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Architects Cambridge | Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is involved in getting my project approved?

Stage 1: Predesign - site analysis, programming, existing conditions (surveys), budgeting.
Stage 2: Schematic Design & Planning - basic design concept generation & development_Application for planning approval.
Stage 3: Technical Design - refinement of the selected design developed from stage 2_Application for conditional building regulation approval.
Stage 4: Construction Documents - detailed drawings, schedules and specification.
Stage 5: Contractor Selection - aid in contract award / negotiation with bidding contractors.
Stage 6: Construction Observation - oversee construction + administration of the contract.
Stage 7: 12 months defects - observe building through four seasons & rectify any defects observed + finalise account.

Please see our design process guide for a more detailed explanation of each stage.

Q: How long does it take to prepare the detailed drawings?

From completing the survey (perhaps a two week period) to sending drawings for your comments depends upon the site and complexity of the scheme, but a straight-forward building or extension would normally take between one and two weeks. A more accurate time-scale is given at the initial consultation.

Q: Do I have to do anything?

Once you have approved the design, we prepare and submit all the information as your agent and deal with the Local Authority planners and Building Inspectors on your behalf.

Q: How long does the Local Authority take?

The Local Authority have eight weeks to reach a planning decision once submitted and validated which can take up to an additional four weeks. Building Regulation conditional approval can also take up to eight weeks.

Q: What fees do I have to pay?

You pay a number of fees to the Local Authority:

1. Planning Fee The fee for the local authority to determine the planning application, and is payable when the application is submitted. Usually, £172.00 for an extension & £385.00 for new build house.
2. Building Control Plan Fee The fee for Building Control to assess the building specification and ensure it complies with current legislation and is payable when the Building Regulations submission is made. Usually £150.00 for a extension & £180.00 for a new build dwelling. These figures vary dependant on size of extension & number of dwellings.
3. Inspection Fee The fee for Building Control officers to inspect the construction work at various stages throughout the project. This is invoiced direct to the client, usually after the first site inspection. Usually £285.00 for an extension & £387.00 for a new build dwelling. These figures vary dependant on size of extension & number of dwellings.

Other fees you might need to budget for are:

4. Location Plan A standard £35.00 fee for an Ordnance Survey Site Plan showing the site boundaries and local area, required as part of the planning application.
5. Other Consultants Dependent on the scheme, you might also require the services of a Structural Engineer or other consultants. Further advice is given at the initial consultation.

Q: Do I need Planning Permission?

Most new buildings require planning permission and Building Control approval. Some domestic extensions and alterations are considered permitted development and do not require planning permission, but will still require Building Control approval, drawings and a specification for your builder to work from. For further advice is given at the initial consultation.

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