Detailed Planning Permission

Making a request for Detailed Planning Permission (DPP) is one of the key hurdles you will have to jump on the road to starting work on your self-build project. While Outline Planning Permission is just the approval in principle that a plot can be used for building, submitting more detailed proposals is the next stage towards getting the full approval which will finally let you start laying the foundations of your dream home.

When you were granted Outline Planning Permission, you were probably given a time frame in which to address so-called ‘reserved matters’, usually within three to five years of the original approval being given. These reserved matters will usually pertain to access to the property, its exact position within the site, the finer details of its design, landscaping issues and how potential obstructions will be taken into account.

The time to address these matters is as part of your application for Detailed Planning Permission and, as the name implies, this is the point at which you need to supply the local planning department with more concrete designs for the building you wish to erect. Before they can give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, the authorities will need to take a number of things into consideration.

What Should the Application Contain?

In submitting your more detailed plans for your self-build project, you will need to supply the local planning department with a number of key documents.

They will expect to see an accurate floor plan for each storey of the house, usually at either a 1:100 or 1:50 scale, as well as elevation diagrams at the same ratio which will outline the external appearance of the building and the colour and types of materials you intend to construct it from.

In addition to these documents, you should also submit a location plan marking out the boundaries of your plot of land in relation to surrounding properties. As well as giving an indication of North, you will need to outline your plot in red and adjoining plots in blue, and the diagram should be to either a 1:1,250 or 1:2,500 ratio.

Finally, there should also be a full site plan at a scale of 1:500 or 1:200, which should show the relative position of the proposed building in relation to any other buildings on the site and should outline any new access routes for pedestrians and vehicles. The site plan should also give an indication of the position and size of any trees on the site, as they could either be considered obstructions or, depending on age and species, may be subject to preservation orders. Public rights of way and buildings on adjoining sites should also be marked.

There will also be a full application form available to download from the Local Council’s website which will need to be returned alongside these supporting documents. It’s important that you go through it carefully and fill in as much information as accurately as you can – there is no point trying to bend the truth at this stage because they will pore over all the elements of your application with a fine tooth comb.

What Happens Next?

Once you have submitted your application form and all the relevant documents, the local planning department will advise you how long a decision will take, although in most cases it will be between six and ten weeks. You’ll be given a unique reference number for your application which will enable you to track its progress online through its review period, and if the decision goes your way and approval is given, building work will have to begin within two years of having received Full Planning Permission.

In some cases there will be certain restrictions or obligations placed on the approval which you will need to take into account when work begins, such as altering a specific aspect of the building’s appearance, for example. If you’re unfortunate enough to have your designs rejected by the planning department then don’t throw in the towel straight away – you can lodge an appeal against the decision and it will be passed higher up to an inspector working for the Secretary of State.

If your plans are still refused then it might be time to go back to the drawing board or seek further advice on how your designs can be amended to ensure they pass second time around.