Before your steel building can be erected you need to ensure you have the proper planning permissions in place. If you don’t and you’re found out, you’ll be fined heavily and you will most likely also have to take the building down, losing you time, money, and maybe even the respect of your employees and customers. It’s not worth taking the gamble – seek out your planning permission before you buy your steel building and you’ll have nothing to worry about, at least in regards to your steel structure. Planning permission won’t ensure your business grows or customers find you, but at least you can tick one thing off the to do list.
Different building uses require different planning permissions (for the most part). For example, your agricultural building will come under something called ‘permitted development’ which basically means that, as long as your farm is at least five hectares, and as long as the building you want falls below the maximum size allowed, you don’t need specific planning permission for it. It’s a good idea to check with the council if you’re not sure, but as a rule of thumb it’s a handy one to know. Garages and outbuildings are even part of this useful planning permission exemption.
Other exemptions include the building not being over fifty percent of the total area of land outside the house; the building must not be a permanent dwelling (a workspace is fine though); it cannot come any further forward than the front-most part of the original building; the maximum height cannot be any taller than 2.5m (or 4m if it has a pitched roof).
If your steel building adheres to these points, and it is being erected on a farm of more than five hectares (or is a garage or small outbuilding) then it is unlikely that planning permission will be needed. For everything else, though, you do need it. Definitely. And there is no getting around it. In the past, people have chosen to try to get out of applying for planning permission by hiding what they are doing, or pretending the building is something other than it really is. It’s just not worth it, and, when planning permission is refused – as sometimes happens, there are, after all, no guarantees in life – there is often a very good reason for that, usually something you, in the excitement of the idea of having your building actually built, may have overlooked.
Planning permission has been demonised in the past, but there is no reason to fear applying for it, or to assume that the council would rather say no than yes. A new steel building that will add to your business in some way will also help the council with extra taxes and income, so they will want to say yes as much as they can.
We understand, however, that it can still be a daunting experience, and that can lead to it being skipped when it really shouldn’t be. We get it. And we can be on hand to help. How? At DPL we are experts in planning permission, experts in getting it right and getting you the building you want, where you want it. We can offer all the support you need to start your planning permission application off on the right track. We will survey the site, draw up plans, submit everything to the local council on your behalf, and do it all for a small fee (plus any local authority planning fees). We’ve completed many planning applications, and if you ask us to do it you will free yourself from the potential headache and stress.
Find out more by reading the Q&A with our experts on planning permission for steel buildings.