Common types of planning applications
Rear or side extension to a dwelling house
Some alterations or extensions to private houses do not require a planning application. If an application is necessary the following points should be taken into account when designing an extension:
- The extension should not result in a loss of light of principal rooms of the neighbouring properties and should not be overbearing. Because of the hilly nature of the town, care must be taken over this aspect of the design. Two-story rear extensions to terraced or semi-detached houses are rarely acceptable if they are too close to the neighbour's boundary
- The extension should not result in a loss of privacy to neighbours' properties. Care will need to be taken with the positioning of windows. In some cases, if permission is granted, a condition may be attached requiring certain windows to be obscure glazed. In many cases balconies are considered to be unacceptable because of the effect of overlooking of neighbouring properties
- The extension should be in keeping with the existing building. The shape and position of windows and the wall materials should normally match the existing building. Where the extension would be visible from the road, the roof should match the existing and should normally be pitched. Great care must be taken with the design and positioning of dormer windows to ensure that they do not detract from the rest of the building
- Two-storey extensions filling the gap between buildings and leading to a terracing effect are also rarely acceptable
Policies DM1 and DM3 of the Hastings Development Management Plan 2015 are relevant:
Policy DM1: Design Principles
All proposals must reach a good standard of design, which includes efficient use of resources, and takes into account:
- protecting and enhancing local character
- showing an appreciation of the surrounding neighbourhood's historic context, street patterns, plot layouts and boundaries, block sizes and scale, height, massing and materials
- good performance against nationally recognised best practice guidance on sustainability, urban design and place-making, architectural quality and distinctiveness
- the layout and siting of buildings to make efficient use of land, the orientation of frontages to achieve attractive streetscapes and to best take into account the effects of solar gain
- an assessment of visual impact, including the height, scale, and form of development that should be appropriate to the location, especially given the complex topography of the Borough and the need, in some instances, to consider the visual effect from key viewpoints. This is particularly important when there are potential impacts upon areas of heritage and/or landscape value as outlined in the Planning Strategy (this could include a landscape assessment where appropriate).
Supplementary Planning Documents provide further detail to this policy.
Policy DM3:General Amenity
In order to achieve a good living standard for future users of proposed development and its neighbours it should be demonstrated that amenity has been considered and appropriate solutions have been incorporated into schemes. Permission will be given for development where:
- the use of the scale, form, height, mass, and density of any building or buildings, reduces or avoids any adverse impact on the amenity (privacy, over shadowing, loss of daylight) of neighbouring properties
- there is adequate space for storage of waste and the means for its removal (where appropriate, turning areas for refuse vehicles). This includes provision for the general management of recyclable materials. Space will also be required for necessary servicing areas, ancillary structures and landscaping
- there is a means of landscaping that contributes to crime prevention; a permeable and legible green infrastructure network of routes and spaces to create a public realm that is attractive, overlooked and safe
- considerate design solutions for the spaces between and around buildings are shown. This should respect the character of the surroundings; a well-designed scheme in terms of private, semi-private and public open space, to include, where appropriate, the provision of public art
- arrangements are in place for the future maintenance of any public areas
- dwellings are designed to allow residents to live comfortably and conveniently with sufficient internal space. The guidelines for minimum internal floor areas are: 1 bedroom/2 person 51m2; 2 bedroom/3 person 66m2; 2 bedroom/4 person 77m2; 3 bedroom/5 person 93m2; 4 bedroom/6 person 106m2
- appropriate levels of private external space are included, especially for larger homes designed for family use (dwellings with two or more bedrooms). In respect of proposed family dwellings the Council would expect to see the provision of private garden space (normally at the rear), of at least 10 metres in length
- it can be adequately demonstrated that there is no safety risk to the public, and that development is appropriately protected from any existing facilities that may affect amenity; for example busy roads, waste water treatment works etc.
- outdoor advertisements and signs do not detrimentally affect the appearance of any building(s) and/or the surrounding area and do not result in a danger to the public highway
Within Hastings there are a large number of older properties which are too big for use as modern single family dwellings. These are sometimes suitable for conversion into flats.
A planning application will always be required to divide a property into separate units, and before an application is made the following points should be considered:
- Planning permission will not normally be granted where the conversion would result in the loss of a family-size unit of accommodation or where the use as flats would be out of keeping with the area. Smaller two or three-storey terraced, semi-detached or detached houses, where the surrounding properties are all individual dwellings, are not normally suitable for conversion. The sub division of existing large flats may not be acceptable
- The Council will expect flat conversions to be of an appropriate standard and meet national standards as set out in government guidance (Technical housing standards - nationally described space standard). Adequate sound-proofing will also be required between flats.
- A mix of different sized units will normally be required, and conversions to bed-sits or all one bedroom flats will rarely be acceptable
- As far as possible existing rooms should not be subdivided and a conversion should not rely on an extension to make it work. This would indicate that the proposal would be likely to represent an over-intensive use of the property and is unlikely to be acceptable
Policy HC1 in the Hastings Development Management Plan 2015 states:
Policy HC1: Conversion of Existing Dwellings
To support the provision of quality homes and dwelling mix, planning permission will be granted for the conversion of all or part of a dwelling to another use or into multiple dwellings, provided that:
- the building can no longer be retained in its entirety for single family housing occupancy
- it would not include significant extension(s) or significant changes to room layouts to achieve an adequate standard of accommodation
- it would not involve the self-containment of basement areas or other parts of any property having inadequate light or low ceilings or which would result in a poor outlook from main windows; and
- it would make adequate provision for refuse storage.
