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Planning permission and Building regs

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Planning permission and Building regs

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tgontgon Forumite
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I want to render the outside brick walls of my semi-detached house. As I'm in a conservation area I understand I'll need planning permission as it will alter the look of the house (only in texture as the bricks are all painted white now anyway! Also, a small part of the house is already rendered.)

The way I read the planning portal web site confused me a bit. The house was built in 1929 and has single brick external walls. The building regs say that I will need to insulate(?) Grants would only cover partial costs as a few quick google searches estimate about 10k to do both.

I'm not sure on the second point. I don't understand that if I render I will have to also insulate? I rang the planning office and it didn't become any easier to understand. Advise welcome...

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  • edited 17 March 2015 at 7:07PM
    DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    edited 17 March 2015 at 7:07PM
    Building Control is a different department to Planning, so if you want a conversation about render, you need to ask building control. External wall insulation would certainly be a very sensible move while the opportunity is there.

    Part L of the building regulations. I wasn't personally aware that applying a brand new render coat meant applying insulation. I know if you remove a certain % of render/plaster during renovation that you are obliged to insulate before reapplying. I think you may be mixed up.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
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    Surely in a conservation area the OP will need planning permission to say he can render, then will have to comply with building regulations when he does it.

    A quick Google suggests that if you are doing more than 25% of the wall area you will have to improve the insulation. If you're getting a professional to do it they may be more familiar with the ins & outs of the rules (of course if they aren't that professional, they may not).
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • edited 17 March 2015 at 9:01PM
    DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    edited 17 March 2015 at 9:01PM
    EssexExile wrote: »
    Surely in a conservation area the OP will need planning permission to say he can render, then will have to comply with building regulations when he does it.

    A quick Google suggests that if you are doing more than 25% of the wall area you will have to improve the insulation. If you're getting a professional to do it they may be more familiar with the ins & outs of the rules (of course if they aren't that professional, they may not).

    The OP has stated that they need PP. My comment relates to asking the planning department about the requirement for insulation behind the render. Planning won't know or care. That is Building Control's job.

    The key word for whether it requires insulating is whether one is 're-rendering' or 're-cladding' - which the OP is not. Our building regulations for existing buildings tend to revolve around upgrading when replacing items or changing use, not simply adding to them. It is 'nice to do' but not a legal requirement.

    "If you want to re-render or replace timber cladding to external walls, building regulations may apply depending on the extent of the work."

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/permission/commonprojects/externalwalls/

    The fact that this house is apparantly single skinned means it would be pretty stupid not to insulate it. (OP, are you sure it isn't just solid wall construction? A single skinned house would be unmortgageable)
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • edited 17 March 2015 at 9:16PM
    tgontgon Forumite
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    edited 17 March 2015 at 9:16PM
    Thanks. I hadn't realised two different departments and their separate responsibilities. I assume that if I were not in a conservation area where planning permission is not required then I could render but not obliged to notify Building Control to insulate? I don't think I'm quite getting it. This is certainly not a re-render.
  • DoozergirlDoozergirl Forumite
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    Call building control and confirm that my interpretation is correct, first, that you don't need them involved. PP is still required.

    If you were not in a conservation area then you would not need PP. If my interpretation is correct, then you would need neither in that situation.

    BC and PP are very separate. You can need either one and not the other, or none, or both. Clear as mud :)
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
  • EssexExileEssexExile Forumite
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    Like Doozergirl says, clear as mud. I've just found this on a page about rendering (as opposed to re-rendering):

    If you do plan to render a house wall you should be aware that changes to the Building Regulations dictate that you must check with your local Building Control Department of your council as to whether your changes (I.E. the render) will mean that your wall must be upgraded to comply with the current "Thermal Element" regulations.

    A Thermal Element is a wall, roof or floor which separates any heated part of a building from and space which is unheated, e.g. outside.

    If your proposed rendering will cover more than 25% of the wall you may have to upgrade the wall to comply with current insulation requirements if this is possible. For a cavity wall for example, this may mean you need to insert cavity insulation.

    More information can be found in Part L1B (Appendix A) of the Building Regulations Document on The Conservation of Heat and Power in Existing Dwellings.


    Speak to your local building control for a definitive answer.
    Tall, dark & handsome. Well two out of three ain't bad.
  • tgontgon Forumite
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    I did and you are correct. I am mandated to add insulation if I render my house. Unfortunately, the costs are now out of my budget and I shall never have payback on the insulation within my lifetime. So its pointless trying to improve my property in this way.

    The most disapointing aspect of this is that I wanted to improve my property by keeping in true to its original mock-tudor design and cover a succession of poor repairs and previous brickwork from many previous owners over the last 90 years. Seems somewhat counter to the spirit of being in a conservation area. Perhaps I should just use some very thick masonary paint :p

    Many thanks for working this through with me.
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