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How Much Does It Cost To Get Planning In A Conservation Area In 2023?

How Much Does It Cost To Get Planning In A Conservation Area In 2023

Do you live in a conservation area In London? Are you thinking about undertaking works to your house and not sure what it would cost to get planning permission in a conservation area in 2023?

This article considers some of the things you may need to think about and the cost implications before you get started. Planning in a conservation area in London can be a complex and can be a more costly process relative to a standard planning application.

Conservation areas are designated by local authorities in order to protect and enhance the special architectural or historic interest of a particular area. In order to make changes to a property within a conservation area, such as building an extension or making alterations to the exterior planning permission may be required.

In some instances, this will include changing the windows and doors or even re-roofing your roof. If you are not sure if you live in a conservation area (or if you are thinking to buy a house in a conservation area) most local authority websites will have a map defining conservation areas in the borough.

The cost of obtaining planning permission in a conservation area will depend on a number of factors, including the size and scale of the proposed development, the type of work that is being carried out, and the local authority in which the property is located. In general, however, the cost of planning permission in a conservation area can be higher than in other areas due to the additional considerations and requirements that will need to be met.

The first step in the planning process is to clearly define what you are looking to do. It is important that you have accurate existing drawings for the property before you develop proposals. A measured survey can be undertaken to obtain the detailed drawings and this can be done in 2D or 3D.

For a mid terrace property over 3 floors you will want to budget at least £1600.00 plus VAT for the measured survey in 2D, a 3D version will be more expensive but may be useful if you would like to generate 3D visuals to help the council understand the proposal.

Once you have a measured survey in place and worked through a brief with your architect or design team you can start to develop proposals for what you are looking to do.

Subject to what that is, your design team may advise what additional information may be needed from the standard things that you will need to support an application. As a minimum you will need the following documents for an application in a conservation area:

  1. Existing drawings
  2. Proposed drawings
  3. Design and access statement
  4. Heritage statement

In addition, relative to what you are proposing you may need some additional reports to support and application; these may include but are not limited to:

  1. Arboricultural report – this is for trees that may be affected by the proposal. Any works to trees in a conservation area including pruning may require planning permission
  2. Acoustic report – this may be needed if you are having any equipment that may generate noise
  3. Flood report
  4. Ecological statement and report
  5. 3D visuals

For the cost of the standard items, this will vary relative to what you are looking to do, but for a modest extension you should expect to pay upwards of £3000 for the proposed drawings and statement.

Any additional reports that may be specific to your proposal will be in addition to this and may require specialist consultant input. Fees for these can vary, and in parallel you will want to consider the time that some of the reports may take – for eg: some ecological reports are seasonal so you may require data to be captured at certain times of the year.

If you would like complete clarity as to what reports are required before a formal application is made then it would be advisable to also factor in getting a pre-application. A pre-application is useful if you are proposing something contentious or you would like the opportunity to discuss what is being proposed with the council’s planning officers.

Although they are not binding, in most instances you can get written feedback which can be used to inform a formal submission. Your architect should be able to advise if a pre-application is useful in your instance and if you are looking to undertake one at the outset then it would be advisable to budget upwards of £2500 for a small extension pre-application fee as well as the council fees.

If the local authority requires further information or clarification about the proposed development, they may ask for additional documents or drawings. This can add to the cost of the planning process, as additional design work and revisions may be required. It is useful to establish what changes may be required through the preapplication process in the first instance if you are going down that route.

In addition to the cost of preparing and submitting a planning application, there are also fees that must be paid to the local authority. These fees are set by the government and vary depending on the type and scale of the proposed development. For a standard planning application for a single dwelling, the fee is currently just under £250.00.

You may find that once you have planning that the approval notice has conditions that need to be discharged prior to works starting. Conditions can be extensive in some instances and further costs may be incurred to discharge these conditions. Typical conservation area conditions can include submitting samples of materials to be used or 1:10 details for replacement doors and windows.

Overall, the cost of obtaining planning permission in a conservation area in London should be considered carefully at the outset so it can be budgeted for. The cost of preparing and submitting a planning application, as well as the cost of professional fees, surveys and reports, and any additional costs associated with the proposed development, can add up to several thousand pounds.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the cost of obtaining planning permission is an investment in the preservation and enhancement of the special architectural or historic interest of the conservation area and your home within it which in turn helps to maintain the heritage that can often make conservation areas more desirable areas to live in.

The team at Formed have extensive experience of working in conservation areas and factors that need to be considered so if you want further advice, get in touch with us and we will see if there is something that we can do to help.