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Running a business from home
In some cases, where a business does not include any additional staff, where there are no personal callers, and where the property is not physically changed, a planning application may not be required to run a business from home. Where an application is required, permission will only be granted where the Council is sure that the use will not be detrimental to the amenities of the area. This will depend on the type of properties and the other uses already in the street and the extent of the business proposed. Businesses which would generate a lot of traffic are rarely acceptable in residential areas, particularly taxi operators. It is normally best to consider a property within an existing commercial area if you want to run a business.
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Changing from one type of shop to another
A planning application is often not required to change from one type of shop to another. However, permission will be required to change from a retail shop to any of the following examples:
- A shop selling food and drink for the consumption on the premises, or hot food for the consumption off the premises (cafés, restaurants, takeaways, bars)
- An office
- An amusement arcade
- A launderette
- Motor vehicle showroom
- A taxi business
This list is not exhaustive and only gives common examples. It is always best to check with the Development Control Section of Planning Services before changing a shop premises.
Where an application is submitted, the character of the area will be taken into account to ensure that the proposed use is appropriate and would not be detrimental to the amenities of the area. Possible nuisance to neighbours and traffic implications of a proposal are important factors when determining an application.
A planning application is required to change the shop-front of a commercial property and the type of shop-front which is considered acceptable will depend on the precise location. For example, in part of the Conservation Areas, timber will normally be required. Advice on shop fitting in Conservation Areas is available on this site.
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Opening a café, bar, restaurant or take-away
If you are considering opening a café, restaurant or bar you will need to comply with several different requirements as follows:
The following classes of use are set out in The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Order 2005:
- Class A3: Restaurants and cafés
- Class A4: Drinking establishments
- Class A5: Hot food takeaways
Sometimes you will see Estate Agents advertising premises with A3, A4 or A5 use. You should always check with the Development Control Section that the premises in which you are interested have the necessary planning permission, and that there are no conditions attached to the permission that would prevent you from operating in the way that you wish. For example, there may be a condition restricting the opening hours, prohibiting a take away service or preventing a café being used as a bar or pub.
If you need planning permission
If the building that you wish to use does not have planning permission for the correct use, you may need to make a Planning Application. You can apply online . If you do not own the property you can still make an application providing you serve notice on the owner. You should be aware that if planning permission is granted it will relate to the property and not to the applicant, so someone else could buy the property with the benefit of the permission.
You do not need to submit a planning application to change from a use within Class A4 or A5 to a Class A3 use (for example for a pub or take-away to a restaurant). However, once the change of use has taken place, you would then need planning permission to revert back to an A4 or A5 use.
When an application is submitted a number of factors will be considered as follows:
Would the use be likely to cause a nuisance to local residents?
If permission is granted it may be considered appropriate to restrict opening hours
Would the use be likely to cause highway problems?
This can be a particular problem where a take away service is proposed. Such a use is unlikely to be acceptable near to a road junction, or pedestrian crossing, or where there is a parking restriction outside.
If the application is for a bar or pub, would it be likely to lead to problems with public order particularly late at night?
There has been concern about the number of pubs and bars in the town and experience elsewhere has indicated that 'superpubs' can lead to increased crime and disorder. The Council must have regard to Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder Act. Sussex Police would be consulted on any application for a bar or pub and their advice would be an important consideration when the application is determined. The Police Community Safety Department are based at Lewes (The Crime Prevention Design Adviser can be contacted on 01273 414866)
The change of use from a shop or other commercial premises to a café, restaurant or bar would not normally be a material change of use for building regulation purposes. Building regulations may apply if there is any building work carried out in conjunction with the change of use.
Catering establishments need to comply with Environmental Health Standards. These include the provision of adequate toilet facilities for staff and customers, the provision of adequate food preparation and storage facilities, and the provision of adequate extract ventilation equipment.
These requirements will have implications for any planning application that may be submitted, and you should discuss these at an early stage to ensure that they can be met. Submission of detailed layout plans showing siting of equipment, facilities and finishes may help prevent delays in dealing with the planning application. Visit our Environmental Health pages for further information.
If an external extract duct will be required this will need planning permission, and details should be included within the planning application for change of use. The siting of any ducting will need to be carefully considered so that it does not adversely affect the amenities of the area.
All food businesses must register under the Food Premises Registration Regulation 91, 28 days prior to opening. The application form can be obtained from Muriel Matters House.
You may also require a licence to operate your business. The licensing legislation directly affects all liquor licensed premises, places of regulated entertainment, cafés, restaurants & takeaways.
A licence is required if:
- You want to open after 11pm to 5am, serving hot food or drink, either in a restaurant, café or takeaway
- You want to serve alcohol. You will require a premises licence and a personal licence
- You want to allow regulated entertainment, ie recorded or live music, dancing etc on the premises
- You want to place tables and chairs on the highway
Policy SA4 of the Hastings Development Management Plan 2015 is relevant:
Policy SA4: Drinking Establishments and Hot Food Takeaways
Planning permission for new drinking establishments (use class A4 of the Town and Country Planning Use Classes Order 1987 (as amended)) and hot food takeaways (use class A5) will be granted provided that:
- the precise nature of the use proposed (which should be specified in the planning application), including opening hours, is given
- the proposal would not adversely affect neighbours, for example, causing excess noise or odour
- the proposal would not, on its own, or cumulatively with other such uses in the area, be likely to result in problems of disturbance or public disorder
- suitable off-street parking is or can be provided where there is insufficient on-street parking and
- it would not cause inconvenience or danger on the public highway as a result of the additional stopping and manoeuvring of vehicles.