m to 8m (for detached houses) and from 3m to 6m (for other houses), within non-conservation areas. However, extensions surpassing one storey remain unaffected. To provide neighbors a say, applying to the council for Prior Approval is essential. A seamless approval process transpires if neighbors raise no objections.. So, if you’re considering extensions beyond 3m depth for semi-detached or terraced houses, remember to secure Prior Approval and complete the construction before the deadline. Permitted Development has extended its embrace to commercial spaces too. Shops, professional/financial services, and industrial units/establishments can now extend to 100 sq m boundary-free (excluding residential property boundaries), within non-conservation areas. “Prior Approval” applications are the gateway here, with decisions often taking 42-56 days.

    The latest wave of allowances embraces converting offices and shops into residential units under the “Prior Approval” application process. At Get Rapid Plans, we’ve masterfully navigated this terrain, obtaining permissions for countless residential conversions across London. For personalized guidance, a free phone consultation awaits, along with a no-obligation quote for our services.

    Should your project align with Permitted Development criteria, securing a Certificate of Lawfulness or Prior Approval is advised. This involves preparing a comprehensive set of scaled architectural drawings showcasing existing sites, buildings, and proposed changes. At Get Rapid Plans, we craft these drawings to meet your local council’s stringent validation standards, ensuring a seamless process.

    Join hands with us to unveil the full potential of Permitted Development. Reach out to us today and embark on your journey to property enhancement.

    How Are the Building Regulations Enforced and Can I Appeal?

    Embarking on building work is a transformative journey, but it’s essential to adhere to the Building Regulations – a roadmap for ensuring safety, functionality, and quality. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to demystify the enforcement process and outline your avenues for appeal, empowering you throughout your construction endeavour.

    The Building Regulations can be transgressed by either neglecting the prescribed building control procedures or failing to meet the technical stipulations embedded within them. The building control service conducts inspections to uncover any such deviations.

    Local authorities bear the responsibility of enforcing the Building Regulations within their jurisdictions. Their approach is primarily oriented towards informal resolution. In cases where an approved inspector oversees the building control service, they will provide guidance, but enforcement authority lies with the local authority. If an approved inspector deems your work non-compliant, the local authority will assume control and wield enforcement powers if necessary.

    When Building Regulations are breached, the builder or main contractor may face legal action in the magistrates’ court. The penalties can include fines of up to £5,000 for contravention and up to £50 for each day the violation persists after conviction. This action (under section 35 of the Building Act 1984) typically targets the responsible party, and proceedings must commence within two years of completion.

    Alternatively, the local authority can serve an enforcement notice (under section 36 of the Act) on the property owner, requiring rectification or removal of non-compliant work. Failure to comply empowers the local authority to undertake the necessary rectification and recover costs from the owner.

    If you disagree with an enforcement notice, you have several options:

    1. You can contest the notice by requesting a written report from a professional, assessing your work’s compliance. This may persuade the local authority to withdraw the notice, extending the rectification period to 70 days.
    1. Alternatively, you can appeal against the notice in the magistrates’ court to demonstrate compliance. This option can be chosen either independently or after attempting the first option. The appeal must be filed within 28 days of receiving the notice, or within 70 days if you opt for the first route initially.

    In case of success, the local authority may be liable for your costs.

    Should you believe certain requirements within the Building Regulations are impractical or irrelevant, you can apply to your local authority for a relaxation or dispensation of those requirements. This enables your completed work to be deemed compliant. The application should be made within 28 days of receiving the enforcement notice, with a right to appeal against refusal.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re not just about architectural drawings; we’re your allies throughout the building process. Empower your construction journey with informed decisions. Connect with us today to experience a transformational partnership.

    Types of Planning Use Classes?

     C3 Dwelling Classes:

    – C3(a): Most households including singles, couples, and families.

    – C3(b): Households receiving care together.

    – C3(c): Households in groups without care, including lodgers or religious groups.

    C4 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs):

    – Up to 6 people living as separate households.

    Hotels and B&Bs:

    – C1: Hotels and B&Bs fall under this category.

    – Hostels are categorized under SUI GENERIS.

    Holiday Lets:

    – Can fall under SUI GENERIS, C1, or C3 depending on occupancy levels.

    Residential Institutions:

    – C2: General residential institutions.

    – C2(a): Secure residential institutions.

    Shops and Supermarkets:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    – Smaller shops under 280m² without a nearby competitor can be classified as F2: Local Community Uses. Shops selling motor vehicles fall under SUI GENERIS.


    Unique and miscellaneous uses including cinemas, music/dance halls, casinos, tattoo parlours, etc.

    Restaurants and Cafes:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    – Hot food takeaways and pubs/bars have separate classifications.

    Commercial Business & Service Buildings:

    – Various businesses such as post offices, travel agents, hairdressers/barbers, etc. fall under E.

    Hot Food Takeaways:

    – Falls under SUI GENERIS.

    Bars and Pubs:

    – Also categorized as SUI GENERIS.

    Offices and Light Industrial Buildings:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    Doctors, Dentists, Health Clinics:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    Nurseries and Crèches:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    Gyms and Indoor Sports and Recreation:

    – E: Commercial business spaces.

    Non-Residential Institutions:

    – F1: Institutions like schools, museums, hospitals, libraries, etc.

    Local Community Buildings:

    – F2: Community halls, swimming pools, outdoor sports areas.

    Please note that this summary is designed to provide an overview and may not cover all scenarios. Specific legislation can be found in the Use Class Order 2020. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to guide you through these classifications and ensure your projects align with the appropriate regulations.

