Tropical nights and sweltering days have been a real issue in August and one that is likely to only get worse year on year. Having the right conditions to work from home during the day as well as sleep in the evenings is now a situation facing many and if like me you have two people working from home then this becomes a multi room issue.
There are some basic changes that can be made, like moving home offices to the north side of the building where it is coolest during the day, creating air flows by opening windows and doors during the night or early hours to release hot air and closing during the day to prevent warm air entering.
Green Homes Grant
However, many maybe considering longer term house improvements, including better insulation, new windows, air conditioning systems. The Governments Green Home Improvements Grant will be available from September and this covers two third of the costs up to £5000 or £10 000 for those on lowest incomes. The scheme covers insulation and windows so this would be a good way to start those improvements.
The link below provides further details of what is covered by the Green Grant https://www.choose.co.uk/news/2020/home-energy-improvement-grants-announced-government/
Externally fitted air conditioning units can be an expensive so this link provides a list of alternatives to air conditioners, and there is something for every budget.
Do remember that externally fitted units, shutters, solar shades may require planning consent before being fitted so do contact me if you need to check whether or not consent is required.
If you don’t have the luxury of building additional space around your house, you can now think about adding storeys without having to get formal planning consent.
From September 1st 2020 the permitted development rights have been extended. If you have a detached house you can raise the roof by 7m or two storeys and if you are a single storey bungalow then you can raise to a maximum of 3.5m or a single storey.
If you are semi-detached or terraced property then you can only go up 3.5m above the highest part of your neighbour’s roof if it is lower than yours, (or the highest one in the terrace).
Of course, being planning nothing is easy, so you will still need to get approval from the Local Planning Authority by submitting a Prior Approval application which sets out a construction management plan, the impact of your development on neighbours and your matching materials.
You can find details about the new regulations on the planning portal website www.planningportal.co.uk but if you need further assistance then do get in touch.
Properties can be used to bring in extra revenue even if you live in them. Renting a spare room is the obvious way to increase a household income and while income from a lodger may affect some benefits it doesn’t affect Universal Credit, though you do have to tell Universal Credit of your increase income.
A good guide can be found at...
Driveways & Garages
Likewise, you can rent out driveways and garages, but do be careful as using a driveway for commercial parking or a garage for storage could be seen as a change of the residential use of the property, so do check with the local planning authority first or call us at L & N for an assessment.
Outbuildings or annexes
If you have the space, it is also possible to create outbuildings or annexes for rent, but these buildings would have to be used in conjunction with the main house and not completely separately.
If you have an unusual or quirky property then do check out filming companies as they often have a portfolio of houses, they use in filming programmes, particularly if they are good examples of period properties.
If you are lucky enough to have separate land, then some land can have a change of use for up to 28 days per calendar year without needing planning permission so weekend glamping/camping etc can be undertaken throughout the summer.
Useful Link: Extension cost & budget guide
There will lots of changes to our lifestyles once this pandemic is over. At a world wide scale, there will be changes to tourism, international movements and airports, global health and business structures.
Have a think now about your life has changed in the last couple of weeks and how you could change your surroundings to better cope with situations in the future
On a local scale however, things will also need to be thought about, for the self employed and how they can work from home. How we look after elderly relatives, how families can teach children from home and how local shops can be supported to provide for the local community.
Here's a few ideas...
Have a think now about your life has changed in the last couple of weeks and how you could change your surroundings to better cope with situations in the future. There’s no need to wait, you can look online to https://interactive.planningportal.co.uk to see what can be done without planning permission, and if you need any further help to discuss ideas then contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Town Planning” that’s an amazing choice of career, you’ll hear no one say ever!! Yet town planning effects everyone every day. From the route you travel to work, to the living accommodation you can or can’t afford and it is genuinely fascinating, (though I could be bias).
Over the coming months we’ll aim for this small blog to uncover some of things you may need to know about your property and workspace but do feel free to get in touch with us if there’s any questions you need answering.
Nearly every construction and DIY project, even the small ones, need some form of planning consent. To try and simplify the system of gaining planning consent the Government created some legislation which gives householders some basic rights to undertake work to their property without having to go through the formal planning process. These rights are all listed within the Permitted Development Order (hence them being known as Permitted Development Rights) but often they come with conditions and these can cause confusion because they are not clearly set out. For example, if a fence can be 2m in height where do you measure it from if your garden is on a slope or your land is higher than your neighbours?
knowing what you can do is sometimes difficult to determine and just when you think that’s confusing the householder rights change.
Many of the permitted rights also only apply to houses and not to flats, so again knowing what you can do is sometimes difficult to determine and just when you think that’s confusing the householder rights change if you’re in a Conservation Area, have a listed building or within the South Downs National Park boundary.
1. Do I need planning consent?
Firstly, if you are thinking of undertaking any construction of external DIY project including rendering, cladding, fencing, window installation or putting up a shed, you should first check to see if planning consent is required. The easiest way of doing this is to see if neighbours have done anything similar recently and if they have, then it’s likely your project will be fine too.
2. Should I check with the local authority?
You can go online to your local authority planning pages and put in a street address and see what other planning permission have been granted or refused and often there will be an officers report which will give all the details as to why something has or hasn’t been successful.
If you are thinking of undertaking any construction of external DIY project including rendering, cladding, fencing, window installation or putting up a shed, you should first check to see if planning consent is required.
2. How do I find out more?
You can also go online to the www.planningportal.co.uk this site has an interactive house diagram and a range of guides which will give more information. Of course, if after that you need further clarification then contact us and we’ll take a site visit and discuss your plans and any consent that may be needed, we look forward to hearing your ideas.