Published about 2 months ago

Selling with planning permission: your questions answered

Selling with planning permission: your questions answered

You may see some property listings state ‘opportunity to add a side extension and convert the loft, STPP’ – with the STPP standing for ‘subject to planning permission’.  

STPP is an educated guess regarding whether extension or remodelling plans would be approved by the local authority. Sellers can, however, remove any doubt by obtaining planning permission before they sell.  

We’re often asked whether granted planning permission is needed and whether it adds value, so we have answered the most commonly asked questions.  

Q. Hasn’t planning permission for property improvements been scrapped?

A. You may be thinking of Permitted Development, which allows a householder to extend and improve their home, to a degree, without planning permission. Some of the projects that fall within Permitted Development include small extensions, a porch, the replacement of a chimney, internal alterations, some loft conversions and the installation of roof lights.  

Many types of Permitted Development will need submitting to the local planning authority to determine whether ‘Prior Approval’ is required and, if so, whether Prior Approval would be granted.   

Q. What types of projects need planning permission?

A. Full or the simplified ‘householder’ planning permission is sometimes required when a homeowner is making major changes to a property that fall outside Permitted Development, such as building a large extension or conservatory, adding outbuildings, some garage conversions and installing dormer windows.  

Additionally, planning permission is often required when alterations are made to a flat or a listed dwelling, and to properties that fall within Conservation Areas or National Landscapes. A homeowner may also need full planning permission if the local authority has withdrawn permitted development rights to protect an area’s character.  

If you’re in any doubt, contact your local authority’s planning department for pre-application advice – a service that’s usually free. You can also apply for outlining planning permission, which will give you an indication if a project will be approved before you instruct an architect.   

Q. Will planning permission add value to my home?

A. There has always been anecdotal evidence to suggest the presence of planning permission adds value to a home but now the results of a new survey confirm this. When Home Sale Pack looked at the values of properties for sale listed with and without planning permission granted, those with planning consent carried a price premium of 11%.  

Q. Why would someone pay more for a property with planning permission granted?

A. Planning permission granted is a guarantee that extensive building work or alterations can take place uncontested. It saves the new buyer having to apply and gives people the option to purchase a smaller house and enlarge/reconfigure it at a later stage, perhaps when they have the time and money.   

Q. Is Prior Approval valuable too?

A. Yes, as there is usually a fee to obtain Prior Approval  before a Permitted Development (additionally Prior Notification in Scotland). If this is already in place, it will be of benefit to the purchaser.  

Q. How do I apply for planning permission?

A. The process is slightly different across England, Scotland and Wales but each starts by registering for an account via an online portal.   

Q. How much will an application cost?

A. The application itself will cost an average of £262 but homeowners need to factor in the cost of having plans drawn up. Although Checkatrade says a set of plans will cost an average of £750, many professionals will charge a percentage of the total project cost, usually between 7% and 15%, even if the homeowner has no intention of carrying out the work.  

Q. How long does planning permission last?

A. Generally planning permission lasts for three years from the day the permission was granted.  

Why not book an appointment with one of our team to assess whether you could add value to your home with planning permission? We can assess your property and provide you with a free valuation.

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