The planning system, administered by the Local Authority, is there to protect neighbouring properties, the local area and the environment. All Local Authorities have differing planning policies that have to be considered. They try to ensure a development is suitable and appropriate for the location whilst ensuring the character of the area is not adversely affected.
In 2008 permitted development laws were re-written by central government that allow certain types of development which are outside of the local planning policy. These permitted development rights can allow certain types of extensions that would not be possible under planning policy.
Until planning/lawful development consent has been granted by the Local Authority, no scheme can legally be built and any work commenced on site is at risk to the client.
Without a planning consent or a certificate of lawful development, problems can arise when a property is sold. Without these documents which form parts of solicitors searches, delays in the sale can occur and these approvals may even need to be applied for retrospectively.
Further information on planning and permitted development rights can be found via the planning portal www.planningportal.gov.uk