• Michael Bukowski

Joint planning applications and extensions

A joint planning application involves design and its submission on behalf of two or more adjacent property owners. Most commonly it is prepared by an architect for two adjoining neighbours, so if your experience with dealing with your immediate neighbours is not great and your motto is ‘love your neighbour yet pull not down your hedge…’ this is not something for you.

If you however do have a good and honest relationship with your neighbour, and you believe you can have a productive chat on any subject concerning the neighborhood matters, there is a chance that both parties would benefit from such application.

Benefits of joint planning applications

Before you apply for planning permission, it’s important to note that not all o

f the building work requires planning permission. There are projects that can be undertaken without seeking for planning application and that in most cases would be when the proposal does not encroach a footprint of an existing house. If the proposed conversion is beyond the outline of the building or if a construction of a basement lightwell is required obtaining a planning permission might be obligatory and working it out with an architect is very important. Apart from contacting the planning authority for planning permission for basements; you should engage an expert architect for more insight on what’s ideal for your project, to devise an optimal habitable space catering for your everyday needs.

Disadvantages of joint planning application

Once such application is granted both neighbours would be obliged to Construction extensions at the same time and not following this condition would invalidate the planning consent. Therefore, there must be a good communication between the neighbours from the outset of the project.

It would also be recommended that one architect deals with both project and if he or she is registered with RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) you can be sure the highest industry standards would be followed and the architectural services would be impartial for both neighbours.

How to approach your neighbour with your proposal for joint application.

It is recommended that you have a friendly conversation with a neighbour to explain that both parties can hugely benefit from such proposal and that without joint involvement certain proposals might not be approved. It may a case of semi-detached buildings where one extension would be blocking the neighbours light, creating the tunneling effect, blocking the outlook etc., and if both neighbours put forward a proposal where their extensions are adjoining together the approval would have much better chances. Commonly it happens when one neighbour would like to have a two-storey rear extension spanning across almost the entire width of the existing house. Such applications might also be useful if a deeper than normal extension is proposed.

It may be prudent to advise that one architect working on behalf of both owners is always a better solution to avoid miscommunication, abortive work and to ascertain the equal attention to the proposal and the outcome.

Atelier 41 Architects specialize in small scale residential developments across various boroughs and planning authorities, and we have extensive knowledge and experience in provision of similar projects and our help could prove to be invaluable from the outset. We could also assist with your initial discussions with neighbours and our charges are substantially lower in case of dealing with joint planning applications.

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