Planning Permissions and exemptions
By the time you end up with one of these in your hands, you will have settled on a design that we have prepared for you after having spent a good deal of time together discussing options, pros and cons etc. Often, we will have asked the planners what they think of the idea before an official planning application is lodged with them.
Sometimes small domestic alterations and extensions can be exempt from requiring a planning consent meaning that a full planning application is not needed. We will let you know if this is likely to be the case or not.
But just because permission is granted, it doesn’t mean that you can go straight ahead with construction, as often-times other approval or regulatory processes have to be undertaken prior to this.
These are the Building Regulations; or strictly the “Technical Guidance Documents” thereof. There are 12 parts covering aspects of building such as access for the disabled, how to conserve energy, proper ventilation, fire safety and prevention, keeping the damp and the weather out, how drains should be laid, materials standards and more. Your building works will have to comply with them by law.
You might even need to appoint people to inspect the works and certify that they DO comply when the works are completed. Some small domestic projects don’t require this, or can “opt-out”. If your project is domestic in nature, we can advise on this when the time comes.
Either way, when you ask us to be your architects, we will guide you through what will be needed as far as compliance, regulations and certifications are concerned and we can cover all of these aspects as part of our standard services.
Fire safety and Access for Disabled certification
For new commercial buildings or alterations and additions to them (including apartment buildings), there is usually a requirement on clients to demonstrate compliance with fire safety and disabled access requirements of the Building Regulations, prior to the commencement of the building works. This is done through the making of an application for Fire Safety Certificates (FSC) and Disability Access Certificates (DAC).
When we design for buildings, we automatically design-in features at the “planning application” stage that will allow for compliance with the parts of the Building Regulations that cover these design criteria.
After planning permission has been granted, we will develop additional drawings and reports to accompany a FSC or DAC application to the local authority. This process can be “fast-tracked” to some extent if clients want.
For more in-depth advice on this aspect of regulation as it relates to your commercial project, why not get in touch with us for preliminary discussions.