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What are Planning Drawings?

As the foremost crucial part of any construction, ‘Planning drawings’ visually outline the existing and proposed design(s) of a building (or building project) to an approximate degree; that is to say that they are not detailed technical drawings the likes of which are used for Building Control purposes (to read more on Building Control drawings, click here)

They can serve different purposes, amongst which the most typical are:

  • To support a planning permission application (e.g. for an extension to your current property).
  • To simply help envisage a particular design and get a sense of what is possible.

Planning Drawings for Planning Permission Applications

Planning drawings are an essential element of a planning permission application submission as they serve to communicate your vision (as interpreted by the architect) to the planner so that the latter can understand how the project fits into the landscape as a whole.

They convey to the local planning department the scope of works, appearance and layout of the proposal, paying particular attention to the proposed materials and main features of the building.

Furthermore, these drawings are useful during the construction phase as they allow builders to see exactly what it is that you hope to achieve with your build. They can be used in tender invitations sent to Builders but will not be the plans from which Builders eventually take instruction during the construction phase.

These diagrams do not depict the main technicalities of a project rather, their primary purpose tends to be related to space planning, general improvements (both internally and externally), etc.

Planning drawings do not need to be 100% accurate and, in certain circumstances, can be altered when the construction work is being undertaken (under some Building regulations).

Whether your changes fall into Permitted Development or they fall into the requirement for full householder planning permission, having these plans is an essential requirement as they can present visual information in a format that is quick to understand in terms of the project’s general layout, massing and context.

The Application Process – A Summary

Below are the general key stages typically comprising the Planning approval application process which is largely governed by legislation and is designed to allow the input of expert and interested parties into the decision making process:

  • Pre-application Advice

It is highly recommended that you obtain pre-application planning advice from the council to which you will be applying as they can advise you on whether your proposal is likely to be approved or not, and can recommend changes to ensure that your planning application has the best chance of success.

  • Application and Validation

Submitting your planning application (which includes your Planning drawings) to the council (typically via an online portal).

  • Consultation and Publicity

Consultation letters are sent to neighbours and, where applicable, various bodies to obtain their expert view.

  • Site visit and Assessment

The site is inspected and the application assessed by the planning case officer, taking into account planning policies, consultation responses and public representations.

Where relevant, the planning officer will also gather any site specific information such as photographs.

  • Recommendation

The planning officer will make a recommendation on the application to the person or body authorised to make a decision.

  • Decision

A decision is taken on the application by the appropriate body.

Applications can be approved or refused.

Approved applications will often have conditions attached that must be complied with.

If your application is refused and you do not believe the decision was correct then you do have the right to appeal.

(For more details regarding the application process, click here)

Planning Permission Application vs Building Regulations Application

Effectively, a Planning Permission application is a request for approval to carry out a proposed development.

On the other hand, a building regulations application is for seeking to have the details of your development checked and approved for compliance with the standards of construction.

They are requirements for separate pieces of legislation and whether either (or both) are required is context-dependent; one does not grant consent for the other!

Ana Sidorova – Planning Application Services

Hopefully the above has sufficiently highlighted the need for, and the pivotal role of, Planning drawings within the Planning Permissions application process.

As a highly qualified and experienced Architectural Designer, Ana is able to provide quality Planning drawings for your application. Through on-going communication and an understanding of technical requirements and building regulations, Ana is well-positioned to turn your vision into a functioning and practical reality.

As a bare minimum, a typical set of Planning drawings for a domestic extension or alteration would need to include all of the following to get past planning validation checks and for the scheme to be considered by planning:

The Fundamentals

  • Existing Elevations
  • Existing Floor Plans
  • Existing Roof Plan
  • Existing Site Location Plan @ 1:1250 Scale
  • Proposed Elevations
  • Proposed Floor Plans
  • Proposed Roof Plans
  • Proposed Block Site Plan @ 1:50 Scale


Additional Items (Priced as Extras)

  • Off Street Parking Block Plan
  • Details of Vehicular Crossovers
  • Any rights of way over yours/adjoining owners land(s)
  • Floor Levels for Flood Assessment
  • Locations of Trees – especially any with TPOs
  • Neighbours Windows together with 60 degree horizontal sight lines
  • Neighbours Windows with 45 degree vertical sight lines
  • A Roof Plan

Along with providing the requisite Planning drawings, Ana can also carry out the following tasks to ensure that the Planning Application process is as smooth as possible:

  • Site visits and take-offs to ensure dimensions are correct.
  • Submission of your Planning application to the council via their planning portal.
  • Liaising with the Planning Officer regarding further information requests (e.g. photographs).

NOTE: Due to current Covid-19 related restrictions, Planning Officers are typically requesting this information electronically and holding video conferences rather than in-person meetings,

  • The production of Building Control drawings for a Building Control application.
  • On-going communication with the structural engineer to address any issues as and when they arise.

The truth is Planning drawings require skill, experience and precision in their execution to correctly convey the project’s dimensions and scale to the planning officer.

Later on, these planning drawings are important for the construction and fit-out of the project.

Entrusting the production and provision of Planning drawings to Sidorova Design is a great idea for anybody searching for peace of mind when it comes to the application process.

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