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Complete Guide To Leeds City Council Planning

Planning and preparation are crucial if you want to succeed with property or in the rental market. It is logical to visit the source of the matter for property projects, and there is also a lot to be said for turning to experts.

However, if you have planning questions for Leeds City Council, at first you would assume it makes sense for you to go to their website or ask a council staff member directly. You’ll expect to receive a quick answer that you can trust.

However, sadly, in many cases, council employees won’t acknowledge you, or you might find it hard to find the answer you need. We are both property and planning permission specialists in Leeds. Please get in touch if you have any questions about Leeds property planning permission or the local rental market. We will be more than happy to help.

With our complete guide to Leeds City Council Planning, we hope to help you find everything you need without any fuss.


How To Find Out If You Need Planning Permission

Before you start work on property improvements or development, you need to find out if you need planning permission.

The cost of not determining if you need planning permission or not can be expensive, and damaging. This is why we have compiled a guide for you to better understand the requirements for planning permission.

Of course, feel free to contact us with any questions regarding work you wish to carry out.


What Are The Different Types Of Planning Permissions?

It won’t surprise you to learn there is more than one type of planning permission. In Leeds, there are four main types of planning permissions, which are:
  • Full Application
  • Householder Application
  • Outline Application
  • Reserved Matters Application

Full application

The most common type of planning application is the Full Application, which covers:
  • New housing developments
  • Temporary planning permission, 
  • Engineering work
  • Other forms of work and issues which require a change of use in a property or land.

Householder applications

Householder applications are also very common. This area covers:
  • Conservatories
  • Extensions
  • Loft conversions
  • Garage conversions
  • Doors and window work.
  • Garden walls
  • Gates and fences
  • Car ports
  • Outbuildings
  • Garages

Outline application

With an outline application, the aim is to determine if a project is likely to be accepted, before pressing ahead with more detailed work. As an example, a developer submitting plans for a housing development falls under an outline application.

Reserved Matters Application

When permission has been granted for outline planning, a Reserved Matters application is required. This must be done before development work starts, and within three years of the outline application receiving approval.

Examples of reserved matters include:
  • Where building features impact its appearance
  • Where accessibility to or around the building is affected
  • When local landscaping is affected
  • When the scale, including length, width and height of the building is impacted


How To Work Out What Type Of Planning Permission You Need

Given the wide range of planning application types, it is difficult to say for certain what projects require approval. There are some projects which don’t require approval, and there are others that you might not think require planning permission, but do.

If you undertake work without planning permission, when it is required, you could be forced to demolish the work, at your cost. In general terms, approval is needed for exterior development work. If “permitted development rights” are in place, you don’t need planning permission.

Do not assume that a prior planning permission approval remains in place.


Are there permitted developments in Leeds?

With extension work, projects are permitted developments based on meeting a range of requirements, including:
  • No more than 50% of the original property land is covered by extensions, additions or other buildings
  • There is no extension at the front or side elevation of the property, facing onto a highway
  • That no extension stands taller than the highest part of the existing roof
  • The maximum depth for a single-storey rear extension stands at 3 metres when the property is attached, and 4 metres when the property is detached
  • The maximum height for a single-storey extension stands at 4 metres
  • The maximum depth of a rear extension, of one storey or more, is 3 metres
  • The maximum eaves height of any extension which stands within 2 metres of the property boundary is 3 metres
  • Any material used should be similar to the existing property 
You don’t usually require planning permission for loft conversions, although some exemptions are in place. The same goes for porches, although there are height and size requirements that do require permission. With a garage conversion, if the work is internal and there is no extension to the property, there is usually no need for planning approval.

The same goes for paving work, surfacing and drives, garages, sheds, swimming pools, tennis courts and outbuildings in general. The vast majority do not require planning permission, but there are exemptions.

Planning permission isn’t usually needed for solar panels, but your panels should be installed below the ridgeline, and the work shouldn’t project more than 200mm from the wall surface or roof.

With a fence, gate, or external wall, there is no need for planning permission unless it is more than 2 metres. If your proposed gate, fence or wall is next to a highway, it must not be more than 1 metre.

Property owners should find there is no need for planning permission for the most common work, but as with every case, exemptions apply. For peace of mind, contact us at Dwell to verify the status of your home improvement work in Leeds.

Do I need planning permission for a summer house in Leeds?

It is vital to differentiate between a new house and a summer house. When it comes to building a new house, no matter the circumstances, you require planning permission.

However, with a summer house, in most circumstances, you won’t require planning permission.

