Building in Manchester is much more difficult than you may think. The local council in many of the areas around the city make it difficult as they often like to either delay the planning application process for many property owners, but they are very hesitant to accept the planning permission of extensions, loft conversions and other services around residential properties.
There are a few reasons that the local council make it so difficult to complete a few of the jobs that we need to do, but some of the reasoning is entirely valid in a way. There are more than a few which are ridiculous (maximum extension space until you must apply for permission, etc) which makes it unfeasible in a way. If you go a millimetre above the maximum allotted without asking for permission, you are required to go through the entire process until the council decides to allow it or not.
Small things such as this make a massive impact on the total amount of time it takes to complete a project and can raise the cost of a project by more than is necessary. When you start to factor in a few issues such as needing to hire an architect to draw council approved plans which will of course match your own, and then the additional waiting time of 4 weeks, this begins a process that becomes tedious at best.
There is one company that I know who have campaigned against this, and their website is here:
That is why many building and construction companies that work locally prefer to do works such as renovations. It is very rare that planning permission is necessary, but when it is it will be a massive job that is worth a lot of money. The additional profits are always more enticing to a business owner than sitting through a tedious process at the hope to get the job approved.