Home improvement expert says planning is the key
“Take our advice, speak the local planning department before ordering your conservatory.”
That’s the message from Dorset businessman Allan Tofield who owns Richmond Home Improvement Co, a leading installer of conservatories in the Poole, Bournemouth and surrounding area.
“People forget their local council planning department is an enforcement agency,” says Allan. “The planners have the power to make householders tear down a conservatory that has not had the correct planning approval.”
Allan is concerned householders can be taken in by unscrupulous conservatory sales teams and rogue trader firms who often mislead home owners by advising them they don’t need to apply for planning permission for conservatories or other external home improvements, especially in local conservation areas.
“Householders could easily find themselves locked into an agreement and find they can’t get out of without having to pay a hefty cancellation penalty.”
Not every conservatory needs full planning permission, but many do and Allan warns that simply researching the planning page on a council’s website may not provide home owners with enough information to make an informed decision.
He recommends home owners pay for a Householder Permitted Development Enquiry from their local planning department well before ordering their new conservatory.
“I’ll always offer advice before taking a customer’s order, but it is the home owner’s responsibility to make sure they obtain all the necessary planning approval and comply with any building regulations. A Householder Permitted Development Enquiry will determine whether a full planning application is required for extensions, conservatories and other external home improvements as well as providing complete peace of mind.”