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
Policy DG12, and parts of Policy DG1 in the Hastings Local Plan 2004 are relevant:
Policy DG1: Development form
In determining planning applications, the Council will have regard to the following considerations:
- The full and efficient use of land
- Sympathy with the appearance and character of the area and suitability in scale, massing, design, appearance, materials, layout and siting, both in itself and in relation to nearby buildings (including parts of buildings), spaces and views
- Respect for site levels and characteristics, potential for development and inclusion of good quality hard and soft landscaping, including the retention of trees or other features of importance
- Adequate space for private and public use (including children's play space) and visual amenity
- Suitable layout and design features to ensure personal and general safety and security
- Protection of living conditions of existing and future occupants from, for example, noise, dominance and loss of outlook, light and privacy
- Sufficient information to ensure full assessment of the likely effects of the proposal
- Safety and convenience on the public highway
Policy DG12: Two storey side extensions
Planning permission for two storey side extensions to houses will only be granted where they:
- Will not cause a significant loss of light or overshadowing to a neighbouring property, or be unduly overbearing
- Will not lead to a terracing effect in the street, or an otherwise cramped form of development which would adversely affect the general character and appearance of the area
- Are designed with a roof in keeping with the property; e.g. a roof to match that of the original dwelling
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 the living area should be of at least 29m². 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 H4 in the Hastings Local Plan 2004 states:
Policy H4: Housing Conversions
Planning permission will be granted for the conversion of large residential and other buildings to flats and maisonettes provided that:
- The building can no longer be retained in its entirety for single family housing occupancy in accordance with modern standards
- The conversion would be in keeping with the character and appearance of the surroundings, and particularly of nearby dwellings
- It would not include significant extension(s) or significant changes to room layouts to achieve an adequate standard of accommodation;
- It would not result in additional noise or any other disturbance, to the detriment of those living in the locality, or inconvenience or danger on the public highway
- 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
- 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 DG17: Licensed Premises
The following factors will be taken into account when determining planning applications for licensed premises:
- The precise nature of the use proposed (which should be specified in the planning application) including opening hours
- The views of the Police, particularly with regard to the difficulty of policing such establishments outside the existing locations in the town centre. New uses which would be out of character with the area or would contribute to an undesirable over-concentration of A3 uses in the town centre, district or local centres, will not be permitted if the use is dependent on the sale of alcohol which is likely to result in alcohol-related disorder, late night disturbances or the congregation of large numbers of people on the street
Policy DG18: Hot Food takeaways
Planning permission for hot food takeaways will be granted provided that:
- The site is in an existing area of commercial activity
- The proposal would not cause harm to living conditions as a result of, for example, noise or smell
- 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 can be provided, or there is sufficient on-street parking
- It would not cause inconvenience or danger on the public highway as a result of the additional stopping and manoeuvring of vehicles