As I have indicated in the previous chapter, some control is needed over ‘development’ and most sensible and informed people appreciate this, even though at times they become frustrated by the fact that the procedures seem to take so long. It should also be obvious that because of the actions of a few unthinking

people in the past, there is now very little that can be done to a property without having to consult the local authority (the local council). Thinking people would probably also agree that if the regulations were relaxed that the ‘fringe element’ would return to their old ways. To some, having to conform to rules is seen as an infringement of their civil liberties, but as I have tried to indicate in the previous chapter, control over ‘development’ is no bad thing. Although there are exceptions (which will be discussed later in more

detail), no work should commence unless the necessary approvals have been obtained from the

(a) Building Control Department (or an Approved Inspector) (b) Planning Department/Planning Authority. (Note: As explained in later

chapters, some alterations and extensions are Permitted Development and do not require planning approval.)

In some areas, such as conservation areas, additional approvals are also required. (Practically speaking, ignoring the time limits that both departments are supposed to work to, in my ‘patch’, it normally takes at least two months to go through all the procedures, but it can take longer.) In the main, the Planning and Building Control Departments come

under the control of the local authority. However, sometimes the planning function will be either partially or totally under the control of a non-elected body such as a New Town Development Agency. With privatization now being the new buzzword, councils have also lost some of their authority over Building Control now that Approved Inspectors have arrived on the

a bit more Generally speaking, it would be unwise to commence work until plans

have been drawn up, copies have been forwarded to the Building Control Department and Planning Department using the prescribed forms and both departments have given their written approval to the proposals.