Of course, as highlighted earlier in the permitted development section, there are exemptions. If you have a large summer house, you might need planning permission. A summer house which covers more than half of the garden area will require planning permission. If your summer house will sit within 2 metres of a boundary and stands at more than 2.5m high, you will require planning permission.

Also, if you live in a conservation area or your property is a listed building, it is always best to clarify if planning permission. If your summer house is in the grounds of one of these properties, and stands at more than 10 cubic metres, you will require permission.


Planning permission for a HMO in Leeds

According to the Leeds City Council website, you require planning permission for an HMO in Leeds if you have:
  • A minimum of seven people living in the HMO
  • A minimum of three people living in the HMO, and the property is in the Article 4 direction area
Many people think of the HMO licensing requirement of five or more tenants for a HMO, but this planning requirement is entirely separate to licensing regulations.  


Where is the Article 4 direction area?

The area is best seen on a map, and there is a PDF on the Leeds City Council outlining the Article 4 direction area in Leeds


How To Gain Planning Permission If You Do Need It

Submitting a valid planning application in Leeds

It is helpful to know what paperwork you require when submitting a planning application in Leeds, and you’ll need:
  • Your planning application form – completed in full
  • Validation requirements – which are documents supporting your claim
  • Plans of the site relating to the claim – this document must include a red line around the area involved with the application
  • The correct fee associated with your claim
  • A statement ownership – If the proposed work impacts land owned by another party, you need to complete this part of the application form


Do I Need Any More Documents?

The total documents you need depend on the type of application you submit. A comprehensive list of application types, and their associated documents, can be found on the Leeds City Council site validation requirements page.

If you are unsure of your application or would like more support, please get in touch with us at Dwell, and we will be more than happy to assist you. You might also be able to arrange a meeting with the pre-application advice service provided by Leeds City Council.

It is possible to check if there are any planning constraints on your property or impacted area by reviewing the map for the Natural environment planning constraints. Examples of planning constraints include conservation areas or protected hedgerows.


What is the correct fee for my claim?

Like many Councils, Leeds City Council doesn’t provide a set list of prices for applications. You need to visit the Property Portal site, where you will find a Planning Fee Calculator. While this requires some work, it does ensure you receive accurate information for your application.


What time is involved with a planning application?

It is unlikely there will be a swift response to a planning application you make to Leeds City Council. Your application is made public, and people can add comments. Your application is open for 21 days to allow for public comments. During this stage, applicants can review their application status on the Public Access for Planning portal.

During the decision-making process, expect a case officer to attend the site. When there, they will review the site alongside expected planning policy, and they will make comments on the merits of the application.
If your application requires amendments, a case officer will get in touch. This contact usually comes by telephone or email. In cases with greater local impact, a panel of Councilors will make the final decision.


What are the typical timescales when submitting a planning application?

You should expect to hear an answer within:
  • 8 weeks when the application relates to household matters or small commercial issues
  • 13 weeks when there is a significant develop project at stake

Appealing A Rejected Planning Application

If your planning application is rejected, this doesn’t have to be the end of the process. You have a number of options, including:

You can amend your application and then resubmit it. If you do this within 12 months of receiving your decision from the initial application, there is no additional fee

If you submitted a householder application or small commercial application, you can appeal a rejected outcome by contacting the Planning Inspectorate. You must do this within 12 weeks of receiving your decision from the initial application.

For all other application types, you have six months from your rejection date to appeal to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate.


How do I contact the Planning Inspectorate?

You should appeal to the Planning Inspectorate online, and you can find out more about this process by visiting their Appeal section on the website.


The Planning Portal

If you apply for planning approval, you should familiarise yourself with The Planning Portal. The vast majority of planning applications are made online
The following planning consents can be applied for online:
  • Advertisement consent
  • Approval (Discharge) of conditions
  • Consent under Tree Preservation Orders 
  • Full planning consent
  • Householder planning consent
  • Lawful Development Certificate (LDC)
  • Listed building consent
  • Non-material amendment of an existing planning permission
  • Outline planning consent
  • Prior approvals (except the type listed below)
  • Removal/variation of conditions
  • Reserved Matters

There are also areas where you cannot currently apply for planning permission online, including:
  • Planning application for development relating to the onshore extraction of oil and gas
  • Applications for prior approval of a proposed
  • Application to determine if prior approval is required for a proposed
  • Application for Permission in Principle
  • Application for a Certificate of Lawfulness of Proposed Works to a listed building
If you need advice on how to proceed applications of this nature, please contact Dwell, and we will be more than happy to advise you.


Contact Dwell For Property Valuation Services

If you need help with gaining planning permission in Leeds, we are always on hand! Simply email us or call us on 0113 246 4860. We are experts in this field, so we will make the process far smoother for you.
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