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FAQs

We get asked many questions no matter how big or small the project is. On this page we have listed some questions and answers that we are most frequently aksed...

extensions Warrington Cheshire
extensions Warrington Cheshire
extensions Warrington Cheshire
extensions Warrington Cheshire

What is a Planning Application?

This is an application, which is made to your Local Authority Planning Department to apply for Permission to extend your home, Build a New House or Convert a Property into a House. The Planning Application consists of drawings and an application form. The drawings should show the existing floor plans of your house together with proposed floor plans, this shows the planners the additional floor space your extension will create. You would also show on the floor plans any demolitions, which are parts of your home that will be demolished to allow for your extension. In addition to the floor plans you also submit drawings showing the existing and proposed elevations. Elevations are the outside views of your home, usually Front, side and back. This will allow the planners to see if the design of your extension is in keeping with your home and will not look out of place.

As part of the Planning Application the Local Authority will write to your immediate neighbours (any property, which will be able to see your extension). This is simply to make them aware that you have submitted an application, what your proposal is and give them the opportunity to look at the drawings either in their office or via the councils web site. The neighbours have a period of 21 days to make any comments to the planning office about your proposals, these comments are usually about how your proposal might impact on their property for example loss of light. Don’t worry too much about this as these are the sort of things that we would look at when we are putting together your design ideas to ensure problems like this are addressed before making your application!

If objections or concerns are received during the course of the Planning Application it doesn’t mean that your application will be refused, the planner who is dealing with your application will look at the comments to see if they are relevant to the planning policies. Most of the time they are not and usually it is simply a case that your neighbour just doesn’t want to see your house get any bigger than theirs!

The Planning Application Process usually takes 8 weeks from when your application is registered with the local authority. It takes this long simply because of the number of applications the council receive and that they have to consult with your neighbours as mentioned above, but also with other parts of the council such as the Highways department and the local parish council.

Once all the consultations are complete the planner will then start to look at your application firstly by looking at the drawings but also by making a site visit to the property or site to see the impact on adjacent properties. If during the site visit the planner has some concerns about your proposal they would make contact to discuss this and offer the opportunity to make changes to the proposal to overcome their concerns. During the whole of the Planning Process Alpha Design would act on your behalf, which is what the Local Authority call an Agent. This means we would submit your application on your behalf and deal with the Planner to make sure that your application runs smoothly and solve any issues the Planner may have. Once the planning process is complete the Planning Department issue a Decision Notice, which is either to Approve or Refuse the application. Generally most applications are approved.

Planning Approvals are valid for three years from the date of the approval, which means that you have to start the work within that three year period or you will need to re-apply.

If you have any questions relating to the planning process please email info@extensionplanscheshire.co.uk or why not visit the governments web site called the Planning Portal http://www.planningportal.gov.uk

Not all Extensions require Planning Permission and this is called Permitted Development, Details about Permitted Development can be found on the Planning Portal link above. We would also look at this when we first come to meet you to talk about your proposal.

Even if you don’t need Planning Permission, you still need to apply to your Local Authority for what is called a Lawful Development Certificate. This is important for when you come to sell your property.

For a guide to Planning Application fee’s payable to your local authority, why not look at Warrington Borough Council’s Planning fee schedule:

http://www.warrington.gov.uk/content_documents/Documents/Planning/Planning_fees_2008.pdf

Or visit your own local authorities web site and look for their fee tables under Planning:

Stockport http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/environment/planningbuildingplanningpolicy/

Cheshire West http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/planning.aspx

Cheshire East http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/environment_and_planning.aspx

Trafford http://www.trafford.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/

St Helens http://www.sthelens.gov.uk/lgnl.htm?id=485

Wigan http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/Planning/

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What is a Building Regulations Application?

Like Planning, Building Regulations applications are made to your Local Authority Building Control or Approved Building Inspection. Alpha Design is part of The Local Authority Building Control Partner scheme and we Partner with Warrington Borough Council, therefore any applications that we make we can use Warrington Borough Council Building Control, regardless of whether the project is within Warrington or not. We have found this to be a real advantage as we deal with the same Building Control Officers each time and therefore can overcome problems quickly. How your particular application is dealt with will be discussed and agreed with you personally so you know all the details of the process.

Building Control is different from Planning in that Planning looks at how your proposal will look and impact on neighbours, Building Control look at the detail like Foundations, Floor Construction, Wall Construction and Roof Construction, Drainage, Structural Alterations to name but a few. Your Extension or Development needs to be designed and detailed to comply with the Building Regulation Documents and we ensure that all the relevant information is included on your plans to show it complies and has been well thought out to have enough insulation to keep the heat in and more importantly it’s going to stand up.

Any Building Control questions, please email us: info@extensionplanscheshire.co.uk

Alpha Design is a member of the Local Authority Partnership Scheme with Warrington Borough Council

Building Control will review and approve the submitted drawings and issue a Plan Approval Notice. Once the building works start you / your builder will need to let the building control office know as they need to undertake inspections of the work at various stages, which the Building Inspector will agree with your builder. In order to arrange an inspection you need to contact your Local Building Control Office and quote your Building Control reference number, which we will provide you with and will also be found on your Plan Approval Notice, some local Building Control Office numbers are provided below:

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Warrington Borough Council
Tel: 01925 443322

http://www.warrington.gov.uk/home/transport_planning_and_environment/Building_control/

Email: devcontrol@warrington.gov.uk

Trafford Council
Tel: 0161 912 3015
http://www.trafford.gov.uk/environmentandplanning/buildingcontrol/
Email: building.control@trafford.gov.uk

Stockport Council
Tel: 0161 474 3658

http://www.stockport.gov.uk/services/environment/planningbuildingplanningpolicy/buildingregulation/

Email: building.bc@stockport.gov.uk

Cheshire West
Tel: 0300 123 8123

http://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/planning_and_building_control/building_consultancy.aspx

Email: building.control@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk

Cheshire East
Tel: 01270 752155

http://www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/environment_and_planning/planning/building_control.aspx

Email: buildingcontrol@cheshireeast.gov.uk

St Helens Council
Tel: 01744 676242
http://www.sthelens.gov.uk/lgnl.htm?id=499
Email: buildingcontrol@sthelens.gov.uk

Wigan Council
Tel: 01942 404227
http://www.wigan.gov.uk/Services/Planning/BuildingControl/
Email: environmentalservices@wigan.gov.uk