    What Is a Retrospective Planning Application?

    What is a Retrospective Planning Application?

    A retrospective planning application comes into play when modifications have been made to your property without obtaining prior planning permission. In such cases, a local authority may request that you submit a retrospective planning application to legitimize the changes you’ve already made. This process involves the local authority asking the land’s owner or occupier to apply for the necessary planning permission.

    It’s important to note that submitting a retrospective application does not automatically guarantee planning permission. The application will undergo the usual review process, just like any other planning application.

    The Importance of Planning Permission:

    While retrospective planning permission can potentially legitimize unauthorized changes, it’s crucial to understand that until planning permission is granted, there’s a risk of enforcement actions. This might involve receiving an enforcement notice from the council, which could demand reverting the development back to its original state. Such actions can be costly and time-consuming.

    To avoid these complications, it’s highly recommended that homeowners and developers seek planning permission before undertaking any building works. Whether it’s prior to or after the construction, the experts at Get Rapid Plans can provide strategic guidance on obtaining planning permission effectively.

    Applying for Retrospective Planning Permission:

    Council enforcement officers typically encourage owners and developers to consider a retrospective application if there’s a chance that planning permission could be granted for the modifications. However, the outcome is not guaranteed, and enforcement officers can only provide advice.

    The retrospective application process mirrors the standard planning permission procedure, handled by planning officers. At Get Rapid Plans, our experienced team can offer tailored advice and assist in crafting a strong, compelling retrospective planning application. Our goal is to help you navigate through this process successfully. Get in touch with us for a free consultation.

    Ensuring your property adheres to planning regulations is essential, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

    How Much Does It Cost to Submit an Application to the Local Council?

    The cost of each planning application varies based on factors such as the type of application and the nature of the development. Our pricing structure is designed to reflect these variables accurately.

    For a standard residential planning application, the typical fee is £206. If you’re considering a Change of Use application, the charge usually £462. Should your project involve the creation of new dwellings, each application incurs a fee of £462. For Lawful Development Applications, the cost is set at £103.

    It’s important to note that some applications may have higher or lower costs, contingent upon the specifics of the proposal and the scale of the development. To gain a clearer understanding of the precise costs applicable to your project, we encourage you to get in touch with us.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re committed to providing transparent and accurate pricing information. Reach out to us to explore the details and nuances of your application’s cost structure. We’re here to assist you every step of the way.

    Types of Planning Application

    Get Rapid Plans is committed to making the planning process straightforward and accessible. We recognize that navigating planning can be complex and overwhelming, which is why we’re here to guide you through the essential aspects of the process. Below, we’ve addressed some common questions often posed by our clients during our complimentary consultation service.

    “Development” encompasses various activities, including construction, engineering, mining, and other operations carried out on, over, under, or in land. Additionally, it involves making significant changes to the usage of buildings or land, as defined in Section 55 of the TCPA Act 1990. Some types of developments are considered “permitted development” and don’t necessitate planning permission. To delve deeper into Permitted Development, please refer to our dedicated section, here.

    There are nine distinct types of planning permission applications:

    1. Outline Application
    2. Approval of Reserved Matters
    3. Full Application
    4. Approval of Details
    5. Listed Building Consent
    6. Conservation Area Consent
    7. Advertisement Consent
    8. Certificate of Lawful Use or Development
    9. Works to Trees

    At Get Rapid Plans, we are dedicated to simplifying the planning application journey for you. Reach out to us for expert guidance, and let’s work together to achieve your project goals effectively.

    How Does the Local Planning Department Determine Applications?

    The local planning department plays a crucial role in determining the outcomes of planning applications, guided by the regulations of the 1990 TCP Act. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to shed light on this process and help you navigate it effectively.


    When an application for planning permission is submitted to the local planning authority, Section 70(1) of the 1990 TCP Act outlines two primary outcomes:

    1. Grant Planning Permission: The local planning authority has the authority to grant planning permission, either with conditions or subject to conditions they deem suitable.
    1. Refuse Planning Permission: Alternatively, they possess the discretion to refuse planning permission.


    The local planning authority can make several types of decisions, including:

    – Approval: Full approval of the application.

    – Approval with Conditions: Granting permission with specific conditions.

    – Approval subject to Legal Agreement: Permission granted contingent on a legal agreement.

    – Refusal: Application declined.

    – Non-Determination: When a decision is not reached within the specified timeframe.


    According to Section 70(2) of the 1990 TCP Act, the local planning authority is obligated to consider several factors when assessing a planning application. These include:

    – Development Plan: Relevance to the provisions of the development plan.

    – Material Considerations: Any other relevant factors beyond the development plan.


    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re dedicated to simplifying the intricacies of planning applications. Contact us for expert guidance, and let’s collaborate to ensure your project’s success while adhering to regulations.

    What Are the Latest Developments With the Planning Process?

    At Get Rapid Plans, we understand that the ever-evolving landscape of the planning process can be intricate and overwhelming. Changes and updates occur frequently, making it challenging to stay up-to-date. However, our commitment to staying ahead of these developments ensures that you’re always informed and empowered.

    Navigating the planning process requires a keen eye on the latest updates and changes. Our team of experts at Get Rapid Plans remains dedicated to tracking and understanding the nuances of these developments. We make it our priority to keep you informed, allowing you to make well-informed decisions for your projects.

    Every London Borough has recently undergone or should have transitioned from UDPs (Unitary Development Plans) to LDFs (Local Development Frameworks). These frameworks shape the development landscape for the next decade or more. Our thorough study of these documents equips us to provide the most current advice and service tailored to your specific borough’s regulations and policies.

