Most Frequent
Questions & Answers

For domestic properties, planning consent relates to changes in the appearance or use of buildings such as an extension to a house, or a conversion of a house into flats. Planning should not be confused with the building regulations that are entirely separate.

Not to be confused with planning, the building regulations are there to ensure that buildings are made to a minimum quality standard for such things as structure, fire escape, drainage, ventilation, insulation and so on. The regulations can often seem unreasonable, but they are all there for good reasons. Building regulations matters are usually handled by building control officers in the Building Control Department of your local authority but increasingly private licenced inspectors are an alterantive.

For small extensions and alterations, your proposals may fall within your Permitted Development Rights which means that planning permission will not be necessary. There are a number of limits on height, volume (in cubic meters) etc. that your proposals need to be within for permitted development to apply. If your project is eligible for permitted development we would recommend that you apply for a Certificate of Lawful Development to confirm this. 

Living in a conservation area usually means that changes to the external appearance of your building will be a particularly sensitive issue. You may well need to complete an application for Conservation Area Consent as well as a Planning Application (and some times even when a Planning Application is not required). 

We work in the following North East and Teesside areas;

Whitley Bay
Forest Hall
North Shields

  • New build houses
  • Two storey extensions
  • Single storey extension
  • Wrap around extensions
  • Garage conversions
  • Loft conversions
  • Porches
  • Sunrooms
  • Internal alterations

please check the projects page

Planning applications are usually decided within 8 weeks of submission. In England, a time limit of 13 weeks can be set if cases are particularly large or complicated.

Many of our cities, towns and villages contain areas of architectural or historic interest which have a particular character considered worthy of conservation.
A Conservation Area is an area deemed by the Department to be of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve and enhance, as designated under Article 50 of the Planning (NI) Order 1991.
Great importance is attached to the preservation of the existing character and appearance of such areas allied to the promotion of their economic well-being.

Once approved, your planning approval lasts for 3 years. Within this timeframe, you need to make a meaningful start on your project. If for what ever reason you do not commence the works within the 3-year timeframe, your planning application will elapse. If this is the case, you can simply re-apply for planning permission.

All planning applications have to be submitted via your local authority. Building regulations can be submitted to your local authority or an approved inspector, please refer to our section ‘what are building regulations’

A party wall agreement is a legally binding document that is agreed between two or more parties, when works are being carried out close to or effecting neighbouring premises.

It is very common with alterations to domestic properties (even for detached properties) that action under the party wall legislation will be necessary. Works that effect a wall, fence or any part of your neighbour’s structure, within certain specified distances, will require notification to adjoining owners in accordance with the Party wall Act 1996.

The person proposing the works, (or agent acting on behalf of the client) should notify, by means of written consent, along with a schedule of works and relevant drawings, their affected property owners.

Mr. Architecture Services provide advice and assistance with party wall notices. Alternatively, on larger scale projects, we can help to connect to you with relevant party wall surveyors, who we have a close and virtuous working relationship with.