This problem arises occasionally and it’s an interesting one:
Why builders have more influence than architects but why you shouldn’t listen to them…
Now builders are great, especially around here. They come up with some great ideas and have been used to building with minimal information.
And as well as architects, they want to appear useful and their ideas (generally) are to help save you some money. Maybe helping to rearrange a few walls, leaving off a few things, making some of the rooms a bit bigger, maybe some of the windows are a bit too small. The builder’s helpfulness knows no bounds.
Now you’ve spent time and money with your architect on the design process, you’ve obtained planning permission and you’ve started work on site and your builder is coming up with his own ideas on how to redesign your house.
Surely a few changes here and there won’t make any difference with planning, could they?
The problem is once you start on that slippery slope of making changes, there tends to be no limit. All it takes is for one disgruntled neighbour to make a quick complaining letter to the council and you’ll be receiving a visit from the enforcement department (any written complaint will be investigated).
You’ll then receive a warning letter which presumably you have little response to which will then trigger the issuing of an enforcement letter.
If you’re interested in the enforcement process then CLICK HERE.
The really scary bit in the enforcement notice are the following (when found guilty of an indictable offence under the Act)
Now do you think it will be your builder with his great ideas who will get this letter? Pay the fine? Or go to prison? No, it will be you.
I hear what you’re saying, ah yes, but we’ll get a retention planning permission. This isn’t guaranteed. We had a simple Extension of time Planning Permission recently (where you can extend your planning permission by a futher 5 years) and generally these are meant to be a simple paper stamping exercise and it was REFUSED.
I think the next post might deal with why and how these builders hold such influence. Needless to say:
1. BUILD AS YOUR PLANNING PERMISSION and
2. IF YOU CAN’T DO THIS APPLY FOR ANOTHER PERMISSION BEFORE YOU START