Architectural Design - Drawing & Planning Services - Cornwall

Graham Bennett Architecture & Design

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need Planning Permission?

It's impossible to generalise as every project is different. Our FREE initial site visit & consultation helps to establish the likelihood of needing formal Planning Permission.

I've heard that planning restrictions have been eased for domestic works, is this true?

It is true that the so-called 'Permitted Development' criteria were relaxed somewhat in October 2008, and these apply to some modest domestic extensions & alterations; however, much of west Cornwall is now a World Heritage Site and other parts are Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and these designations can often mean that the new 'relaxed' planning regime does not apply – again, our FREE initial site visit & consultation can help clarify these matters.

If I don't need Planning Permission do I still need to have drawings prepared?

Very often, yes. Although some minor alterations & extensions no longer require formal Planning Permission, most building works will still require Building Regulations approval for which detailed drawings and an application to the local authority are needed.

What's the difference between Planning Permission and Building Regulations Approval?

Planning Permission establishes whether or not a proposed development is allowed to be built; Building Regulations Approval details how it is to be constructed.

Am I guaranteed to get Planning Permission for my proposals?

No. Although our English planning system is quite prescriptive, the final decision on all applications is ultimately made by individual planning officers or by planning committees, and their views can naturally be highly subjective and open to broad interpretation of the 'rules'. Building Regulations on the other hand is a much more straightforward matter as they are rigidly fixed and therefore approval can always be obtained if the correct technical information is provided with the application.

What other types of approval might I need?

This will depend on the type of work proposed, the location & age of the property and certain other criteria. Other types of approval can include Listed Building Consent (for works to, or near, Listed Buildings), Conservation Area Consent (for certain works within Conservation Areas), Tree Works approval (for lopping or felling trees with a Tree Preservation Order [TPO] or trees within a Conservation Area). Approval may also need to be sought from other agencies, e.g. Environment Agency approval for discharge of private drainage systems, SWW approval for works near main sewers, etc.

What does it cost to submit the various applications?

Aside from our fees for the preparation of the applications you will also have to pay certain statutory fees to the Local Authority when they are submitted. These apply primarily to Planning & Building Regulations applications and are set nationally by the government, and you will have to pay these regardless of who prepares the applications on your behalf. The fee tables are fairly complicated and are based on the type of work proposed, as well as other factors such as area of the buildings or cost of the building works. We can offer you advice on these fees at the time of quoting for the necessary drawing & design work.

How much do you charge for your services?

This will depend on the type and complexity of the work proposed and the statutory applications required to be prepared & submitted on your behalf. Our offer of a FREE, no obligation, site visit and consultation to discuss your proposals allows us to advise you on the work involved and enables us to produce a tailor made and highly competitive quotation for you.

How long does it take the Council to decide Planning Applications?

This can vary depending on the size & complexity of the proposed development, but most domestic planning applications are usually decided about 8 weeks after the application has been accepted & registered by the Council.

What services can you provide your clients?

We can provide pretty much everything architectural, design & planning that you will need to get your project off the ground, including survey (as built) drawings, scheme drawings for client's approval, detailed building design, preparation of detailed drawings for the various statutory applications, and preparing, compiling & submitting those applications on your behalf. We can also write detailed specifications of works for tender purposes, as well as advising on appointing contractors & trades people. For our commercial clients we can also prepare Fire Precautions & Fire Certificate drawings, advertisement consent applications for shops, and detailed shopfront & store design packages. You can pick and choose which services you require and we will tailor our fees accordingly.

My project's quite small scale, are you interested in work like this?

Absolutely! Most domestic projects are relatively small but this does not mean that we treat them any differently, indeed to a small practice like ours they are our core livelihood, our 'bread & butter' if you like. All projects receive the same high standard of care regardless of their size or the fee we're charging. So no matter what the size of your project, call us today and see for yourself how promptly we respond and how competitively priced we are.

Graham Bennett

Architecture & Design
Skewes Cottage, Nancegollan, Helston, Cornwall, TR13 0BL.
Tel: 01209 831801
Email: