So you started your VT01 – all is going well until you get asked for “Planning Permission” – What actually is being asked for in simple terms? MOT specialist and GETECH director Ashley Hance talks about this aspect of the VT01.
Obtaining approval from the DVSA will require some kind of confirmation that MOT testing can be conducted from the location in question. This is requested within the VT01 form section C as: Evidence of Planning Permission or an exemption or written approval that existing planning covers MOT testing.
- So what is exactly is required in simple terms?
A document from your local authority within which it states that MOT testing can be conducted.
- How do I achieve this?
There are a number of ways that the local authorities consent may be achieved as follows;
- By means of a planning application,
- By way of a Lawful development certificate
- Through pre-application advice
- Using a thorough explanation of the situation to a planner.
By far the most likely scenario is either a full planning application, lawful development certificate or through pre-application advice. In dealing with these 3 options we can effectively group numbers 1 & 2 together as “planning applications” as that is essentially what they are.
Option 1a: A full planning application, in simple terms, allows a public consultation period which, on one hand opens up the opportunity for a host of objections; whilst on the other an opportunity to plan for the likely objections in advance with countermeasures. This type of application would cover new builds, changes of use etc. You should also expect a total determination time of up to 8 weeks
Option 1b: A lawful development certificate is a document which legally verifies the actual or proposed use as being within the existing use class of the building. You have to produce the evidence which may or may not be accepted by the Council’s legal team before a decision is reached.
Pre-application advice is another way of obtaining a document from the Council which the DVSA will accept. Although this is a reduced cost (and quicker) than a full planning application or lawful development certificate, there inevitably is the risk that the outcome will be that a planning application is required which puts you back to square one!
I am often told that “Its already a garage and always has been one – there won’t be any problems with the Council” but experience tells me that already operating a garage from the location does not mean necessarily that you will avoid a planning application for an MOT bay.
A great deal of time, care and thought need to go into how the Council is approached to gain this evidence. A failure to plan in advance will almost certainly result in a planning application and a 8 week delay on the project.
What’s the alternative?
Initially I always attempt to make a thorough presentation to the local planner and hope (to a certain extent) that the factual presentation is accepted. I, like our customers, would prefer to avoid an 8 week project delay as this in turn will delay the completion payment!
However, in order to be successful a lot of preparation is required for this approach – preparation that you could avoid simply by speaking to an expert.
We (GETECH) include a full local authority liaison service within our equipment packages and on-demand if you have purchased your equipment elsewhere. Having spent numerous years on this requirement we are expert at avoiding unnecessary planning applications thus reducing your costs and timelines.