Planning Application Consultants
With can handle the full range of planning applications and consents, big or small such as:
- New residential, commercial, industrial developments
- Rural worker dwellings
- Agricultural and forestry buildings
- Equestrian development
- Changes of use of land
- Householder developments including extensions, outbuildings, and annexes.
- Obtaining Certificates of Lawfulness
- Prior approval notifications
- Restoration and improvements to historic buildings
- Works to protected trees.
- Advertisement consents
- Renewable energy projects
- Discharge, variations, and removal of planning conditions
The planning process is becoming increasingly complex even for the simplest of applications. Local Planning Authorities require an array of drawings, surveys and reports upfront before they consider an application.
We will advise you on the appropriate type of application/consent to apply for and the necessary supporting information required to have the best chance of a successful outcome. We can also advise on when it is best to seek pre-application advice from the council first, and work with you to navigate that.
We have in house technical designers and also work with a range of architects and designers. Sometimes people have their own architect, and we are happy to work with them or we can help you choose someone with the right skills for your project.
Our team processes a range of expertise meaning we can produce supporting documents such as:
- Planning Statements
- Design and Access Statements
- Heritage Statements
- Agricultural Justification Statements
- Rural Diversification Statements
- Rural Business Appraisals
- Tourism and Marketing Reports
We work with and commission reports from a trusted group of specialist professionals including highway and drainage engineers, ecologist, arboriculturist, archaeologist and environmental surveyors. We ensure they are all members of their appropriate professional institutions.
With staff shortages and backlogs of application Local Planning Authorities are increasingly refusing applications without requesting further information or negotiating with the applicant/agent on issues that could be resolved before determination. Many councils are using contractors to plug the gap, they are working remotely, often in another part of the country and may never visit the site, much the detriment of the decisions being made.
We have a proactive approach to dealing with this, make good use of our experience and building co-operative working relationships with the planning officers resulting in positive outcomes.
If you are acquiring a site or property with the intention of development, we can assist before you commit to buying. With our Pre-Purchase Advice we will look at the planning history of the site, relevant national guidance and local plan policies, restrictions and importantly, the chances of success for your project.
Permitted Development and Prior Approval
You can undertake certain types of work without obtaining planning permission, this is known commonly as permitted development.
Permitted development rights might allow you to extend your house, construct outbuildings, fence your field, construct an access, change the use of a farm building, extend a commercial building, to name just a few.
Permitted development rights are changed by the government regularly and whilst they are intended to give householders and landowners flexibility, they can often be very complicated to navigate, particularly as there are often conditions and restrictions to them.
In some areas of the country permitted development rights are even more restricted or could simply not apply at all. For example, if you live in:
- a Conservation Area
- a National Park
- an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
- a World Heritage Site or
- the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads.
There are also different restrictions on how permitted development is to be applied if your property is a listed building.
They can also be taken away completely by councils through the imposition of planning conditions or through serving Article 4 Directions. It is not always clear when this has happened and often requires careful interrogation of council records to understand what rights apply on individual sites.
If you do benefit from permitted development rights for your project, it’s a good idea to seek a certificate of lawfulness from the council so you have this on record.
Some permitted development rights only apply if you first go through a formal prior approval process. These require formal submissions of technical details to the council who will then decide if you can implement your permitted development rights.
We can advise you on all aspects of permitted development and prior approval to ensure that your need to tangle with the planning process is minimised and you can make the best use of the rights available to you.
We can handle the full range of planning applications and consentsContact Us
From a single house to larger residential development, we are able to help. At the initial site appraisal stage, we will advise on the merits of residential development on the site, policy context, any constraints, costs, and likely success.
With our knowledge and experience we are able to advise on the most appropriate course of action, whether it be a Pre-App, Outline Application or Full Application depending on our assessment and your plans for the land.
Your requirements matter to us. ‘One size fits all’ is not an approach we take. Instead, any scheme created is individual using our own in-house Design and Architectural Team or working with other architects and bespoke housebuilders to achieve a scheme which reflects its setting and importantly the client’s needs and wishes.
With a great personal interest in the horse world as owner, horse breeder and rider Judith is especially well placed to help develop the perfect place for those unicorns!
We have an in-depth knowledge of the equestrian world and understand the goals and challenges faced by livery yard, competition riders, and associated equestrian interests including the private owner.
We have a good track record for indoor arenas, outdoor schools, walkers, stable blocks, barns and the change of use of the land.
We know how to balance your requirements in terms of business needs, animal welfare and practicality with any constraints such as landscape impact, access issues or biodiversity requirements.
Certificates of Lawfulness
Certificates of Lawfulness (CLEUDS) are decisions obtained from the local planning authority confirming that the use and operation of proposed or existing developments are ‘lawful’ in planning terms.
CLEUDs can be extremely useful where a building or use has taken place over a stipulated length of time (ten years for use or contravention of a condition, four years for construction, or when a building is converted to a single dwelling house), particularly where these changes do not meet planning policy and could be rejected if a planning application was submitted. This is particularly important when significant money and investment have already been incurred for any development.
The Certificate can also be used for proposed development and can be helpful where there is doubt over the use of, for example, permitted development rights or for like for like repairs for listed buildings.
We are very conversant with Certificates and what is needed to put together a comprehensive and effective application.
Sometimes councils will require developers, landowners, and applicants to enter into legal agreements to secure mitigation to make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms. These must meet certain tests set out in legislation and planning policy.
Should you need to negotiate the obligations contained within a legal agreement to successfully secure permission, or subsequently modify or discharge such an agreement, we have the skills and expertise to help. We can work with councils and solicitors to ensure that the terms of any such agreement are reasonable and proportionate.
If complex or unusual cases need a legal opinion to inform the best course of action for taking a project forward, we have direct access to the Bar and work closely with a number of planning barristers to overcome all types of issues when the need arises. We are able to instruct them directly on your behalf and will also take the time to explain their advice and what it means for your case.
Extended Garden Area Granted Certificate of Lawful Use
Our clients had recently purchased a property where the garden area had been extended into the adjoining paddock without the benefit of planning permission. We successfully proved to the council the change had occurred over 10 years ago and that it was used continually as a garden area ancillary to the house.