FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The answers to the below questions are generic and are to provide you with an indication of BGA Architects processes and approach. For more information in relation to project specific questions, please call us on 01702 471057.
I am new to this can you explain what is involved with the design process?
Where possible BGA Architects will meet with you on site to discuss your requirements to develop a client design brief.
Within 48 hours of the initial meeting BGA Architects aim to provide you with a fee proposal for your approval. Upon receiving your instruction BGA Architects will arrange a survey (where necessary).
After the survey has been carried out the existing and proposed drawings will then be produced for your approval and supporting documentation approved/obtained were required.
The town planning application will then be submitted to the local authority for approval. (Please note BGA Architects cannot guarantee the outcome of any planning application).
Once planning approval has been granted BGA Architects can obtain building regulation approval upon your behalf.
BGA Architects can also provide you with tender documentation and assist you on site for the duration of the project.
How long will it take until we receive drawings and are able to submit a town planning application?
On average it takes approximately 4/6 weeks to receive the initial design drawings for your comments/approval, however this largely depends on the complexity of your project and our workload at the time of receiving your instructions. However, your project leader will be able to advise you of timescales at the time of receiving your initial instruction.
Once the initial proposals have been sent to you, you will be asked to provide feedback within 7 days to ensure that any amendments that may be required are carried out as quickly as possible.
Do you submit the planning application to the council?
BGA Architects submit and monitor the application to the council. BGA Architect contact their clients regularly during the application with updates of the progress.
What is permitted development?
Permitted development rights allow the improvement or extension of homes without the need to apply for planning permission, where that would be out of proportion with the impact of the works carried out.
Planning permission is not required where development falls within your permitted development rights. Please note that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. Similarly, commercial properties have different permitted development rights to dwellings.
In some areas of the country, known generally as 'designated areas', permitted development rights are more restricted. For example, if you live in:
a Conservation Area
a National Park
an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
a World Heritage Site or
the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.
You will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas. There are also different requirements if the property is a listed building.
Regardless of this BGA Architects strongly recommend that you obtain a lawful development certificate.
For further information about the different types of projects which can be carried out under permitted development please click here which will take you to the planning portal website.
What is a Lawful Development Certificate?
If you want to be certain that the existing use of a building is lawful for planning purposes or that your proposal does not require planning permission, you can apply for a 'Lawful Development Certificate' (LDC).
For more information about LDC please click here
My town planning application has been submitted to the council, how long will it take to receive a decision?
Once your application has been submitted to the council, the council generally have a statutory 8-week period to make a decision. Please note however we are finding that most councils are failing to hit this target due to the staff shortages within the council and on average applications are taking approximately 12 weeks.
I’m a contractor and require a construction package to work with, can you help me with this?
BGA Architects work closely with many contractors to provide a detailed construction packages which they can pass onto the various trades to assist them with their work, even where BGA Architect did not obtain town planning approval.
We can also produce working drawings of key junctions/details and prepare schedules and specifications if required.
Call us now to discuss your requirements in greater details.
Do you do meetings at the weekend or in the evening?
BGA Architects only carry out meetings during normal office hours which are 9am – 5pm. To arrange a free no obligation quotation please call now on 01702 471057
How and when do we pay?
BGA Architect generally provide a fixed price quotation based on each stage of the project, e.g. Stage 1 - Town Planning Application, Stage 2 - Building Regulation approval and Stage 3 – Full architectural service.
Depending upon the size of the project BGA Architects will require a 25% deposit of the stage prior to carrying out a measured survey. A further 50% will become payable upon issuing the first draft of drawings with the remained of the stage payment becoming payable prior to submitting any application. For more information regarding the payment process please refer to the terms and conditions which accompanied our fee proposal letter.
Do you have a structural engineer?
BGA Architects do not employ an in house structural engineer. However, if instructed to proceed with your project, BGA Architects will obtain a minimum of two quotations for your approval from structural engineers who are on their approved list of structural engineers.
Do you produce 3D drawings of my project?
All our projects are produced using the latest BIM software, which provide you with an external view of the proposal in 3D at no additional cost.
Where a more realistic 3D image is required a fee quotation can be provided upon request, the cost of which is dependent upon the level of detail required.
Computed Generated Imagery (CGI) / Renders are priced on a scale of Low, Medium and High detailing levels and can be customised to meet your requirements.
Please click here to see examples.
Can you produce animations and fly throughs of our scheme?
BGA Architects can create animations, walkthroughs, and video presentations of your schemes.
Please click here to see examples.
Can we recommend builders?
BGA Architects do not recommend builders as the majority of contractors do not employ their own work force and simply sub contract the works out. However, BGA Architects do have a list of approved contractors with whom they have worked with in the past and have received positive responses from past clients.
This list is regularly reviewed and updated as necessary to ensure those approved are working to the highest of standards at all times.
Can we recommend a party wall surveyor?
BGA Architects work with several party wall surveyors and will be happy to obtain quotations on your behalf when instructed to proceed with the project. Please click the below link for more information in relation to the Party Wall Award Etc. Act 1996
Can you explain what CDM is?
CDM 2015 applies to all building and construction work and includes new build, demolition, refurbishment, extensions, conversions, repair and maintenance.
Under CDM 2015 a Principal Designer is required for all domestic and commercial projects where there is more than one contractor (including any sub-contractors), or if it is reasonably foreseeable that more than one contractor will be working on a project at any time.
For more information please click here for the Guide for Clients - CDM 2015.
What is SAP?
SAP rating is the calculation that is required in order to produce a Predicted Energy Assessment (PEA) and an As Built Construction Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). Building Regulations require that a SAP calculation and a PEA are submitted for new dwellings prior to the commencement of work.
To read more please click here.
When is an excessive glazing calculation required?
With new extensions or conversions to a property, there's a limit to the amount of glazing permitted. You're restricted to 25% of glazing to floor area and if you exceed this limit, you must have proper and professional justification. This is due to glazing and openings losing more heat than walls, making it less energy efficient.
Therefore a Energy consultant will be required to produce a AD Part L1B 2014 Compliancy - Whole dwelling calculation to justify the additional glazing.
Depending on the results, the rest of your current property may be taken into account and it may be suggested that upgrades elsewhere would successfully offset any additional glazing needed for the new build.
To read more please click here.
BGA Architects can obtain a quotation for you as part of carrying out the building regulation drawings.
Can I build over a public drain?
There are certain criteria to meet if building over or within 3meters of a public drain, set out from the statutory water body, however if you do not comply with all the criteria an application will be required to be submitted to the statutory water body to access your application.
To read more please click here.
What is a community infrastructure levy (CIL)?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (the 'levy') is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area. It is an important tool for local authorities to use to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area.
A section 106 agreement is an agreement between a developer and a local planning authority about measures that the developer must take to reduce their impact on the community
What is the difference between CIL and section 106?
CIL is different to S106 in that it is levied on a much wider range of developments and according to a published tariff schedule. This spreads the cost of funding infrastructure over more developers and provides certainty as to how much developers will have to pay.
Who is responsible for paying CIL?
The responsibility to pay CIL sits with the ownership of the land on which the liable development is located. However, others parties involved in the development, such as developers, may wish to pay a proportion of the CIL.
How can I avoid paying CIL?
The most obvious way to avoid paying CIL is not to commence development or to delay commencement. However, you may need to commence development sooner than you might otherwise like to, for example to prevent a planning permission from expiring.