Doing Major Outside Alterations needs Good Planning (part 2)
One of the first things to consider when you are seeking to make major changes to your outside space is whether the work will require any consent. When a property is listed, this doesn’t necessarily mean just the house itself – it could well include any walls or outside structures which may have been in situ for centuries. Dismantling, or making major alterations to them, might entail you applying for planning permission first.
Even if the property doesn’t have a listing, it’s worth noting that any significant landscaping or engineering work will invariably need the consent of your local authority.
So in which situations will you require planning permission?
Walls and boundaries
If you own a listed property, the boundary, walls or railings around your home might be just as old as the building itself. They may have historic value and be worth preserving and may even be listed in their own right, so it’s advisable to check the situation. That said, if the building is listed or in a conservation area, if you do decide to remove any existing boundaries and replace them with new walls, you’ll certainly require planning permission. In many cases, however, repair and preservation is often a better option than replacement.
You will also require planning permission if you are intending to create any walling that’s over one metre high adjoining a public highway, or for elsewhere on your land, if the new structure is going to be of a height exceeding two metres.
With a tree, if it is protected by a preservation order or is in a conservation area and you want to lop it down or cut it right back, then you’ll need to contact your local planners.
Sometimes, we have property owners who discover that the roots of an ancient tree have become a problem, perhaps affecting the structural integrity of the property or blocking out light. As a professional landscaping company, we will be able to provide a full assessment of the tree’s condition and how best to resolve the problem.
It’s worth mentioning that where trees are involved, there may also be a wildlife impact. Again, it will pay to check if there are any protected species which may need to be taken into account. The local authority planning department will be able to advise you.
Hard standing spaces
If you are intending to lower any kerbs in front of your home, or maybe looking to clear an overgrown area to make way for a concrete hard standing, then this will require planning permission. The same applies if you want to remove a wall to provide vehicular access.
There is plenty of government guidance on what you can and cannot do in relation to creating parking spaces, or introducing paved areas to an existing front garden, if you are intending to replace existing space with hard standing. One of the factors that will determine whether you are granted permission will be whether it may cause any undue rainwater run-off or flood risk to the surrounding environment.
High quality, well planned landscaping can transform the outside space around on your home. But, like anything worth having, it needs to be carefully considered. This includes making the correct plans and preparations, to ensure that you don’t fall foul of the regulations. Get it right, and the resulting work could look stunning, enhancing the look and value of your property. Just as important, it could create gardens, lawns, patios and practical outside space that can be used and enjoyed for years to come.
It all starts with good planning…