Before you submit a planning application it is important to find out whether or not you really need one in the first place. Some developments need planning permission whereas others require only Building Regulation approval, and some will require both. Talk to Bracknell Forest Borough Council - Building Controls department, or try the new interactive guide for householders:
Planning: An Interactive Guide for Householders
New relaxed planning rules came into effect in October 2008.
Finding out what the planning requirements are has never been easier thanks to a new interactive house guide that helps people who want to improve their home ensuring no one falls foul of the new rules.
The website www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/hhg/houseguide.html guides users round the planning permission rules for homes from everything at the front and back of house through to each floor inside. All you have to do is click on the part the house you are changing whether it's a loft conversion, the driveway, solar panels, fencing, or even the bathroom, and a pop up explains all the new rules.
Submitting Planning Applications
For a planning application six complete sets of plans and forms will be required with the correct fee. The plans should be clear, intelligible, drawn to a metric scale and the scale quoted. They must distinguish clearly, preferably in colour, between existing and proposed developments. Floor plans as well as elevation plans to a recognised metric scale must also be included with the application. Other information that can be required are: existing/proposed buildings within close proximity, site features such as trees in close proximity to the proposed development, car parking arrangements, drainage alterations required and in some cases, a tree survey may also be required. Once all the documents have gone to the Planning Department, the local planning authority validates the application and requests any missing documents. Once everything is received the local planning authority acknowledges the valid application.
The council should decide your application within eight weeks either by a Planning Officer or the Council's Planning Committee. Large or complex applications may take longer. Your council should be able to give you an idea about the likely timetable.
Bracknell Forest Council usually makes the decision to allow or refuse planning permission on all planning application within the Borough boundaries. Professional Planning Officers working for the Council look at each application and publicise it to neighbours and the relevant Town or Parish Council.
If there are no objections raised then the Planning Officer makes a decision based on the application submitted in light of the adopted planning policies.
If there are more than three objections or a local Borough Councillor makes a request, the planning application will be decided instead by the Borough Council Planning and Highways Committee, consisting of a number of Borough Councillors advised by Planning Officers.
You can also visit www.planningportal.gov.uk for more useful advice on planning topics for householders.