Home Building Tips
TIP 1. Approach the Council first (sometimes): Depending on the size of the home building scheme scheme it can
be helpful to ask for pre-planning application advice from your council. There may be a charge for this service,
but it can reduce costly delays later on. Planners can suggest any necessary changes before making a formal
planning application. After this it becomes progressively more difficult to make changes.
TIP 2. Let immediate neighbours of the site know you are about to make a planning application: Neighbours often
like to know what is going on and to fully understand the implications of a potential development on their doorstep
- wouldn’t you like to know the same? You can explain the home building scheme to them and hopefully allay any
TIP 3. Follow the Council’s individual planning application validation requirements: Each Council has their own
list of requirements for planning applications on home building and it is a simple checklist of information they
need and providing this can reduce the chances of delay.
Building your case – written statement
TIP 4. Provide enough evidence to support your home building scheme: Anticipate any potential concerns from the
beginning and provide evidence of how the scheme responds to, for example, highway safety issues or visual amenity
TIP 5. Keep information to the minimum possible: No-one wants to read lots of standard information that could
apply anywhere. There is too much of that already. Pick out detail that is most pertinent to your scheme. Make it
relevant, focussed and brief and this will help promote your case.
TIP 6. Relate your scheme to local and national planning policies and guidance, where appropriate: Not necessary
in absolute detail for smaller cases, but helpful to your case in indicating where it may be making a contribution
towards implementing these objectives.
Building your case – visual assessment
TIP 7. Show the immediate surroundings beyond the boundaries of your home building site: Very often it is the
impact on its surroundings that is the issue, so show this on your proposals rather than let someone else have to
make a ‘guess’ on the impact.
TIP 8. Relate your home building development to other similar development in the area to help support your
TIP 9. The opposite side of the coin however is to take care not to make tenuous connections with other
developments that are either too old – relating to superseded local planning policy, or are not directly comparable
TIP 10. Look after valued features, such as an existing use valued by others, a locally important building,
hedges and topography in your proposal: Make a proper assessment of the site and surroundings to ensure any
positive features are retained wherever possible and where this cannot be achieved to consider a suitable
replacement elsewhere. Bearing in mind that items such as historic fabric and ancient hedgerows cannot be replaced
and removal will rarely be allowed by the local planning authority. Often thoughtful design and layout can ensure
protection of these assets for future generations whilst adding more value to your home building
NOTE - These are general discussion articles