    Recent developments have brought significant changes to the planning process. These include:

    – Eased Permitted Development Rights: Announced on September 6, 2012, and later adopted, these plans increased the limits for various developments. From single-storey extensions to shops and professional establishments, these changes aim to provide more flexibility for your projects.

    – Enhanced Change of Use: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2014 extended the GPDO, allowing additional changes in use without the need for planning permission. Notably, A2 and A1 shops can be converted to residential units without planning permission.

    – Temporary Use Flexibility: Temporary changes of use have been introduced, particularly in response to the pandemic. This includes the temporary change of use from offices to hot food takeaways (A5), providing adaptability during uncertain times.

    The Prior Approval scheme, previously bound by a deadline, has been made permanent, offering more options for change of use scenarios. The developments also encompass agricultural buildings, state-funded schools or nurseries, and extended Permitted Development Rights for light industrial to residential changes.

    If you’re unsure whether your proposals align with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order, a lawful development application might be the answer. Our team can guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the necessary certificate of lawfulness or ‘Prior Approval’ from the council. We offer expert advice to determine if your development falls under permitted development, prepare the application, and provide essential architectural drawings.

    Stay ahead of the planning curve with Get Rapid Plans. Reach out for a free consultation and make informed decisions for your projects in this ever-changing landscape. Your success is our priority.

    What Are the Latest Developments With the Planning Process?

    At Get Rapid Plans, we understand that the ever-evolving landscape of the planning process can be intricate and overwhelming. Changes and updates occur frequently, making it challenging to stay up-to-date. However, our commitment to staying ahead of these developments ensures that you’re always informed and empowered.

    Navigating the planning process requires a keen eye on the latest updates and changes. Our team of experts at Get Rapid Plans remains dedicated to tracking and understanding the nuances of these developments. We make it our priority to keep you informed, allowing you to make well-informed decisions for your projects.

    Every London Borough has recently undergone or should have transitioned from UDPs (Unitary Development Plans) to LDFs (Local Development Frameworks). These frameworks shape the development landscape for the next decade or more. Our thorough study of these documents equips us to provide the most current advice and service tailored to your specific borough’s regulations and policies.

    Recent developments have brought significant changes to the planning process. These include:

    – Eased Permitted Development Rights: Announced on September 6, 2012, and later adopted, these plans increased the limits for various developments. From single-storey extensions to shops and professional establishments, these changes aim to provide more flexibility for your projects.

    – Enhanced Change of Use: The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 2014 extended the GPDO, allowing additional changes in use without the need for planning permission. Notably, A2 and A1 shops can be converted to residential units without planning permission.

    – Temporary Use Flexibility: Temporary changes of use have been introduced, particularly in response to the pandemic. This includes the temporary change of use from offices to hot food takeaways (A5), providing adaptability during uncertain times.

    The Prior Approval scheme, previously bound by a deadline, has been made permanent, offering more options for change of use scenarios. The developments also encompass agricultural buildings, state-funded schools or nurseries, and extended Permitted Development Rights for light industrial to residential changes.

    If you’re unsure whether your proposals align with the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order, a lawful development application might be the answer. Our team can guide you through the process, ensuring you receive the necessary certificate of lawfulness or ‘Prior Approval’ from the council. We offer expert advice to determine if your development falls under permitted development, prepare the application, and provide essential architectural drawings.

    Stay ahead of the planning curve with Get Rapid Plans. Reach out for a free consultation and make informed decisions for your projects in this ever-changing landscape. Your success is our priority.

    What Is the Difference Between Planning and Building Control?

    At Get Rapid Plans, we believe in demystifying the complexities of the construction process, making it accessible and comprehensible for you. Central to this understanding are the distinctions between Planning and Building Control, both pivotal departments in your project journey.

    Planning and Building Control are distinct yet interconnected aspects overseen by the Local Authority, specifically the Development Control Department and Building Control. While their goals differ, they share the common objective of ensuring that your project aligns with regulations and safeguards.

    The Planning Department’s core responsibility is to strike a balance between an individual’s desire to build and the interests of others, including neighbors. They safeguard the character of an area from unsightly structures or disruptive changes of use. For instance, while transforming your living room into a nightclub might be creatively tempting, Planners consider the potential impact on the surroundings and neighboring residents. They advocate for well-designed home extensions that harmonize with the locality and enhance community living. Additionally, they assess road safety implications arising from new driveways to ensure the safety of all stakeholders.

    On the flip side, Building Control’s mission is to guarantee compliance with fundamental safety standards and thwart the construction of substandard and potentially hazardous structures. This ensures that your property doesn’t become a jerry-built safety hazard. Both Planning and Building Control share stringent enforcement powers to deter illegal developments.

    Detailed plans serve a dual purpose – obtaining planning consent and demonstrating compliance with Building Regulations. These plans serve as the foundation for both stages, guiding your project from concept to construction. Without Building Control Approval, the marketability of your property could be jeopardized, affecting potential buyers and mortgage lenders who prioritize structural safety.

    Understanding the nuances of Planning and Building Control empowers you to navigate the process seamlessly. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to bridge the gap and provide guidance every step of the way. Our expertise ensures that your aspirations align with regulatory frameworks, resulting in a safe, compliant, and aesthetically pleasing outcome.

    Ready to embark on your project journey? Contact us for a free consultation. Let’s bring your vision to life while respecting the regulations that underpin it. Your safety, satisfaction, and success are our top priorities.

    Do I Need Planning Permission or Building Regulations Consent?

    Understanding the intricacies of construction regulations can be a puzzle, but at Get Rapid Plans, we’re dedicated to providing clarity. Deciphering whether your project requires Planning Permission or Building Regulations Consent is a vital step in your journey. Please note that these guidelines offer a general overview, but the need for approval varies depending on your specific case.

    House Extensions:

    For any house extension, regardless of size, Planning Permission is essential if your property is subject to specific restrictions. Building Regulations approval ensures safety compliance. However, additional criteria apply:

    – Planning Permission is necessary if the extension exceeds 50 cubic metres for terraced properties or 70 cubic metres for others.

    – If the aforementioned allowances have already been used by prior extensions.

    – If the extension goes beyond 4 metres in height.

    – If the extension is situated between the property wall and the highway.


    If your property has unique constraints, Planning Permission is required for porches of any size. However, Building Regulations Consent becomes relevant when:

    – No consent is needed for porches under 30 sq metres, provided doors and glazing comply with document N (safety glazing).

    – Planning Permission is required for porches exceeding 3 sq metres in size (external measurements)


    Conservatories fall under house extensions for Planning Permission, following similar rules. However, for Building Regulations Consent:

    – No consent is necessary for conservatories under 30 sq metres with retained doors/windows and compliant glazing.

    Conversions/Dormer Extensions:

    Subject to specific restrictions, both Building Regulations and Planning Permission are usually required for a front dormer extension. Rear dormers might not need Planning Permission if they meet certain criteria. Loft conversions necessitate Building Regulations Consent.

    Detached Garage:

    For properties with distinct limitations, Planning Permission is required if a detached garage:

    – Is within 5 metres of the dwelling or exceeds 3 metres (flat roof) or 4 metres (pitch roof) in height.

    – Building Regulations Consent is essential within 1 metre of the boundary unless non-combustible materials are used.


    Planning Permission is essential if a carport surpasses 30 sq metres or deviates from house extension rules. However, Building Regulations Consent isn’t mandatory for structures under 30 sq metres that have two or more open sides.

    Garage Conversion:

    Building Regulations Consent is crucial when converting a garage into habitable space, although Planning Permission is typically not required.

    Walls and Fences:

    Planning Permission is mandatory if your wall/fence exceeds 1 metre adjacent to a road or 2 metres otherwise. Building Regulations Consent isn’t necessary for boundary walls and fences.

    Remember, every project is unique, and requirements can vary. If you’re uncertain, our experts are here to guide you. At Get Rapid Plans, we aim to simplify the process and ensure your project adheres to regulations while turning your vision into reality. Get in touch with us today for personalized advice tailored to your project.

    Do I Need Planning Permission for Demolition?

    The notion of tearing down your house and outbuildings without planning permission might be tempting. However, securing permission to construct a suitable replacement isn’t guaranteed, potentially causing complications. It’s wiser to include demolition within your overall application. Inform Building Control beforehand of any planned demolition. Note that adjoining houses, unless detached, have a legal right of support.


    Outbuildings and Annexes:

    If you’re considering adding space, a garden-based structure like a home-office, playroom, or gym is an appealing option. Structures situated more than 5m from the house don’t count as extensions. However, demonstrating its association with the house is vital. While conservatories often fall within permitted development allowances, consider various outbuilding options such as sheds, garages, and more. Contact our planning consultants for tailored advice.


    Basements and Cellars:

    Expanding the house’s square footage without altering the exterior is a common desire. Building a basement might be a viable solution, especially if planning for upward expansion is challenging. Yet, basements can pose structural risks to neighboring properties due to excavation. Careful and professional design is crucial, considering aspects like cost, natural light, ventilation, and head-height. Developing basements requires expert guidance, as it’s not always the best route to increasing property value. Seek advice from surveyors or planning consultants to make informed decisions.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to simplify these complex decisions for you. Our team of experts can guide you through the intricacies of demolition, outbuildings, and basement developments, ensuring your project is well-planned and compliant with regulations. Reach out to us for personalized advice tailored to your project’s unique requirements.

    What Is Overlooking and Overdevelopment?


    Balancing your design aspirations with your neighbors’ privacy concerns is crucial in the planning process. Planners scrutinize designs that might compromise neighbors’ privacy, often leading to revisions. Features like balconies, roof gardens, and side-facing windows can face resistance. Particularly in London’s urban and suburban landscape, it’s challenging to avoid windows that potentially overlook neighboring properties. Creative solutions like lower roof slopes for loft-like spaces with skylight windows or the use of obscured glazing for bathrooms can address this concern. These approaches ensure sunlight while respecting privacy.



    In densely populated urban areas around London, limited plot sizes can restrict available garden space. Extending your house might risk being perceived as “overdevelopment” if it significantly encroaches on amenity space. Planners assess whether your proposed plans leave adequate remaining amenity space. To address this issue, presenting evidence of similar approved local developments can strengthen your case. Demonstrating how others have navigated this challenge can help showcase the viability of your project.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re adept at addressing these nuanced planning aspects. Our expert team can guide you in designing solutions that respect privacy, maximize amenity space, and navigate potential overdevelopment concerns. Contact us for tailored advice that ensures your project meets planning regulations while aligning with your vision.

    What Is a Conservation Area?

    Conservation Areas:

    Local authorities possess the authority, as outlined in Section 69 of the Planning [Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas] Act 1990, to designate conservation areas. These areas hold special architectural or historic significance, granting planning authorities additional control over building works and demolitions to protect and enhance the area’s character and appearance.

