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Questions & Answers from a Chartered Surveyor

Article by Adeela Ahmed on Nov 28, 2011 View in browser

Questions & Answers from a Chartered Surveyor

Paul Watkin is a Chartered Surveyor with 10 years qualified experience.

Question 1
‘’I would like to increase the size of my property by extending it or converting the loft into a habitable space. Is planning approval required?’’
Any potential works involving substantial alterations and additions to a property will, in most cases, require planning permission which will require a planning application submitting under the Planning Act 2008 prior to any work being undertaken. The planning application will require a set of existing and proposed drawings (scale plans, elevations, and an Ordnance Survey), Design and Access Statement (details of the proposed scheme in terms of why the applicant requires the development), a planning application form, and the appropriate fee submitting to the planning authority in order that the proposed scheme can be assessed prior to any per permission being granted or refused.
Planning permission is not generally needed for internal alterations that do not affect their external appearance however (please note that Building Regulation approval may still be required), if there is any doubt it is always advisable to seek the opinion of a professional consultant or the local planning authority.

Question 2
‘’If I develop my property by extending it or making internal alterations will I require Building Control approval?’’
Building Control approval will be required for this project. The majority of all building projects are required to be undertaken to a minimum building standard, the requirements of which are set out in the Approved Documents of the Building Regulations 2004. Evidence that the above scheme complies with the requirements set out in Building Regulations have to be presented to the Local Authority Building Control department or an Approved Inspector (a private sector Inspector can be appointed to undertake this role) in the form of detailed drawings, and an associated application form. The information will then be assessed by the Building Control Officer / Approved Inspector assigned to the project to ensure that the scheme fully complies with the relevant requirements of the regulations. Finally, a series of inspections will be undertaken by the Building Control Officer at key stages of construction to ensure that the building works are carried out to the required standards prior to issuing a Completion Certificate.

Question 3
‘’Do I need an Energy Performance Certificate to rent my property?’’
As of October 2008, the law requires all properties that are built, sold or put for rent in England and Wales to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC).
An Energy Performance Certificate gives homeowners, tenants, landlords and potential buyers a certificate on the energy efficiency of their property. An EPC gives a building a standard energy and carbon emission efficiency grade from A to G, with A being the most efficient and G the least.
The rating is a measure of a home’s overall efficiency. The higher the rating the more efficient the home is, and the lower the fuel bills are likely to be.

Paul Watkin is a Chartered Surveyor with 10 years qualified experience. If you wish to discuss the points raised above in more detail, or have any related property questions, then please call on 07817 931 397, or e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it