Changes to plans

11 Feb 2009
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United Kingdom
We applied for a hip to gable loft extension, plans have been a approved by the council, with a certificate of lawfullness issued.
Sadly our architect hasn't done the best job - and since being allowed up scaffolding on an identical house up the road - I now see what our architect should have done (ie used the spine wall instead of 7 steel girders, allow a window in the new 1st floor hall, allow velux windows in the sloping face wall, increase ceiling height to take advantage of the 50 sq mt's volume allowance - which also allows us to go flush up on the flank wall - rather than have a reduced dormer width, again wrong volumetrics from the architect).
We went for a full plans application.
If we wanted to make these changes away from the approved plans, how does the planning process allow for such changes, cost, time etc.
Can building control can allow certain parts of a development to be revised without new plans being submitted, I guess the big are the Structural Calcs - which I'm looking to buy from the architect who did the loft extension I viewed up the road, again how do i stand with these if submitted to the council, house is identical, and council has approved that development.
Our Party Wall Surveryor is happy for us to not re-issue any papers, as no changes are 'material'as he puts it.

Many Thanks
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You talk about being issued with a CoL, but then also mention full plans... assuming you're still talking about planning? If so, which one have you submitted/being granted approval?

If your proposals differ from the approved planning drawings, then you may have to look at submitting a non-material amendment application form along with the revised drawings, etc... I can't remember the application fee. You should be able to find that information on the council's website. If not, give them a call. If your amendments are significant to what has been approved, the council may ask you to submit a new full (planning) application. Look at submitting the revised drawings to the case officer for their advice.

Building Control would need amended plans and yes, the structural works may be the most significant. And no, you cannot and should not adopt somebody else's calculations for what you think is a similar proposal down the road.

By the way, the PD allowance referred to in the guidance (if going down the CoL route) relate to the gross external volume, so having a higher internal ceiling is neither here nor there... providing the roof line isn't increased. You're allowed to go up to 50 cu.m (i.e. 49.9 cu.m). Anything above will require a full planning application.
I like the idea of someone selling structural calcs done from another property without a proper survey and recalculation
We assume you live in a 'normal' house in a 'normal' area and that you don't therefore need a specific planning permission.
For Building Regs you don't need to submit plans at all (Building Notice proceedure) so if you want to make the changes you describe, that shouldn't be a problem so long as what you do still complies with the regs.
Building Control will almost certainly still want to see structural calcs for the main beams and no, it's not good practice to purloin someone else's ; every job is different.
(Most lofts/dormers need steel beams, but seven??!!
Possibly a very lazy or dull architect/plan drawer).
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Hi All,

Thanks for the replies, yes its a normal 1930's semi by Laing, in a normal suburb of London, nothing verfy exciting.

I understand that Planning & Building Control are two different depts, but beyond that my knowledge of what they need to have submitted is still a grey area for me.

Is that right, I dont need to actually submit plans for Building Regs ? if they needed to see structural calcs is that not submitting plans ? I'm confused, maybe I need a little explanation.

Looking at the documents it appears a 'Section 192' 'Lawful Development' application was made, a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development has been issued, this just refers just to Planning though ?

I also received a letter from the council's 'Planning, Housing and Regeneration - Building Control' - stating 'conditional passing of plans notice'.

It briefly mentions 'Details of work - Loft conversion with Hip to Gable Change', the Location, and then 'Approval' in accordance with the BUILDING REGULATIONS 2000 subject to conditions mentioned over leaf etc. But it does state 'this approval is only for the purposes of the Building Reg's Section 18,19,21,24 & 25 of the Building Act 1984'.
Then goes on 'It is not an approval under the Town and Country Planning Acts.
It also goes on to state: 'Schedule of further information that shall be submitted and/or modifications that shall be made to the plans relating to the conditional passing of plans notice in connection with the Building Regs application No *****.
'Building surveyor to ensure new gable structure is securely attached to existing brick work external flank wall'.

I was thinking of approaching the Architect who did the loft ext up the road and asking what he would charge to draw up structural calcs based on that development - but considering what I have already got, I assume he cant charge full rate for that ?

I understand we need to submit a Building Control Notice two days prior to work starting - am I right ? then there are a series of inspections (I think its 4) at various stages - is there a time table I need to follow - or do the Building Control inspectors work to my time table, and are there time limits on how long a development can take once we start - in regard to inspections.
I assume we can pay a third party inspector - who I'm told are more flexible and possibly a bit cheaper.

Is that right, I dont need to actually submit plans for Building Regs ? if they needed to see structural calcs is that not submitting plans ?

Correct; Building Notice procedure does not require formal plans. They can ask for further details, though, and structural calcs are often the main item required. Although it's often easier for a SE to do calcs by working off proper plans, its not always necessary, and many just do a rough sketch to accompany their figures, showing the structural arrangement. Usually the Council's own engineer will be able to follow the sketch when checking your SEs calcs.
So am I right in thinking, that with an application for a Lawful Development - (I assume this is termed Permitted Development then ?) for the Planning Department, if the changes are not too dramatic I would not need to submit revised plans (the only exterior changes I wish to make are taking the roof line up to the ridge, and broadening the width of the dormer so the flank wall rises flush with the existing - as per the development up the road - which has also been built under Permitted Development).

Regarding Building Control, with the above changes in mind I cant see much of a greater load from the roof, of which parts rest on the floor or spine wall (post to support ridge and purlin to support sloping front roof), so from what your saying the Building Control dept. would only require revised structural calc's - but wouldn't the SE require revised drawings to work from.

I understand a Building Control Notice is submitted two days prior to work starting, a series of inspections follow (it is 4 ?) are there time limits on how long a development can take once we start - in regard to inspections.
Can I pay a third party inspector - I'm told they are more flexible and cheaper, as work hasn't yet started - and the council are yet to receive a check for inspections - can I choose between 3 pty of council inspectors.
You appear to have missed the fact that you already have a building regs application in. You do not need a building notice! If you wish to make small changes to your plans that are already approved then simply contact building control. If you decide to use an approved inspector then you will have to first cancel your full plans application with the council. Then you can submit an initial notice with an approved inspector. Be warned however that your full plans approval is not relevant to the approved inspector and you are wasting your previous architects fees regardless of whether he has mucked up! You will have to wait at least 5 working days before starting work as that is the statutory time period of an initial notice.

I would suggest you save your money and talk direct to your LA Building Control about minor changes, they may not even want revised drawings, just details on what you want to do. They will approve if the work complies at inspection.
Sorry, I have confused you, didn't understand terms, I see now that there are two types of Building Control application a 'Full Plans' application, or a 'Building Notice'.
I have made a Full Plans application.
I was confusing the 2 days 'Notification period' thinking it was called a 'building notice'.
I will need to pay another Full Plans application fee to submit revised structural calcs - as the councils 'partnering' deal with the architect has been terminated, and I will need to go to my local council (not the architects council who he orignally submitted plans too). They also said I could use an Approved Inspector - cancelling the councils full plans application, submitting plans through them for inspection.

The Planning Dept (who are my local council on this one) will require a fee to resubmit a lawfull development certificate, which is not a huge fee. They even said I could draw plans myself to save on Archictects costs, happy to do that if you think thats viable - I could simply scan and alter what has been done.

All in all I feel my architect has made a hash job of this, after converstions with both councils, studying plans and council reports I know he hasn't done a proper job and are now involved in extra expense to put right what has already been paid for, what is my position to claim if he refuses to put right what is wrong. The architect is extrememly obtuse when I have questioned him in the past, in fact abusive on the phone the last time we spoke - I only asked a few simple questions.

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