"You can use an eraser on the drafting table or a sledge hammer on the construction site" - Frank Lloyd Wright


Please find our F.A.Q below; (these notes are for guidance only and will not be used to bind 'Diverging Architecture' to any contract or works undertaken, without first contacting us for written confirmation).

Do I need Planning Permission / approval ?

It can vary! -is the property in question located within a conservation area, or should it have listed status? -the below will not apply (please contact us to discuss further);

Assuming the property is neither of the above, the required works may* fall under permitted development rights -with no planning application being required (saving circa. 8 weeks). Please see below point for further info.

Alterations to the front (road) facing of any properties will almost always require a planning application.

*Note: We are not responsible for any work undertaken at your behalf -if you are unsure, please contact us to discuss or Northampton Planning dept. to confirm.

Click Here :  link to a useful document re permitted works, called 'Technical Guidance - Permitted development for householders'.

Do I need Building Regulation / approval ?

Yes, the vast majority of alterations will still require building regulation approval/monitoring -to ensure regulation compliance & safety of the proposed works.

There are a few routes to completion (for the client). Firstly, we have a full plans application. Here, we piece together the specification of products to ensure compliance (safety, thermal performance etc.). Along will a set of drawings noting said products (see our Portfolio for some examples), which are submitted (if we're the acting agent) on your behalf.

Second, in place of a full-plan submission, a 'Building Notice' can be submitted (small domestic works, cannot be utilized on; commercial property, flats or HMOs -or, any work near/over a public drain/sewer; or new buildings that front a public highway). Generally being applied to works such as; removal of walls, installation of boilers, window insertion, bathroom installation and other drainage, garages & carports (not exempt from building regulation), insertion of thermal insulation to cavity walls. Building notice can serve a 48-hour commencement notice to the local authority, the L.A will then visit the site at key stages throughout the build to ensure compliance (a typical ((but not limited to)) list can be seen below;)

  • Excavations (post concrete)
  • Preparation of oversite
  • Damp proof course
  • Drains - foul and storm
  • Drain(s) test
  • First-floor joists (if applicable)
  • Roof members
  • Insulation
  • Occupation
  • Completion

Please see below a direct link to Northampton's Building Control fees;


What process do Contractors have ?

I've found that most contractors will avoid quoting for project works until (at least) drawings are available. Other's may also insist on either  Planning or Building reg. approval (depending on what is applicable) -prior to providing a tender/quote.

Do you (Diverging Architecture) submit the applications ?

We can, and do. When we quote for prospective work, we provide the option for us to submit the application on your behalf, as 'acting agent'. Any information received from the local authority is .cc'd to the client.

How do most projects progress (planning & building reg.'s) ?

If no existing (scaled/legible) floor plans exist we can provide a full measured survey of the property & grounds, to produce an 'as existing' set of floor plans and elevations drawings.

Following this, we commence the design process for the proposed extension/works (providing CGI's as we progress, directly to the client ), ensuring an informed decision is made at each and every phase.

Once confirmed by the client (if acting agent), we submit the Planning Application, otherwise, we provide the required drawings for a client application.

After approx. 8 weeks we/the client should receive a formal response. Should the proposed be refused, reasons for such are provided -which we can then alter to suit (if feasible), and resubmit for feedback. Assuming approved, we can commence building regulation drawings (if required) for client approval and submission to authorities.

(If building regulation drawings are submitted) After approx. 4-5 weeks we should have a response from authorities regarding the proposed technical drawings and product specification. If refuted, we can usually alter to suit or source a necessary calculation in order to gain compliance etc.

After or during this process is usually a good time to commence tender from various Contractors (along with copies of the drawings). Pricing for which should be provided directly to the client (unless directed otherwise).

Do you assist with the Contractor / Tender process ?

Of course, we can provide contacts, or email drawings directly to them (on client behalf), for tender production -pending current workloads and availability.

We always suggest sourcing additional quotations for the project works -with our produced drawings & specification.


Ready to find out more ?

Drop us an email today to arrange a free (no obligation) discussion and quotation.


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