Whether it’s Planning Permission or Project planning, our experienced team will steer your project through the myriad decisions that need to be made . . .

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Our understanding of local authorities’ demands and regulations means we can guide your project smoothly through the planning process.

Obtaining planning permission need not be scary

Planning Applications

We are able to handle Planning Applications on your behalf including:

  • Applications for Householders (new builds, extensions etc)
  • Applications for Change of Use
  • Listed Buildings Applications
  • Permitted Development Rights
  • Party-wall Agreements
We have an excellent track record

Local knowledge

We enjoy excellent relationships with all of our local Planning Authorities.

Our record of negotiating and obtaining Planning Permissions for our clients is second to none. We also offer free advice on whether planning permission will be required for your project.


Is Planning Permission always required?

No. internal alterations generally don't require planning permission. Minor works such as building a small rear extension or loft conversion often fall within 'permitted development' rules and do not require a formal planning application. 

As a general rule, anything that involves creating a new house, through either a conversion or new build, will need an application for planning permission. And for existing homes, if the work is visible from the road in front of the house or higher than two storeys then planning permission will be required.

There are a number of other factors which might come into play and require planning permission such as Article 4 notices; whether you wish to makes changes to a Listed building; and whether the planned works are in a conservation area.

Permitted Development

We can apply on your behalf for a certificate of lawful development to the council which acts as confirmation that planning is not required. If accepted,  the planners can’t pass comment on the design and will give you peace of mind going forward.

The application will require all the same information that a full planning application will require  but it will only be checked against whether planning is required or not.

How long do Planning Applications take?

After agreeing with you on the design, we will prepare the plans for planning permission together with all the information required to support the application. 

Decisions generally take around 8-10 weeks depending on the authority and our approval rate is over 95%. Whilst the application is going through the planning process, we are able to move on with your project including the preparation of Building Control and other design details. 

Who is consulted for the application?

Your adjoining neighbours will be notified and have the option to comment during the planning application process. The consultation period lasts for 3 weeks and  objections must be based on the material considerations that the case officer is basing their decision on.  

A list of what constitutes the material considerations that the planning department is set out below but not all will necessarily apply for each scheme:  

What are 'material considerations'?

A material consideration is a matter that should be taken into account in deciding a planning application or on an appeal against a planning decision.  Issues such as loss of view, or negative effect on the value of properties are not material considerations.

Material considerations can include (but are not limited to):

Further information

 Further information and guidance is available at the planning portal website

Meet our team

We work with a wide range of local building contractors depending on the needs of project

James Probert

Director - Head of Technical Design
James is the co-founder of Oakenstone along with close friend and colleague, Dave Mowle.

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Dave Mowle

Director - Designer and Operations Manager
As Oakenstone’s lead designer and value engineer, Dave will often be your first point of contact on-site. Some say he looks familiar

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Marcus Bell

From tiles to paint colours, bathroom suites to door handles, light fittings to plug sockets, Marcus gives critical advice to our clients on how best to put the finishing touches to their projects.

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Pete Newberry

Operations and Administration Support
Pete is the first point of contact for any client calling the office and runs the day-to-day administration of the office .

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Oliver Edwards

Building Designer
Olly is the newest member of our team and is one of our CAD wizards.

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Office Security
Hero spends most of her time milling about the office. All visitors are more than welcome to accept the challenge of trying to pull the tennis ball out of her mouth.

Project Stages


First Meeting (Free of charge)

YOU tell us what your project must deliver, what you would like in addition and what you think you can’t afford. We can give you an instant scale of cost and offer advice on the impact on your property value. As designers, we will typically be able to see design options and instantly assess potential ways to fit all your requirements against guideline budgets. This meeting is always free of charge.

Feasibility Study

Once you have engaged us, we will do an initial survey of the property and prepare one or more initial options drawn to scale together with some associated costs options. We will also advise on planning and building regulation requirements and any other potential costs or issues that might arise. For example: party wall agreements, highways considerations and so on.

You can then choose whichever design option offers the best balance between your wish-list and your budget. Often at this stage it is a combination of elements from two or more options, in which case we can advise on how best these can be combined. This delivers a concept design that has been cost assessed and established as feasible, satisfying your requirements and appropriate for the property and location.

Design Development

The Feasibility Study ensures the Design phase of the project sets off on the right track from the start. Layout drawings and initial sketches now need to be developed either for the planning application process and/or for construction and building regulation purposes. As we develop the design detail we can also provide more accurate costings.

As experienced builders, we guide the design detail down more economic paths rather than those often chosen by architects. Thoughtful and informed construction design at this stage invariably pays off with either a reduced cost or more construction for the same budget.

Teamwork and communication 

Once we have agreed a final design we will sign you up to ‘Teamwork’ which is our online project management portal and this allows you to keep track of your project throughout the development and construction process.

Teamwork – Our Project Management tool

We prioritise communication to keep stress to a minimum, to maximise efficiency and to enable you to monitor the progress of your project. It is immediately accessible and easy to use.

Teamwork allows you to keep up to date on project news from planning permission applications to team schedules right down to the details like your choice of kitchen tile.


Our experienced team of builders understand just how important it is for you to have confidence in us and our work process. We know this is not just about bricks and mortar, it is about creating a home.

We understand that having building work done in the place you are also living in can be challenging. Our workmen are considerate, honest and committed to delivering the best results. Most of our recommendations come from client referrals or via Trusted Trader.

Why Choose OakenStone?

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We are able to advise on whether planning permission is required or not as well as the likelihood of approval. If we deem that planning is not required, we can, if necessary, apply on your behalf for a  certificate of lawful development.
James Probert
Director, OakenStone

Previous PRojects

A New Build in an Old Quarry

A gallery of images charting the journey of this fantastic build, from breaking ground and undertaking huge excavations, to the highest quality finishing and detailing. The result was an impressive High-Performance, Low-Carbon Home.

Swallowtail Barn, Kniveton

Swallowtail Barn A super-efficient Low carbon barn Conversion Oakenstone Design Planning Build worked closely with the clients to create this truly special home, nestled in a spectacular corner of the Derbyshire Dales.  Ground Source heating connected to heat pumptechnology and a super-insulated, airtight building mean…

Parsonage Terrace, Bakewell

Our client had initially been told that her attic did not have the required height to create a loft conversion as she explained when she first contacted us. On our first consultation visit we could see the problem but also a clear solution.


Our initial brief was a kitchen extension but at the client's request this grew into a much larger project that included the relocation of the main entrance to create a grand hallway, a hand-made kitchen, underfloor heating throughout the ground floor and a modern extension.

Arrange a site visit

Book a FREE initial consultation with Dave Mowle