It’s not always easy to get planning permission. From a small rear extension to a new supermarket, all projects have their individual challenges but they all have to follow a similar planning process. Here are our top tips to help you improve the success of your application.


The first stage to a successful application is to open up the dialogue early. Councils offer pre-application advice which will often establish what you can/can’t get under planning and establish what will be required with you planning submission. Taking advantage of this early conversation is crucial if you want to save yourself some time and money in the future. By knowing the boundaries, you can get your design on the right track from the start and save you paying for revisions later. Pre-application stage is also a good time to discuss and agree S106 requirements, Levy’s and payments.


Get the neighbours on side. The council, not your neighbours will grant you planning permission, but ignore your neighbours at your peril! Whether you like your neighbours or not, they can either help or hinder your project. Starting off, it’s always good to chat with those in your area about your plans. Not only does this give them a heads up – no one likes hearing things second hand through a letter – but it also allows you to pick their brains. Explain what you are proposing and why. Even if they don’t like it its better if they hear it from you first. Maybe someone else has built something similar? This will be a great indication of what the council is willing to approve for planning. Your neighbours may even be nice enough to share their thoughts on professionals they used and give budget advice.


Get experts on board early. Big surprise that we would suggest this, but getting an architectural expert or designer involved will make a world of difference. These professionals will have taken on hundreds of residential projects, and so know planning applications inside and out. They’ll use this expertise to design you a home that has the best chance of approval, as well as unlocking your space’s maximum potential.

At A9 Architecture, we offer a planning package that ensures you have one of our experts on hand throughout the whole process. Submitting your plans and securing the permission you need.


During your submission, you’ll have a planning officer assigned to your project. You might find them asking you to make alterations to your plans, but this shouldn’t dishearten you. If your design was facing outright rejection, they wouldn’t be attempting to change it up. So listen to what they’re saying and make concessions. If done swiftly, these alterations shouldn’t slow your planning application down too much and hey, the sooner this is done, the sooner you can build.


We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but planning isn’t a quick process. At best, it’ll take between 8-10 weeks to get approval and that’s if no alterations are needed. You may also face Planning Conditions, if your project is signed off. These conditions are requirements you’ll need to fulfill before you get building. For instance, you might have to submit details on your building materials.

Our general advice, when it comes to building projects, is to expect the unexpected and be patient. With the right professionals by your side, the process will work itself out.

BlogAlan Green