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Part 4 Developed design & getting through planning

Translating your ideas into house plans is an exciting stage. Julian Owen discusses how to get your scheme ready for planning


Don’t forget it’s not just the planners who will look at the application. Council officers are used to seeing drawings and appreciate what the finished building might look like, but this is not universally the case. Your plans become a matter of public record available to neighbours and other interested parties, so the better it’s presented, the less likely there will be objections. Even if they don’t ask you to produce a written document describing the design and how it will relate to its surroundings, it’s useful to prepare one anyway because it will go up on the council’s website and effectively act as a sales pitch for the scheme.

If your application is contentious, it may go before a planning committee made up of councillors with mixed abilities when it comes to understanding drawings. I once met a committee making a site visit which seemed to go well, all apart from one councillor, who was frowning with displeasure. With a certain amount of irritability, he told me that he found it impossible to work out what the elevation I had drawn was supposed to look like. When he showed it to me, I cheered him up no end by turning it around so that it was no longer upside down.

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About Build It

Plan, design and build your dream home with practical advice and inspiration from Build It magazine. Highlights in this month's issue include: - Design Secrets to Win Over the Planners - Home Extension Costs - How to Find a Project with Renovation Potential - Building Contracts: Why You Need One - Buyer's Guide to Sliding Doors - Outdoor Living Ideas - Build It magazine's own Real Life Self Build ... and more!