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Do you need planning permission?

There are exemptions for some of the more common or minor works

Development is defined in the Planning and Building (Jersey) Law 2002 as “the carrying out of building, engineering, mining or other operations in, on, over or under land and material changes of use to land. It extends to include demolition or removal of the whole or any part of a building, creating new access, removing hedges or other physical feature defining  a boundary, advertisements or refuse.”

This definition is extremely wide and, subject to certain exceptions, will cover the majority of development activity. As such we would advise that you should, as a general rule, always assume permission will be required.

However, there are exemptions for some of the more common or minor changes.

Under Planning and Building (General Development) (Jersey) Order 2011 permission for certain “permitted developments” is granted automatically for some classes of development. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Gates, fences, walls and other means of enclosure;
  • Conversion of roof space for habitable use;
  • Painting;
  • Vents, flues etc.;
  • Placing items on private ways/footpaths; and
  • Creating and replacing doors and windows (including blocking up windows).

However, you need to bear in mind that even these permitted developments are subject to certain conditions. For example, permission will be required for fences and walls over a certain height. We would advise you to seek advice or guidance in each case so you don’t trip up.

Above all you should remember that it is an offence, punishable by an unlimited fine or even imprisonment, to carry out development without permission.

6 steps to securing planning permission

All planning applications will be dealt with by the Department for Planning and the Environment (the “Department”) and the following is a timeline of what you can expect to happen:

Step 1 – advice

Get initial advice before starting your application – the Department offers a drop-in service for smaller developments on Monday to Friday 8:30am-5pm. For larger developments the Department will usually require queries to be in writing.

Step 2 – registration & fees

Register the planning application and pay the appropriate fee – your application must contain enough information to explain the proposal clearly. Larger schemes for example need to show elevations, perspectives, photo montages and design impressions. The relevant fee is dependent on the size/type of application. For example:

  • Construction of a small dwelling – £5.04 per square metre of development footprint*
  • Construction of a large dwelling – £9.31 per square metre of development footprint*
  • If it does not involve creating another area – £113
  • Change of use of land – £350
  • Satellite dish – £58
  • Flag pole – £58

*Minimum charge 10sq m & max cost of £208k. Figures as at time of publication

Step 3 – notices

You must display a site notice prominently on the site in question for 21 days and list the planning application in the Jersey Gazette.

Step 4 – response period

Neighbours and other interested parties have 21 days to respond to planning proposals. This is the time for appellants to lodge any objections; if they do not, they will not be able to bring an appeal once the application is determined.

Step 5 – assessment

Your application will be assessed once plans and all correspondence have been received. You can anticipate average turnaround times of 8 weeks for minor and 13 weeks for major developments.

Step 6 – outcome

The planning application is determined and published. You will be notified of the result in writing, as will all those who commented upon the application.

Additional step – agreement

In some cases, a planning obligation agreement will be put in place. Planning obligation agreements allow the Department to grant planning permission even where there are concerns about certain aspects of the development or where additional works must be carried out. The permission is granted subject to satisfactory compliance with the terms of the planning obligation agreement. It is possible to appeal against the terms of a planning obligation agreement.

Additional step – appeal?

In some cases, if permission is granted, it is not valid for a period of 28 days following publication. During this time, anyone who has a grievance (be it the applicant or a third party) can launch an appeal (subject to eligibility). For this reason, successful applicants are advised to delay starting any work until the 28 day period has elapsed, in case there is a successful appeal.

For more information on appeals, please refer to Viberts’ article “How to appeal a planning decision”. Remember that a planning consent is just a first step. You may also need consent from Building Control who regulate not whether development takes place, but how.

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