How long does a planning application take?

Firstly it depends on the type of application and the complexity and size of development. But a general rule for most small to medium sized projects, expect a minimum of 8-10 weeks for the Householder Planning Application process to complete. For pre-application advice it usually takes 4 weeks for a response.

What additional third party fees are there besides the design fees?

This depends on the design, scale, and location of the development. To help I've listed below a few third parties that may get involved throughout the process. Most fees are dependent on the type of development. Council Planning fees. Council or private inspector Building Regulation fees. Structural Engineer fees. Community Infrastructure Levy Tax for certain larger projects. Heat loss calculations for developments with large areas of glazing. Build over or new connection fees to local drainage company (Wessex Water in the Bristol area). Ecology reports etc for larger projects or those in specific areas. Party Wall Surveyor, if required.

What is Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?

This is a tax brought in by local authorities. It is applied on larger developments or extensions that exceed 100m2 in area. The amount paid to the council is calculated as part of the planning application. Most smaller applications do not need to pay this tax, however. There are also a number of exemptions and reductions available.

Do you charge a fixed fee?

In most circumstances, yes, I only charge a fixed fee for each stage. Only if the brief changes midway through the process would i charge extra, although this is rare.

Can you tell us how much the build will cost?

Yes, generally I would be able to give you a rough ball park figure based on previous projects of a similar size. In terms of price per square metre, this is a tricky way to judge the cost of a project. Each project is different and so i would recommend speaking with a builder at the proposal stage.

Would my building works require planning?

This depends on your location and the types of works you are planning to do. Much small scale works are possible under what is known as Permitted Development Rights. This is set out in legislation and there are many different criteria to be met, so i would always strongly advise you speak with a professional prior to building works commencing. I always recommend Permitted Development projects (some loft conversions, single storey rear and side extensions etc) are built only once they have been approved and certified by the Local Authority, this is done under a Lawful Development Certificate or a Prior Approval Application.

What is an Architectural Technician?

I started my career as an Architects Apprentice back in 2002. I studied on the job and slowly worked my way up the ranks whilst in full time employment. A Technicians background is primarily in the construction and detailing of buildings. We are trained to know buildings inside and out. In addition I also design the buildings during the proposal stages, which means i can ensure a good balance of aesthetics and functionality in the buildings i design.

What is your lead time to start work?

Here at Third Design, I ensure the work i take on can be started within 2-3 weeks.

Can you recommend any builders?

I work with a number of builders regularly. If you have a builder in mind then that is also fine. Im happy to send recommendations if needed. Likewise for Structural Engineers.

Who submits the planning application?

I act as the agent throughout the stages prior to commencement on site. So once you are ready to submit, i will do it on your behalf and follow it up to approval.

Do you do project management?

Once the project is on site I am available to answer any questions or resolve any potential issues. I do not carry out project management or contract administration, however.

Do you only do work in Bristol?

Whilst I am based in Bristol, my work takes me all over the country. In theory I am happy to look at any project, anywhere.