General advice: Important considerations
There are a number of things which it may be advisable for you to check prior to carrying out any work such as:
- Legal Position
- Planning History
- Traffic Safety
- Listed buildings
- Tree Preservation Orders
- Conservation Areas
- Areas of Townscape Character
- Historic Monuments
If you are in any doubt, check your legal position and if necessary consult a solicitor to ensure that there are no restrictions on the land or the type of work you wish to do (e.g., legal title, restrictive covenants, rights-of-way, etc.).
It is a good idea to discuss your proposal informally with any neighbour who may be affected before making your planning application. Once the application is received by DOE Planning, your immediate neighbours will be notified
If the foundations encroach onto a neighbour’s property, or if the extension overhangs or is attached to a neighbouring property, agreement will have to be given by the owner of the adjoining property affected by the proposal. In addition a neighbour’s consent may be required if access to their property is necessary during construction or for maintenance. It should be noted that these are matters of civil law, and not planning matters and therefore cannot be taken into account in dealing with a planning application or as a reason to refuse the application. It should be noted, however, that any enforcement action taken as a result of a breach of planning control will be taken against the owner(s) or occupier(s).
The original planning permission granted for your house may have a condition attached restricting or prohibiting the kind of work you wish to carry out. If in doubt, check with your local area planning office.
The work you are carrying out must not cause danger by obstructing the view of people using a public road.
Listed building consent may be needed for the work you want to do if you live in a listed building. Your Local Area Planning Office will be able to advise.
A TPO provides protection for those trees specified in the order and makes it an offence to cut down, top, lop, uproot or wilfully damage or destroy a tree, or permit these actions, without first seeking the Department’s consent to do so.
An application for consent must be made in writing to your local area planning office, specifying the trees, the work you want to carry out and why.
- Further information is available on Information Leaflet 4: Tree Preservation Orders.
If you live in a Conservation Area and wish to carry out any external alterations it is advisable to discuss these with your local planning office. The criteria set out for assessing proposals in a Conservation Area are included within Planning Policy Statement 6 – Archaeology and the Built Heritage. Supplementary planning guidance will be found in the relevant Conservation Area Design Guide. If you are hoping to obtain a Conservation Area Grant or Historic Buildings Grant you should contact the Built Heritage of the Environment and Heritage Service.
Trees in a conservation area are automatically protected as if a TPO was in place. However, in a conservation area, anyone proposing to carry out works on the trees, must serve on the Department six weeks notice of the intended works. The notice should contain sufficient information to identify the trees, details of the proposed works and reasons.
If you live in an Area of Townscape Character again it may be in your interests to seek advice prior to submission of an application. In processing planning applications within ATCs/AVCs, the key consideration for the Department will be to ensure that development proposals respect the appearance and qualities of each townscape area and maintain or enhance their distinctive character. Planning permission is required for the demolition of an unlisted building in ATCs/AVCs as a consequence of a Departmental Direction issued under Article 11 (2) (f) of the Planning (NI) Order 1991.
- Further information and policy is available on PPS6 Addendum: Areas of Townscape Character.
Work proposed in or near any archaeological site or historic monument may need special permission, or certain precautions may be advisable. For advice contact the Archaeological Survey of the Built Heritage of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency