Do I need planning permission for a curtain wall installation?

As curtain walls are classed as non-structural, some make the mistake of neglecting to apply for planning permission, going ahead with their installation regardless. But failure to apply for planning permission when needed could result in an incredibly costly and frustrating conflict. Without respective planning permission granted you could find your business in significant financial trouble – in the worst cases, you may be forced to tear down your curtain wall.  

In this helpful article we help you decide whether you may need planning permission, and how to tackle applications and resolve potential planning issues.

Planning permission depends on your location

Different councils, counties and local authorities have different rules, with departments run and headed up by different people. This can prove frustrating, as consistency isn’t always easy to find across the board from place to place. There are some constants however – for example if you want to change the use of your building (from residential to commercial) or make changes which directly affect a neighbouring property. The bottom line here is that it is always worth checking before you start work and making preparations ahead of time. Obtaining planning permission cane take time, so it’s best to enlist the help of professionals as early as you can to avoid delays in your development.

Planning permission also depends on your design and the size and nature of your curtain wall

Some curtain walls absolutely need planning permission. It’s clear to see from the outset that they will significantly alter the appearance of a building, which in turn will require authorisation. It’s likely that any noticeable changes in colour, shape, design or size will all need to be checked and approved by local authorities.

You should always check before you spend money on materials, labour or building work preparation

Prevention is better than cure. As above, planning permission should be the very first thing you consider. When working with a reputable company you will be prompted to discuss planning permission and the designs of your installation. You should also have their support or the assistance of an architect to draw up blueprints for submission. Often the quality and clarity of your application counts for a lot – so this is incredibly important.

If it is insignificant it won’t automatically be accepted

You may think that a small addition to the exterior of your property will go unnoticed – but even if it is insignificant it’s likely it will still need to be reviewed by planning officials. It’s worth remembering that even if planning permission isn’t required, you’ll still need to comply with building rules and regulations.

You may also need permission to take away

If you’re enlisting the help of curtain wall specialists to replace or take down an existing installation you may also need planning permission for this, too.

Make friends with neighbours

If you haven’t yet become acquainted with neighbouring businesses or residents, now is the time to introduce yourself. These people could be key in the decision making process with the power make or break your proposed development – as if any of them object a lengthy approval and appeal process may begin. For this reason it’s worth personally introducing yourself and explaining the proposed activity before a letter lands on their doorstep. They’ll appreciate the heads up, and you’ll humanise your company, using the conversation as an opportunity to explain your reasons for the curtain wall installation. As business owners themselves it’s likely they’ll understand if you are trying to redevelop the area to improve the environment, or increase footfall to grow your company.

For more expert tips on curtain wall installation and design please take a look at our related blogs here.