    Conservation areas are chosen based on their architectural or historic importance, encompassing buildings, roads, materials, and more that define their unique character. Trees, street furniture, and public spaces contribute to this character, requiring preservation. While conservation area consent doesn’t cover listed buildings, or certain other categories, demolishing an unlisted building within a conservation area without approval is a criminal offense. Seeking pre-application advice from your local authority before significant development can be beneficial.


    Listed Buildings:

    A ‘listed building’ is a structure recognized as having national architectural or historical significance, documented in the List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. This list, compiled by the Department for Culture, Media and Sports, encompasses a wide range of structures. When a building is listed, both its exterior and interior are protected. Objects and structures attached to or within the building’s curtilage can also be treated as part of the listed building.

    Listed Building Consent (LBC) is a distinct planning control safeguarding structures of architectural or historical significance. These controls, in addition to regular planning regulations, aim to prevent unchecked demolition, alteration, or extension of a listed building. The requirement for LBC depends on the potential impact on the building’s character. Buildings are listed to safeguard our cultural heritage and contribute to the quality of our surroundings.


    At Get Rapid Plans, we specialize in navigating the complexities of conservation areas and listed buildings. Our knowledgeable team, can provide expert advice and assistance in obtaining necessary consents. Whether you’re dealing with a conservation area or a listed building, we have the expertise to ensure your project complies with regulations and preserves architectural heritage.

    When Do I Need to Apply for a Lawful Development Certificate?

    Under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 191), an application for a Lawful Development Certificate serves to determine whether an existing use, operation, or activity in breach of a planning condition is lawful. This certificate is vital in establishing the legitimacy of a use or development and can be essential in cases of planning enforcement action or property transactions.

    Examples of situations where applying for a Lawful Development Certificate is crucial include:

    – When claiming immunity from enforcement action due to the expiry of time limits.

    – When demonstrating to potential buyers that no enforcement action can be taken.

    – For cases involving complex use descriptions, such as secondary uses, mixed uses, and intensification.

    The Planning and Compensation Act 1991 introduced time limits for planning enforcement action. These limits are as follows:

    – 4 years for unauthorized operations.

    – 4 years for change of use to a single dwelling house.

    – 10 years for other developments.

    Once these time limits have passed without enforcement action, the development becomes lawful in terms of planning.

    An application for a Lawful Development Certificate must include:

    – Type of application (use, building operation, or condition breach).

    – Start date of the use or breach.

    – Relevant use class.

    – Details of the relevant condition (if applicable).

    – Reason for seeking the certificate.

    – Supporting evidence of ownership or tenancy.

    – Plan identifying the land.

    For established use applications, specific evidence is required:

    Flats (over 4 years):

    – Tenancy agreements (minimum 4 years).

    – Council tax and utility bills.

    – Affidavit and statutory declaration.

    – Receipts/invoices from builders.

    – Photographs with dates.

    – Completion certificate from Building Control.

    – Electoral roll.


    Commercial Properties (over 10 years):

    – Tenancy agreement (minimum 10 years).

    – Photographs with dates.

    – Receipts/invoices from builders.

    – Affidavit and statutory declaration.

    – Business Rates records.

    – Completion certificate from Building Control.

    – Companies House records.

    – Tax Returns.

    Applicants must provide evidence of substantial completion or continuous use for the required time period. Lawful Development Certificates affirm the legitimacy of the development, with refusal possible if evidence is deemed insufficient or incorrect. Lawful development certificates do not cover breaches related to listed buildings or conservation areas.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we specialize in helping you navigate the complexities of obtaining Lawful Development Certificates. Our expert planning consultants can guide you through the process, ensuring that your development’s legality is well-established and documented.

    Planning Permission for a Roof Terrace

    In  London, the allure of rooftop spaces is undeniable. Homeowners are keen to unlock the potential of their properties, and roof terraces have become a popular choice for optimizing space. Many properties with existing rear extensions hold the untapped potential of their “dead” and overlooked roofs, presenting a unique opportunity to create an outdoor haven. While the idea seems straightforward, obtaining planning permission for a roof terrace can be a complex journey influenced by various factors.

    In the pursuit of expanding outdoor living spaces, the underutilized rooftops beckon. However, it’s worth noting that most councils exhibit caution, reserving access to roofs solely for maintenance or emergencies.

    Gauging the prospects of planning permission for a roof terrace hinges on several considerations:

    1. Overlooking Mitigation: An essential criterion is the terrace’s potential to overlook neighbouring properties. Ingenious design solutions, such as elevated walls at the perimeter or receding walls, can ensure privacy.
    1. Sunlight Preserving: The terrace’s walls mustn’t cast shadows on neighbouring homes, ensuring an equitable distribution of daylight. This can be achieved through obscured or frosted glass barriers, or wooden trellises that filter light while respecting privacy.
    1. Precedent in the Vicinity: Areas in London with established roof terraces might indicate a favourable context. However, assessing the legality of these terraces is paramount. A precedent could be deemed valid if these spaces have been in use for over four years, but legality isn’t assured. Absence of precedent could invite scrutiny on the basis of character and potential negative impact on the area.

    Understanding the local council’s policies is pivotal, as they can vary:

    – Some councils stipulate a 1.7m fence or wall for safety and privacy.

    – Size limitations may exist, such as not exceeding a certain percentage of the roof width (e.g., 50%) or a specific area (e.g., 12 sqm).

    Should uncertainty cloud your council’s stance on roof terraces, engaging with the duty planning officer can provide clarity. Alternatively, our team at Get Rapid Plans is at your service, offering a free consultation to discuss your project’s specifics.

