- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 05 Jan 2020
Main statutory considerations and constraints
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 Conditions of Appointment of an Architect
Under the RIBA Standard Conditions of Appointment of an Architect 3.10.1, the Client acknowledges that the Architect does not warrant that planning permission and other approvals from third parties will be granted at all, or if granted, will be granted in accordance with any anticipated time-scale.
The local plan (and neighbourhood plan if it exists) should be referred to in order to establish planning policy regarding development in an area. Planning history investigation will reveal any existing relevant permissions, consents, refusals and comments from the public. Note, that if the local plan contradicts what is in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the NPPF overrides the planning history.
If under the Town and Planning Act Order 1990, the proposal is not a permitted development, it will require planning permission (or if an Article 4 direction is in place). Pre-application advice from the local authority planning officer may be advisable. The client may consider submitting outline planning at an early stage to obtain broad approval before any substantial costs are incurred.
The general principles are that all buildings built before 1700 which survive in anything like their original condition are likely to be listed, as are most buildings built between 1700 and 1850. Particularly careful selection is required for buildings from the period after 1945. Buildings less than 30 years old are not normally considered to be of special architectural or historic interest because they have yet to stand the test of time.
Listing Buildings Consent is required for demolition, alterations and additions to a listed building. The local authority conservation officer and Historic England should be consulted. Listed Building applications run in parallel to planning applications.
If a bat survey has not already been undertaken to determine the potential for bats on site, and or the presence of bats, the authority should request that the developers commission an appropriate survey
If a bat survey demonstrates that bats and/or a known roost are likely to be affected by the proposed development and planning permission is to be granted, a condition should be placed on the decision notice requiring the developer to apply for, and obtain, a European Protected Species Licence before work commences.
Alterations that will affect the external appearance of buildings in a Conservation Area may require Listed Building / Conservation Area Consent. If work is to be done to trees, the local authority will require at least six weeks' notification for them to decide whether to make a Tree Preservation Order (TPO). Demolition of buildings in conservation areas will require planning permission.
 Other consents
- Certificate of lawful development - if there is any ambiguity or question over whether your proposal passes the permitted development tests, it is possible to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate.
- Mining or working of minerals.
- Scheduled monument consent.
- Certificate of immunity from listing.
- To display signs under the control of advertisements regulations.
Statutory undertakers/utilities companies should be consulted to establish any easements on the land in connection with electrical substations. This easement and possibly other restrictive covenants will be attached to the property. Common examples include an agreement not to erect any buildings or structures on the land or to use the land to run a business.
An easement is a right that someone may have to use land that they do not own in a certain way, or to prevent the owner of that land from using it in a certain way. Examples of common easements include rights of way and a right of light. They are usually created on the sale of a part of land. In terms of Rights of Light, the owner of a building with windows that have received natural daylight for 20 years or more is entitled to forbid any construction or other obstruction that would deprive them of that illumination. Neighbours cannot build anything that would block the light without permission.
If a site is likely to be contaminated, the client needs to be aware of their duties under Part 11A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Possible ground surveys will need to be undertaken. HSE (Health and Safety Executive ) and Local Authority Environmental Health Department should be consulted.
Under 2014 EU fluorinated greenhouse gas regulations, duty holders are obliged to hire trained technicians to carry out work on equipment containing F gases. The Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs should be consulted.
 Holding hazardous substances
If the proposal is to hold certain quantities of hazardous substances at or above defined limits, the client must obtain hazardous substance consent, in accordance with the Planning (Hazardous Substances) Regulations 2015. The Hazardous Substance Authority should be consulted.
The duty to manage asbestos is contained in the Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. To do any building or maintenance work in premises, or on plant or equipment that might contain asbestos, there is a requirement to identify where it is, its type and condition; assess the risks, and manage and control these risks. An asbestos survey may be required. It is necessary to employ a licensed contractor to remove/work on asbestos if the materials are high risk.
 Environmental assessment
An Environmental Impact Assessment may be required under the Town and Country Planning Regulations for large or sensitive developments. The local authority should be consulted to determine the scope of assessment and sustainability requirements.
 Archaeological remains
The Construction (Design and Management) Regulations (CDM Regulations) are intended to ensure that health and safety issues are properly considered during a project’s development so that the risk of harm to those who have to build, use and maintain structures is reduced.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Adjoining buildings definition.
- Appointing consultants.
- Basement excavation.
- Building an extension.
- De minimis.
- Derogation from grant.
- Line of junction notice.
- Load-bearing wall.
- Party structure notice.
- Party wall surveyor.
- Preventing wall collapse.
- Responsibility for boundary features.
- Right of support.
- Statutory approvals.
- Statutory authorities.
- Wall types.
- What approvals are needed before construction begins.
 External references
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