Small Woodland Owners' Group

Charge for permitted development?

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Postby solar bud » Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:27 am

The Planning Authority for my woodland want to charge me £61 to look at the plans and site for a shelter in my woodland.

Now I understand that woodland shelters are permitted development - is it usual for a Planning Authority to charge a fee for this?

solar bud
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Postby greyman » Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:40 am

Hello Solar,

Well we are looking at changing a dining room to a kitchen at our house and I've been told I will have to pay a fee of around £75 for them to look at the basic plans to see if it will be classed as permitted development. We will then have to go through the process of getting Building regs (for which we will also have to pay). If they say no go on the permitted development we will have to apply for planning permission and have to pay again. I imagine the councils will all be charging for permitted development as it is an extra revenue stream for them. We have also been told it can take from 8 - 12 weeks for them to look at the drawings for permitted development too. And we thought they were there to serve us...

Best of luck,


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Postby wrekin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:42 am

Yes, they can charge. For forestry permitted developments, it's worth reading the wording of the GPDO Schedule 2, Part 7 (Forestry) carefully as there are time limits. If they miss the time limits, you get approval by default. GPDO Schedule 2, Part 7 here: - Woods, huts, cabins, sheds, forestry
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Postby Emma S » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:30 pm

its possible, but you dont fill in the normal planning permission forms - there should be a farm / forestry notification application, or there is another form you can use which is an application for a certificate of permitted development.

Do you have the ear of a planning developer you could ask. Just because we were told by the council that we needed to apply for a certificate of Lawful Development in order to do 28 days camping on our farm. Our planning developer told us that although it was a useful bit of paper to have, it was by no means compulsory, and it would be up to enforcement to determine the legitimacy of the development. As long as you have read the relevent bits in the T&P planning act, it may well be that the council are just being beaurocratic for the sake of it (theres a surprise) and creating revenue. They do like to know what everyone is doing too.

The notifications and certificates are just written confirmation from the council that you dont need planning permission. To us, it just seemed like we were going to have to pay them for something which we already knew, and which would take ages to be processed, so we didnt get one and did it anyway.

Emma S
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Postby wrekin » Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:16 pm

Although to be clear: for buildings and roadways for forestry purposes, you do need to inform the council to benefit from the permitted development rights the GPDO gives you. You don't need their permission, but you do need to give them the correct opportunity to object within the time limit. - Woods, huts, cabins, sheds, forestry
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Postby solar bud » Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:06 pm

Thanks everyone, some really interesting responses here. :-)

Wrekin: this is where I'm not clear. You say I don't need the council's permission to build this shelter but I need to give them the opportunity to object. So what might they object to, and if they do object, what then?

If I was to go ahead and build it anyway without consulting them and then they found out about it, what could they do if it is permitted development?

I'm just not quite clear exactly what the benefit is of going through the bureaucratic process.

solar bud
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 5:53 pm

Postby RichardKing » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:41 pm

At the end of the day it is not illegal, or commiting an offence to build absolutely anything.

It only becomes an offence if you fail to to comply with a court order.

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Postby Hobby » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:46 pm

If I was you, I would go ahead with the build and worry about the permission if, or when the issue arises.

It seems, especially now days, that retrospective permission is much easier to obtain than a pre build acceptance.

I can only advise of my own experience though.

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Postby solar bud » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:00 pm

The guy I spoke to advised me not to start building it until they had approved it, because apparently that could potentially put it into a different category and I might end up having to apply for full planning permission. Which is a real nuisance, because I was hoping to get it done before the winter and another month will take me to halfway through November.

It all seems a bit ridiculous, it's only going to be a wooden frame with a couple of tarps over the top. But as I've told them where the woodland is now, presumably if they don't hear from me they'll probably go and have a look anyway I suppose.

It's tempting just to get on with it and send them their £61 and hope they approve. Decisions, decisions.

solar bud
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Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 5:53 pm

Postby RichardKing » Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:15 pm

IMO local councils contain large numbers of people employed at taxpayers expense who justify & perpetuate their existance by paper shuffeling & finding problems for which they can charge more money.

Difficult to decide wether they or the aristocracy are the greater "deadweight" (credit to William Cobbett)

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