    Given the intricate interplay of planning norms and your property’s unique attributes, expert counsel is invaluable. At Get Rapid Plans, our adept planning consultants are poised to guide you through the nuanced process of securing planning permission for your dream roof terrace. To embark on this journey, reach out to us at 07507 665812. Your envisioned rooftop retreat could be closer than you think!

    Conversion From Dwelling to Flats

    The transformation of a single-family dwelling into individual flats is a multi-faceted endeavour that warrants careful consideration. At the heart of this process lies the Planning department’s evaluation, encompassing a range of factors that extend beyond the property itself. These considerations revolve around potential impacts on the community, neighbours, and the broader area’s character.

    When contemplating the conversion of a property into smaller flats, it’s essential to recognize the broader implications on the neighbourhood and town. Planning authorities focus on ensuring urban and rural spaces are thoughtfully designed, functional, and sustainable. Thus, the conversion process needs to address the potential challenges, including:

    1. Balancing Housing Types: Authorities seek to strike a balance between Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and family houses to maintain neighbourhood diversity.
    1. Infrastructure Impact: Cumulative conversions within a locality can strain local infrastructure and resources, leading to potential concerns over utilities, parking, and more.

    It’s important to acknowledge that the decision to grant planning permission for such conversions isn’t uniform. Instead, it’s influenced by unique local circumstances, historical trends, and planning history.

    The process of converting existing dwellings into flats isn’t just about physical changes. It can influence the environment, potentially altering the character of established residential areas. Changes in external aesthetics, increased activity, and various logistical aspects like higher foot traffic, parking challenges, and waste management are all factors in play.

    Given the intricate dance of regulations and neighbourhood dynamics, exploring the feasibility of converting a house into flats is pivotal. Engaging with the council’s pre-application advice service is a wise step, allowing you to understand the nuances of your specific location.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we stand ready to guide you through this intricate process. Our Planning Consultants are equipped to offer tailored pre-application advice, assisting you in evaluating the viability of your proposal. With a keen eye on your vision, we aim to ensure that your endeavour aligns with the larger community context.

    Our commitment is rooted in the pursuit of positive outcomes. If your proposal aligns with the parameters of a feasible conversion, we’ll embark on the journey together. However, if the circumstances indicate otherwise, rest assured, we’ll provide clear guidance and explore alternative pathways that lead to your desired result.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we’re not just about architectural solutions; we’re your partners in navigating the realm of planning permissions and community harmony. To delve into the possibilities of converting a property into flats, reach out to us.

    What Are GIA Regulations?

    Understanding the dimensions and requirements that define the Gross Internal Area of a dwelling is pivotal in adhering to planning regulations. This space, encompassing the total floor area between internal walls, holds substantial significance in ensuring compliance and comfortable living spaces. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re here to illuminate these technicalities, ensuring your designs meet the standards set forth by the authorities.

    Gross Internal Area, as per technical planning guidance, is the sum of floor space enclosed by the inner faces of perimeter walls, encompassing partitions, structural components, cupboards, staircases, and even voids above stairs. This quantitative metric, denoted in square meters (m2), is crucial in determining a dwelling’s adherence to regulatory parameters.

    To ensure the quality of residential spaces, the regulatory framework outlines a set of standards that must be met. These include:

    – A dwelling must provide the minimum Gross Internal Floor Area and built-in storage area as outlined in Table 1, found here.

    – Dwellings with multiple bedspaces must feature at least one double (or twin) bedroom.

    – For single bedrooms, a floor area of 7.5m2 and width of 2.15m are prerequisites.

    – Double (or twin) bedrooms necessitate a floor area of 11.5m2.

    – Specific width requirements of 2.75m for the first double (or twin) bedroom and 2.55m for others.

    – Areas with a headroom under 1.5m aren’t counted in the Gross Internal Area, unless solely used for storage. The area beneath stairs, if utilized for storage, is assumed to contribute 1m2.

    – Storage areas with headroom between 900-1500mm count at 50% of their floor area, while those under 900mm aren’t considered.

    – Built-in wardrobes contribute to Gross Internal Area and bedroom floor area criteria, without narrowing room widths below minimums.

    – A built-in area exceeding 0.72m2 in a double bedroom and 0.36m2 in a single bedroom also contributes to storage requirements.

    – A minimum floor-to-ceiling height of 2.3m is stipulated for 75% of the Gross Internal Area.

    At Get Rapid Plans, our commitment extends beyond architectural aesthetics; it delves into meticulous adherence to planning regulations. We possess the expertise to seamlessly integrate these guidelines into your designs, ensuring compliance without compromising functionality or aesthetics.

    Ensuring your dwelling meets the Gross Internal Area standards is a complex puzzle we’re adept at solving. We’re here to navigate the intricacies, integrating your vision into designs that not only adhere to the regulations but also create inviting, liveable spaces.

    Your architectural journey finds a trusted ally in Get Rapid Plans. Let’s collaborate to design spaces that fulfil your aspirations while abiding by the regulatory framework. Contact us today for a consultation, and together, we’ll sculpt your vision into reality, within the parameters of the Gross Internal Area guidelines.

    What Is a Lease Plan?

    In the realm of property transactions and legalities, compliance is key. The introduction of new rules by the Land Registry in 2002 and 2003 brought forth crucial changes, particularly in the context of leases. If you’re navigating property transactions involving leases lasting seven years or more, understanding the significance of a Land Registry compliant lease plan is paramount.

    The Land Registration Rules of 2003 mandate that any new lease spanning a duration of seven years or beyond must be registered with the Land Registry. This registration process necessitates the inclusion of a compliant lease plan. A Land Registry compliant lease plan serves as an integral component of the lease application, aligning with the Land Registry’s guidelines.

    In scenarios involving leases, the inclusion of a comprehensive lease plan is non-negotiable. If your property was registered prior to 2002, it’s highly likely that your existing plan doesn’t adhere to the current Land Registry standards. Consequently, the need to create a Lease Plan that aligns with these modern requirements becomes essential.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we understand the intricate nuances of Land Registry regulations. Our expertise lies in producing Lease Plans that not only satisfy the Land Registry’s guidelines but also ensure the smooth progression of your property transactions. Whether you’re a property owner, a landlord, or a prospective tenant, our services ensure your Lease Plan meets the necessary standards.

    Our commitment to providing compliant Lease Plans is unwavering. If you’re embarking on a property journey involving leases, let us assist you in producing a Land Registry compliant lease plan that reflects precision and adherence to regulations.

    Navigating the intricacies of Land Registry compliance can be daunting, but with our expertise, you can rest assured that every requirement will be met. Get in touch with us today for a competitive quote. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re your partners in ensuring your property transactions proceed seamlessly within the parameters of Land Registry regulations.

    Can I Appeal If My Plans Are Refused?

    Interpretation, policy nuances, and differing professional opinions contribute to the complexity. When faced with a planning refusal, the importance of seeking guidance from a seasoned Planning Consultant cannot be overstated. At Get Rapid Plans, we extend our expertise to guide you through this process, mitigating costly mistakes and offering invaluable insights.

    When planning applications hit a roadblock with a refusal, clients frequently turn to us for assistance. Our approach is rooted in comprehensive evaluation, wherein we meticulously review the grounds of refusal and assess the prospects for success. Not all refusals warrant appeals, and our commitment is to transparently communicate the viability of each case.

    The avenue to challenge a refusal lies in submitting a planning appeal. The Planning Inspectorate, an impartial government body, oversees these appeals independently from local authorities. The appeal process serves as a neutral forum, and our expertise enables us to construct strong and persuasive appeals for London and beyond.

    The process commences with the validation of your appeal by the Planning Inspectorate, akin to a standard planning application. Subsequently, a designated Planning Inspector takes on the case, issuing instructions and dates to the applicants. Typically, a householder application appeal is resolved within eight weeks. Throughout this journey, our Chartered Planning Consultants offer invaluable insights and assistance, streamlining your appeal for optimal outcomes.

    For those seeking to challenge a decision, timing is of the essence. Disagreeing with a decision made by Planning Officers warrants an appeal within six months of the decision notice. For Householder Planning Applications, the appeal window is 12 weeks. Enforcements notices bring an even tighter timeframe of 28 days from notice receipt.

    It’s essential to note that third parties lack the right of appeal. If you’ve objected to a planning application that’s subsequently approved, the avenue of appeal isn’t accessible. Only applicants or appointed agents like Get Rapid Plans have the prerogative to appeal.

    Your journey to appeal a planning refusal begins with aligning with professionals who understand the intricacies of the process. Get Rapid Plans offers you this expertise, meticulously guiding you through the process, from thorough evaluation to the creation of a compelling appeal.

    To take the first step towards appealing a planning decision, or if you require expert Planning Advice in London, reach out to us today. At Get Rapid Plans, we’re not just planners; we’re your partners in navigating the complexities of planning refusals and securing successful outcomes.

    Lawful Development Certificate for Existing Use

    When it comes to obtaining a Lawful Development Certificate for established (existing) use, the timeline plays a crucial role. The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 introduces two critical timelines: the 4-year rule and the 10-year rule. These rules determine whether a certain use or development becomes lawful without the need for planning permission. However, interpretations and case law have added complexities to these rules, and expert guidance is pivotal.

    Section 171 B(1.2) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 deems the division of a single dwellinghouse into multiple separate dwellinghouses as a material change in use. Under section 55(3)(a), this change is protected by the four-year rule. Essentially, if the conversion of a property into separate dwellinghouses occurred more than four years ago, it falls under the protection of this rule.

    However, the legal framework isn’t one-size-fits-all. There’s a conflicting perspective suggesting a 10-year requirement for flats, considering them distinct from dwellings. The specifics of each case matter, and this is where Get Rapid Plans steps in. Our experienced team can assess your situation and advise you on the best way forward, ensuring compliance with the evolving regulations.

    In seeking a Lawful Development Certificate for established use, you must provide substantial evidence. This could include:

    – Proof of substantial completion over four years ago.

    – Proof of continuous use for a period of 10 years (four years for dwellings).

    This evidence holds the key to your application’s success. Yet, should the Local Planning Authority have evidence or reasonable grounds to doubt your claims, they might refuse the certificate.

    Get Rapid Plans is your partner in skilfully navigating the established use application process. Our expertise extends to the intricate web of evidence, documentation, and compliance needed for success. From tenancy agreements, council tax bills, utility bills, and more, our team can guide you on assembling a robust case.

    As of July 2023, the Government’s consultation on changing the 4-year rule to a 10-year rule for residential applications is underway. While these proposals are yet to take effect, the future landscape is set to change. If you have four years of evidence and wish to secure a lawful development certificate, now is the prime time to take action. With Get Rapid Plans by your side, your application will be meticulously prepared, backed by accurate drawings, maps, and comprehensive paperwork.

