Every project exists within a unique set of circumstances. At the outset of the project there are unknown aspects which may in time present. Some aspects are identified below, others may present. Minor involvements by MBDA will not result in additional charges. However MBDA reserve the right to charge for involvements which are time-consuming or cost-generating. MBDA will advise you at earliest opportunity of situations where additional cost will present. We will then seek to establish how you wish to progress, define your requirements and agree terms for services as required.
1. Additional Information Request
Michael B Doyle Architects (MBDA) will use our experience and best judgement in seeking to anticipate what information might be required by a planning department when they consider your request for permission. Even so, the department may request additional information. Such requests are typically prompted as a consequence of observations or comments made by the public (as are effectively invited by way of the published newspaper and site notices) and/or queries as may be raised internally by the planning department. It is not possible at the outset to foresee the number of objections or observations that the public might make on your planning application. Sometimes it’s none, sometimes its numerous representations. Equally it is not possible to anticipate if the planning department will decide to focus on a particular aspect(s) of the proposal. Sometimes the points made can be easily addressed, on other occasions they can require considerable input. Minor requests or clarifications that present as part of due process of a planning application will be addressed within the terms as advised by MBDA at the outset and an appropriate response will be provided to the planning department. Sometimes however the requests may be more onerous and may even require the input of other disciplines i.e. the planning department might request an archaeological report or a geological report or details of a proposed planting programme etc. Sometimes what is requested is information that would normally constitute services as would normally be provided at a later stage in the project i.e. in Work Stage 3 or Work Stage 4. In the event of additional information being requested 3DA will advise you accordingly. You have up to six months to respond to a request for additional information after which the application withers.
2. An Bord Pleanála
An Bord Pleanála is the appeals Board. It deals with planning appeals and appeals or relaxations of the Building Regulations.
If you are unhappy with the planning departments decision or the conditions attached to the decision issued in week 8 of the planning process you can appeal the decision. Equally third parties who have registered an interest by week 5 of the process and are unhappy can also appeal. Please refer to MBDA Client Guidance Note 2. Depending on the nature of your appeal or in providing a detailed response to your neighbours appeal MBDA will likely be able to address the matters as apply. However, MBDA may advise that it is in your better interests that the services of a specialist or person of particular authority in a particular area become involved. MBDA will advise you accordingly in such circumstances.
3. 3-Dimensional Representation
In most cases 2-dimensional drawings are sufficient to represent your proposals and circumstances sufficient for your neighbours or the planning department to apprise the potential impact of a development. It is however generally easier for most people to appraise impact using 3-dimensional modelling. There are various levels of model making in both digital format or physical form. MBDA can develop computer models and presentation packages. Physical models can be made by a specialist architectural model maker. Should you or circumstances require a model to be made then MBDA will advise you accordingly.
4. Shadow Impact Analysis/Daylight or Sunlight Loss
New buildings or extensions give rise to new shadows. Shadows can fall on neighbours lands or buildings impacting on the neighbour’s enjoyment of their property. If the shadow created by a proposal might be such as to present issue then a shadow impact analysis model is sometimes required. The planning departments can request that a shadow impact analysis be made available to assist determination of impact. In the consideration of an application particularly when the development is two-storeys or more the loss of sunlight and daylight can become an issue. It may be a requirement of planning that the impact of loss of Sunlight or daylight be demonstrated and advised.
5. Neighbour Comforts
Managing your neighbours comfort is an important factor when undertaking development. Particularly in domestic extension projects, your neighbours can understandably be sensitive to the potential impact of your proposed development on their property. They may be concerned about the reduced sunlight, more shadow falling and less daylight arriving in their rooms. The proposed development may present as a potential overbearing presence or result in the loss of a view. Any one, or a combination of these items, or indeed other concerns, can be seen as a potential reduction in your neighbour’s enjoyment of, or the value of, their home. Naturally your neighbours are likely to seek to protect their interests. They may make representations privately, directly to you, or, if the planning process applies, make their representation by way of the planning process. Neighbour concerns should be attentively listened to and openly received as they can have significant impact on the project time-line and cost implications for a project and can affect the form and expression of development. It is better that representations are friendly, neighbourly and informal and if possible dealt with outside of the planning process by way of informal assurances or neighbourly agreement. The measure of your neighbour’s sensitivity to the proposed development and what actions they may take or what comforts your neighbours may seek for you to provided to them is not known at the outset. Even if existing relations are positive the prospect of a building project can lead to the heightening of certain sensitivities. With one party seeking to alter the status-quo and one party possibly preferring to maintain the status-quo, raised emotions can occur. Each party, the proposer and the neighbour have rights in seeking to enhance or protect their own interests. It is important to be aware fully of the impact(s) of your proposed development and where possible to minimise the impacts, ameliorate concerns and reach an accommodation. Neighbours may seek, to stop development as proposed or to have the proposal altered through the planning process if they don’t like the prospect. The planning process is there in order to seek to establish fair, reasonable and consistent balance. If, however, the proposed development is Exempted Development (i.e. not requiring planning permission) there is little prospect, through official channels, for neighbours to make representation. It is important to protect, maintain and foster good relations with neighbours for many self-evident reasons. MBDA can advise, as your project progresses, on how to deal with aspects as may apply.
6. Showing the Plans to the Neighbours
A decision is required to be made as to whether or not to meet with your neighbours and to show them your proposals. The presentation of your plans can provide an opportunity to get off on the right foot and to demonstrate a neighbourly sensitivity to their circumstance. It is usually best to pay your neighbours the courtesy of advising them and presenting them with your proposals prior to the lodging of a planning application as this can permit incorporation of adjustment, as may be agreed, outside of the planning process. This provides them with the opportunity to advise you, then or later, of any concerns they might have. It is usually the case that you meet your neighbours, individually, usually without architect representation. Architect presence in this circumstance can be perceived as intimidating to your neighbour. If copies of the plans are requested by your neighbours you might advise that the definitive version of the proposals will in due course be available on-line. Having the neighbours co-operation and blessing can, greatly assist a smooth passage through the planning process.
7. Boundary Interfaces
When building works occur at, on or near to a boundary it is necessary to clearly identify and, if necessary, agree the position of the boundary with respective neighbours as apply. The boundary can sometimes be on one or other side of, or be down the middle of wall, hedge or fence. Sometimes agreement might be reached that a wall or fence will be taken down. Sometimes the planning authority will require retaining of old garden walls. Sometimes the new building or extension is lower, and some times higher, than the neighbouring building circumstance. Taking into consideration the nature of the circumstances that pertain and juxtapositions that exist we will propose interface constructions at the boundary. The proposed constructions may have to be agreed with the neighbour. In due course the appointed building contractor will be required to liaise with neighbours with view to putting the agreed constructions in place. The co-operation of the neighbour can greatly assist progress and keep costs down. It is important, in common best interests, which the appointed building contractor should seek to foster, build and maintain good neighbour relations.