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Home changes and design guides

If you live in a BVT-managed neighbourhood and want to alter your home, you may need our permission before you do this. We have specialist design guides to advise you.

What are design guides?

Design guides are a set of standards that help protect and improve the look and quality of a neighbourhood. They include restrictions on what you can and can’t change about your home.
Our design guides can include:

  • Information on what ‘zone’ your home falls into and associated restrictions. If you live in Bournville, you can also check this using our Bournville Estate Design Guide Street Checker.
  • Guidance on BVT and local authority planning permissions / approvals.
  • Information about the application process for making changes to your home.
  • Details of major and minor applications, including submission checklists.
  • Details on how applications are decided.

If you want to alter the exterior of your home, whether you rent or own it, you’ll need to apply for permission before starting any work, even if it complies with our design guides. Please read the design guide for your area, on this page, carefully before submitting your application.

If you’re a BVT tenant, you’ll also need to talk to us about making changes to the interior of your home. Please call us on 0300 333 6540 to speak to our Housing and Neighbourhood services team.

What do I need permission to change?

If you own your home, there are lots of changes you don’t need our permission to make. These include installing a new boiler, fitting carpets or interior decorating. There are changes you’ll need permission for including:

  • Extensions.
  • New or replacement conservatory, porch or canopy.
  • Garage conversion or new garage.
  • New windows and doors.
  • New or change in material of hard standing or driveway.
  • Re-roofing.
  • Energy savings devices (solar panels, EV chargers, etc).
  • Garden building, fencing and gates.
  • Garden / landscaping or tree works.
  • Security lighting.
  • Wheelie bin storage.

These are just a few examples, and you may need permission from your local authority too. Please read our design guides for detailed guidance.

How much does it cost?

Application costs vary depending on the change/s you want to make and the advice/support you need. Charges are detailed on our pricelist.

How do I apply?

To apply to make an alteration to your home, please complete our application form.

Tracking and viewing applications

When you’ve submitted your application, you can track its progress on our portal. You can also use the portal to search, view and comment on applications in your area. You can view the portal at BVT property portal.

Bournville conservation area

If you’re buying or have bought a home in Bournville, you can check if it’s in the boundaries of the conservation area using our Bournville Estate Design Guide Street Checker. Living in the conservation area doesn’t mean you can’t make alterations to your home, but there are specific restrictions. Please read our design guide for information.

Bournville Estate Scheme of Management

The Bournville Estate Scheme of Management was introduced under Section 19 of the Leasehold Reform Act 1967 and applies to homes in Bournville, Birmingham. This Act is designed to help keep the original characteristics of homes, the area and its amenities. It also allows us to recoup money used to manage the upkeep of the Estate through an annual charge. You can read more about charges on our estates and stewardship page.

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