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  • Writer's pictureRobert McBride

Navigating the Planning Process for Your Ground Floor Flat Extension

Adding space to your ground floor flat through an extension is an exciting prospect, but the journey through planning permission can be daunting. At Studio MASS, we're here to guide you through the essential steps to successfully secure planning permission for your flat extension.

Ownership and Freeholder Consent

First and foremost, let's address the ownership structure. Chances are, as a ground floor flat owner, you hold your property under a leasehold agreement. This means an annual fee to the freeholder for maintaining communal areas. Crucially, your leasehold agreement likely includes a clause requiring consent from the freeholder before any internal works or extensions. Before diving into the planning process, securing the freeholder's consent is essential.

Communication with Freeholder and Other Leaseholders

Once your extension plans are ready, swiftly share them with the freeholder to gain their consent. If dealing with an individual freeholder, a direct approach may suffice. For larger property owners, a more formalized process, similar to a planning application, may be necessary. Additionally, consider informing other leaseholders early on. By sharing your plans and addressing concerns upfront, you increase the likelihood of a smooth planning application process.

Strategic Internal Design

Before embarking on the planning application, collaborate with our knowledgeable architects at Studio MASSto define your vision for the new space. Working with an experienced designer ensures a nuanced understanding of the design process and local planning policies. Your designer will seek to balance your needs with the restrictions of the local planning authority. Consider the optimal layout for your new space, keeping in mind the reasons behind your extension—whether it's an extra bedroom, a larger kitchen, or simply more space.

Thorough Research for the Best Layout

A successful ground floor flat extension begins with thorough research. Understand the reasons driving your need for extension. Do you require an additional bedroom, a more spacious kitchen, or just a versatile living space? Your designer will work with you to identify the ideal layout that caters to your needs while complying with planning regulations.

External Design Considerations

As you progress with ownership details and internal design plans, it's time to engage with an experienced designer familiar with your local authority's planning policies. The right design significantly enhances your chances of obtaining planning permission for a ground-floor flat extension.

Key considerations include:

  • Impact on Neighbors: Thoughtfully calculate the size of your extension, taking into account its impact on your neighbor's property and garden lighting. Striking the right balance ensures a harmonious neighborhood.

  • External Materials: Adhere to local guidelines for external materials, especially if you reside in a conservation area. Consult with your architect to choose materials that align with the area's aesthetics and maintenance requirements.

  • Manhole Locations: In terraced properties, manholes are typically located at the rear. If your extension affects these, consult with your architect and structural engineer to redirect pipes, considering the associated costs.

In summary, while obtaining planning permission for a ground-floor flat extension may pose challenges, a skilled team of professionals can navigate you through the process. At Studio Mass, our multidisciplinary team is ready to transform your dream extension into reality. Contact us today, and let's embark on this exciting journey together.


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