APPLYING for planning permission can be a lengthy process, with forms, fees, site visits, meetings and sometimes appeals involved.
So to some it might seem understandable to go ahead with developments perhaps thinking them insignificant or undetectable to outsiders.
But with increasing numbers of applications coming through to Portsmouth City Council, as well as Fareham, Gosport and Havant borough councils, after works have already been carried out, councillors are urging people, and businesses, to check if they need permission before going ahead with projects.
Since the start of this year 45 retrospective planning applications have been submitted to Portsmouth City Council, which suggests a significant increase from 54 made for the whole of 2014.
Cllr Donna Jones, who sits on the city’s planning committee, is hoping the council can clamp down on this in the future. She said: 'We had another two or three retrospective applications last week alone.
‘I think it is really important to send a clear message to residents and landlords that doing this does not make it easier for them. It can actually make the process more complicated and drawn out.
‘They've got to remember it is actually a breach of Portsmouth City Council rules.
'We do appreciate that people will carry out work on their house in good faith without realising such as a summer house or a shed that is a certain height.
'However, over the last couple of months we have had a lot of retrospective planning applications coming to the committee. People pleading ignorance is not good enough.'
Chairman of the Fareham planning committee, Cllr Nick Walker, added: ‘We would always encourage people to apply for planning permission before commencing any works. By relying on retrospective permission there is always the risk you will have to pull down whatever you have built.’
A spokesperson for Portsmouth City Council explained the process when a development without permission is found. They said: ‘If the council discover that development has been carried out that requires planning permission then if the development is something that the council consider could be granted planning permission then the owner of the property will be invited to submit a planning application.
‘If the development is something that could not be supported if an application were submitted then the owner will be asked to remove the development and given a reasonable time period in which to do this. Failure to rectify the situation will result in the council taking enforcement action to rectify the situation.’
More often than not these applications are made known to the authorities someone other than the site’s owner. Residents are encouraged to contact their local council’s planning enforcement team if they suspect a development has been carried out without planning permission.
It is important to provide full details of the development and full contact details as anonymous complaints are not investigated unless they are linked to a listed building, protected trees or are located within a conservation area.
Retrospective applications to Portsmouth City Council:
2018 (so far) - 45
2017 - 74
2016 - 95
2015 - 77
2014 - 54