The thought of starting a new project in the home can seem daunting to some and a building challenge to others. The important thing is to obtain honest and affordable advice. The internet is a wealth of information and you can easily be led down false paths.
Start by looking at the UK Government's website at the Planning Portal. In a clear and well presented graphical interface the rules are clearly spelt out and can form an excellent basis for your project or intended build and renovation.
The good thing about the guide is that the graphical interface allows you to choose which area of your property that you want to investigate the rules and how they apply to what you wish to do. The areas fall into the following categories:
As a home owner there are two ways to apply for Planning permission. It can be complete in writing and submitted to the appropriate authority or it can also be completed online at Planning Applications. In many cases a hand drawing of the plan is sufficient in cases such as having a conservatory built. Obviously measurements and descriptions are to be accurate but the Planners do not always require an Architect's drawing to give their permission for the build to go ahead. Guidance for all of this is given on the website.
The "Need More Information" area of the Planning Applications is a wealth of information and will clearly lead you through all the development stages.
Lastly, where do you get a plan for your new house or extension? The Planning Portal has plenty of advice on this aspect at their "Buy A Plan" page. Their recommended online companies all offer free registration and search facilities so that you can resource your plan before you buy.
Alternatively, find your own architect but do take care with who you choose and research the architect you decide upon carefully. The Architects Registration Board is a good place to start and finding others to recommend one is always a good option as is the professional section of Checkatrade, where feedback is given on registered architects in your area of past work, by their Clients.