    Feel free to explore our case studies, illustrating our success in various conversions and developments. Don’t navigate the intricate planning landscape alone. Connect with Get Rapid Plans for strategic guidance and expert assistance. We’re here to turn complexities into opportunities, ensuring your established use application’s success.

    Is Planning Permission Required to Sub-Divide a Building?

    If you’re considering sub-dividing a building, the need for planning permission hinges on various factors. Here’s a breakdown to guide you through the process:

    In certain cases, sub-dividing a building may not necessitate planning permission if:

    1. No Physical Development: The sub-division doesn’t involve physical works that amount to development.
    2. Use Class Compatibility: The newly formed units fall within the same use class as the building’s existing primary use before sub-division, or a permitted development right allows the new use.
    3. No Conversion of Dwelling House: Sub-dividing doesn’t involve converting a single dwelling house into more than one residential unit.

    For listed properties, a different set of rules apply. If the property is listed, all internal alterations require Listed Building Consent. This process involves working closely with Conservation and Heritage Officers. These experts evaluate the proposed alterations’ impact on the heritage asset’s significance, both inside and outside the property. Even if Historic England (English Heritage) hadn’t previously surveyed the interior during listing, interior alterations still require permission.

    Get Rapid Plans specializes in helping you navigate the intricacies of sub-division and planning permissions. Our seasoned team ensures your project adheres to regulations and preserves the integrity of heritage assets. If your property is listed, our specialist heritage and conservation consultant can provide tailored guidance to seamlessly integrate your vision while respecting the property’s historical significance.

    Planning permission might not be a one-size-fits-all situation, but with Get Rapid Plans, your sub-division project is in capable hands. Our expertise ensures a smooth journey through the regulatory landscape, turning your vision into reality. Connect with us today to discuss your sub-division plans and explore the possibilities of your property while staying compliant with regulations.

    Do I Need Planning Permission to Work From Home?

    Running a business from the comfort of your home can offer convenience and flexibility. Whether you’re working remotely or starting a small venture, you might be wondering if you need planning permission to operate from your residence. Let’s dive into the details and shed light on the regulations.

    In most cases, you won’t require planning permission to run a business or home office, even if you’re utilizing an outbuilding or a garage tucked away in your garden. However, there’s a crucial condition – your dwelling house must primarily remain a private residence, and the business operation shouldn’t substantially alter the property’s use as a single dwelling.

    Local planning authorities make decisions on a case-by-case basis. They assess various factors to determine if planning permission is necessary. Some considerations include:

    1. Traffic and Disturbance: If your business leads to a significant increase in traffic, noise, or other disturbances that could affect your neighbours, planning permission might be required.
    2. Structural Changes: Major renovations or structural alterations to your property for business purposes might trigger the need for planning permission.
    3. Residential Character: Authorities assess whether your business activities impact the residential character of your area.


    Promoting your home business might also have planning implications. Using your residence to attract customers or clients could potentially change its use and require planning permission. Additionally, displaying signs and adverts on a residential street typically demands planning permission, unless they’re of a specific size and related to a dwelling, not a business.

    Navigating planning regulations can be complex, especially when it comes to home-based businesses. If you’re uncertain about whether you need planning permission, seeking professional advice is a smart move. At Get Rapid Plans, our experienced team can provide you with insights tailored to your situation. We understand the nuances of planning permission and can help you ensure that your business operations comply with the regulations.

    Remember, the goal is to maintain the balance between running your business and respecting your neighbours’ and community’s tranquillity. If you’re considering starting or operating a home business, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for guidance and assistance. We’re here to help you make informed decisions and navigate the planning landscape with confidence.

    How Long Does Planning Permission Last?

    When you receive a letter from the authority notifying you of their decision on your planning application, it signifies the grant or refusal of planning permission.

    Importantly, planning permission is tied to the land itself, allowing for the sale or lease of land or buildings along with the conferred planning benefits. Occasionally, certain planning conditions might restrict usage or occupancy to specific entities, necessitating applications to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) to modify or remove such conditions. This application can conveniently be made online through the Planning Portal.

    By law, planning permission has a finite lifespan. In most cases, unless specified otherwise, you have a three-year window from the date of grant to initiate development. Should work not commence within this timeframe, reapplication is likely necessary. If the granted permission entails conditions, such as requiring submission for approval of specific details not fully outlined in the application, these must be addressed before the commencement of development.

    Before commencing work, other approvals may also be needed, such as listed building consent or planning permission for demolition in a conservation area. Both these applications can be processed through the Planning Portal’s online service. It’s worth noting that multiple consents can also be sought via this platform, such as full planning consent and listed building consent.

    At Get Rapid Plans, we navigate the intricate planning process to ensure your project adheres to regulations and guidelines while maximizing the benefits of your granted planning permission.

    What Is a Site Survey and Why Is It Needed?

    Kickstarting your architectural journey involves a critical step: a comprehensive measured site survey. Before delving into the design process, obtaining accurate data about your property is crucial. At Get Rapid Plans, we prioritize value for money and ensure a hassle-free process for our clients by sourcing competitive quotes for this survey.

    The measured survey employs cutting-edge laser scanning technology to create precise 2D drawings of your property or site. These drawings consist of plans, elevations (front, rear, and visible sides), and sections (vertical slices through the building). These drawings serve as the foundation for architectural design and play a pivotal role in the planning phase, illustrating the existing structure in contrast to proposed changes.

    We’re dedicated to ensuring that your design journey starts on the right foot. Our expertise and commitment to excellence ensure that your measured building survey is thorough, precise, and serves as a solid foundation for your architectural project.