Do we need planning permission to install a school canopy?

Posted by Admin

One of the very first questions customers often ask us is whether they need to apply for planning permission to erect a canopy at their school, so we’re covering the issue in this blog.

The one-word answer to the question of whether you need planning permission for a school canopy is – sometimes. Under Town and Country Planning Legislation, technically permission is always required pre-installation.

However, in practice that is not always the case, since many canopies also come within what are known as ‘permitted development’ rules.

So the best thing to do in the first instance is to contact your local council for advice before you start installation work.

What is permitted development?

Academic premises such as schools fall under Class M of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015.

In simple terms, that means that you do not typically need planning permission if:

  • The total floor space of your canopy is less than 25% of the total floor space of an existing building or less than 100 square meters (whichever is less)
  • The canopy is located at a minimum of 5m from a boundary or perimeter of your school grounds
  • Its total height is less than 5m
  • The construction of your canopy doesn’t stop any land used as a playing field (or which has been used as such within the past five years) from being utilised in that way in the future
  • The canopy falls within the curtilage (essentially the land surrounding your buildings) of your current structures, and will be used as part of the regular activities your school, college or university undertakes.

For canopies falling outside these specifications, you will need to apply to your local authority for planning permission. In the overwhelming majority of cases, you can do this online.

Typically, there will be a list of things you will need to supply in support of your application, including site and location plans, plus sketches of the canopy. You’ll also often need to describe how you propose to use the canopy, plus the materials you’ll be using.

An architect or planning consultant can guide you through this stage, including putting the actual planning application together for you. Working with a professional is recommended to ensure the application includes the correct information and maximise the chances of success.

You should receive a response to your application within about two months, so planning permission certainly need not delay the construction of your new school canopy. However, it may be longer if special circumstances apply, such as being in a green belt area or if your school is a listed building.

So planning permission certainly need not delay the construction of your new school canopy.

How Kensington Systems can help

At Kensington Systems, we are very familiar with how the planning system works in England and factor in the time it may take to secure permission within our project timescales.

We’ve installed canopies at many different types of sites, so we are experienced in finding the right solution for any situation and ensure your application is within the planning regulations.

We’ll be with you every step of the way to help as you go through the process of seeking planning permission. We can put you in touch with a planning consultant to support your application, or we can work directly with them on your behalf, minimizing hassle and freeing up time for you.

In addition, we can support your application with free 3-D visualisations, to show the council what th

e new canopy will look like.

To find out how we can help your application, please get in touch with us today.


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