Introduction ‘Do I need an architect; planning and building regulations?’

Do I need an architect; planning and building regulations? Do I need an architect for planning permission? Do I need an architect for Building Regulations? If this is your first project then you’re probably asking these exact, or similar questions. This helpful guide may help you find an answer. Please don’t hesitate to contact us, either by the contact form, our email address, or simply call us, we’d love to hear from you and discuss your project.

Do I need an architect for planning permission?

Any project falling under the definition of ‘Development’, defined by law as building, engineering, or mining operation requires planning permission. The introduction of Permitted Development rights via ‘The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015‘ effectively sets out classes of development for which a grant of planning permission is automatically given. The Department for Local Government and Communities produce technical guidance for householders wishing to take advantage of permitted development rights. This guidance contains detailed descriptions of permitted development.

Permitted development rights can be too restrictive for those seeking to explore ambitious architectural designs. In these circumstances an application for planning permission will be required. Complex projects can often often take more time to design before the planning submission is made. It is often a good idea to liaise with the local authority during the process to reduce the risk of an unsuccessful application.

Do I need an architect for building regulations?

When a suitable planning route is established and permission is granted, you will need to apply for building regulations approval. Building regulations approval ensures the proposed work complies with the building regulations. These are statutory instruments that seek to ensure that the policies set out in the relevant legislation are carried out. The government also publishes guidance in the form of sixteen Approved Documents, which are intended to demonstrate methods of complying with the building regulations. However, it is important to understand that the Approved Documents represent a method of compliance, they are not themselves the regulations. There are other, innovative ways to achieve compliance but this route can be more difficult to validate with the relevant local authority.

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You must check whether the work requires building regulations approval. It is also important to remember that, while there is a legal context for approval, so too exist responsibilities regarding safety. Any work you do carry out, whether or not you intend to do it yourself, must be carried out safely. You can also use the Competent Persons Register to find individuals and organisations that are able to self-certify their work with respect to building regulations compliance.

We are fully qualified architects with a range of experience on residential projects. If you’re still asking the question ‘Do I need an architect; planning and building regulations?’, then please call us, or use the contact form, we’re here to help. The services we provide to homeowners can be very diverse. Our clients often require an initial consultation to discuss requirements, options and learn from our experience.

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