What are my chances of getting planning permission for my project?
There are no two planning applications that are the same. Each planning application in the Isle of Man is judged on its own merits, and even two projects that appear to be identical can produce
very different results.
Because each construction project presents its own set of challenges, it is impossible to list all of the policies that could influence the success of a planning application. Even if
your neighbourhood is full of new developments, this does not guarantee that yours will be successful.
To help you get a better idea of the planning system in the Isle of Man, we've compiled a list of the most critical factors that will influence how easily your project will be approved.
Each area in the Isle of Man has planning constraints and development objectives. The first step toward a successful application is to understand the rules you will be operating under and the
types of projects that the Isle of Man Planning Authority is likely to favour or oppose.
Suppose the site is within a Conservation Area. In that case, there will be an additional layer of constraints to work within, as defined by the Isle of Man planning laws. Significant changes to
the streetscape or trees will be complicated to obtain approval for, if not impossible.
Your structure's visibility in the landscape must be minimised or blended into the surrounding environment in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Factors that are unique to your site
The site itself will have many characteristics that will influence whether or not your planning application is approved.
Greenfield sites are the most difficult to obtain permission for because they have never been developed. The Isle of Man planning authority prefers to repurpose previously developed land,
especially brownfield sites that have fallen into disuse. Keep in mind that planning officers are looking for developments that will significantly benefit the Isle of Man.
The next obstacle is the site's existing usage category. The Isle of Man Planning Authority has specific policies regarding loss of housing or employment. If your plans influence them negatively,
you may be denied planning permission.
Planning officials, for example, may object to the reduction in available housing if you convert flats to single-family homes. Alternatively, if you're converting commercial space to residential,
they may object to job loss.
The type of property development
The type of development you want to pursue can determine the success of your planning.
Planning for building renovation
While any development may face opposition, interior renovations are usually the easiest to get through planning. Many aspects of planning are concerned with the exterior appearance and impact on
the surrounding area, whereas interior work is not.
You will still be subject to the Isle of Man Government's sustainability and energy efficiency regulations. In addition to structural changes, you may need to upgrade the insulation or building
Remember that the purpose of the planning department is to preserve and improve the nation's housing stock. While this is frequently the primary goal of renovations, what you consider an
improvement and what the Isle of Man Planning Department feels to be an improvement may not always be the same.
Exterior renovations will be more difficult, especially if the structure is registered or in a conservation area. Any changes to the property's exterior must be materially and aesthetically
sympathetic to the original design. In some cases, the new building may need to be clearly distinguished from period architecture while remaining attractive and unobtrusive.
Planning for building extension
As your extension grows in size in relation to the original structure, planning applications become more complicated. Extensions are still expected to meet certain sustainability and energy
efficiency standards, though not to the same extent as new homes. The Isle of Man Planning Department will also demand that the rest of the structure be improved.
When planning a garden extension, it's essential to consider which trees should be removed, which necessitates a professional assessment to determine whether they're protected species or of
The extension should not overpower the house or the neighbouring properties. Even rear additions may be required to follow certain design archetypes, such as roof slope and material choice.
The primary consideration for roof extensions is whether they will impact the streetscape by disrupting the continuity of neighbouring roofs or breaking the silhouette by projecting above the
typical roof level.
Bats are an unanticipated complication. Because they are a protected species, you will be unable to work on your roof while they are roosting there. Even if you do, you will be required to
provide replacement nests such as bat boxes.
Planning for new housing developments
Regulations for new home construction are particularly onerous, particularly in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability. New home planning applications must include extensive supporting
documentation demonstrating that the designs follow building codes.
Planning departments will be on the lookout for homes that are considered an improvement to the housing stock. Any new construction's success depends on a high-quality, appealing, and efficient
The ecological impact, tree removal, and bat inhabitation will be assessed in new construction.
New homes are frequently required to use the same materials and design as neighbouring structures or be of such high quality that they contribute to the neighbourhood's appearance. It is
notoriously difficult to obtain approval for new homes in conservation areas.
Furthermore, special permission is required if the applicant's new home necessitates demolishing an existing structure. This entails making a case for why the replacement structure would be a
worthwhile improvement – something that is much easier to do if the existing structure is subpar.
Objections from neighbours
One of the primary responsibilities of planning departments is to ensure that construction projects do not ruin the quality of life of nearby residents.
While objections are unpredictable, there are quantifiable metrics for determining the impact on neighbour amenities.
Opposition from neighbours is a common source of delay in the planning process. The best way to reduce the risk of neighbour disputes is to notify those affected as soon as possible and be
Property registration status
Buildings that are registered are subject to the most stringent restrictions. There are no two planning applications that are the same. Each application is evaluated on its own merits, and even
seemingly identical plans can have remarkably different outcomes.
A common misunderstanding is that registered building status only protects the exterior of a house; however, registered status protects the entire structure.
While registered status does not preclude all development, it does necessitate extra care, attention, and respect for the original property to persuade planning officers.
Do you want to increase your chances of planning success?
Work with us
Modus Architects has a 99 per cent approval rate for planning applications ranging from minor extensions to registered building renovations and new rural buildings, commercial or residential
projects. We are not afraid to take on the most challenging projects and have a great working relationship with the Isle of Man Planning Authority.
Contact us right away at 01624 82852 or firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you make your plans a reality.