What tips can help my ap­pli­ca­tion get through the plan­ning process?

Seek­ing plan­ning per­mis­sion can be a stress­ful process, and ex­pen­sive if it’s done wrong. Greg re­veals steps you can take to get the re­sult you want

Real Homes - - Q & A -

Plan­ning pol­icy ex­ists to pro­tect ev­ery­body from in­ap­pro­pri­ate de­vel­op­ment. Ig­nor­ing it can re­sult in money wasted on ap­pli­ca­tion and ap­peal pro­cesses, only for you to end up with the scheme you should have sub­mit­ted in the first place. To prevent this, take ad­vice from ar­chi­tects and plan­ning con­sul­tants who have day-to-day ex­pe­ri­ence of what is likely to be granted per­mis­sion.

Do you need plan­ning?

You could save time and money by de­sign­ing a scheme that could be un­der­taken un­der per­mit­ted de­vel­op­ment (PD). This is es­sen­tially a list of things you can do to your prop­erty without for­mal plan­ning per­mis­sion – go to plan­ning­por­tal.co.uk and get fa­mil­iar with what is in­cluded. A Cer­tifi­cate of Law­ful­ness is an op­tional le­gal doc­u­ment you can ap­ply for which con­firms that you didn’t need plan­ning for the work, and is help­ful when re­selling the prop­erty.

Ap­pli­ca­tion types

If your pro­pos­als fall out­side of PD you will need to de­cide what kind of ap­pli­ca­tion to make. It is nor­mal to go for House­holder Plan­ning Con­sent or Full Plan­ning Con­sent. Other op­tions are Out­line Plan­ning Con­sent, which helps agree ba­sic prin­ci­ples of the de­vel­op­ment, or pre-ap­pli­ca­tion ad­vice, whereby you can con­sult with a plan­ning of­fi­cer who can high­light any po­ten­tial prob­lems be­fore you go ahead with sub­mit­ting the ap­pli­ca­tion. The lat­ter two are more col­lab­o­ra­tive ways to ar­rive at plan­ning per­mis­sion but will take longer.

Pol­icy re­search

Look into what lo­cal and na­tional plan­ning poli­cies will al­low and you’ll have a stronger chance of get­ting per­mis­sion. This is why do­ing the re­search (or em­ploy­ing some­one who al­ready has pol­icy knowl­edge to ap­ply for you) and sub­mit­ting for Full/house­holder Plan­ning Con­sent is the most com­mon route. Pol­icy doc­u­ments are pub­lished on­line. Look out for sup­ple­men­tary plan­ning guides on coun­cil web­sites cov­er­ing what is ac­cept­able in your area. More ob­vi­ous checks are for whether the prop­erty is listed, or in a flood zone or Con­ser­va­tion Area, all of which will in­flu­ence your de­sign. If your house is older, there may be some ex­ist­ing out­lines you can fol­low, such as a de­mol­ished out­build­ing.

Neigh­bour friendly

A lot of plan­ning pol­icy is geared to­wards pro­tect­ing neigh­bours from over-de­vel­op­ment, over-shad­ow­ing, park­ing is­sues, loss of sun­light and loss of amenity. Con­sider them when com­ing up with your de­sign and you’ll have an eas­ier ride through plan­ning and less hos­tile neigh­bours at the end.

‘look into what plan­ning poli­cies will al­low for a stronger chance of per­mis­sion’

Clear doc­u­men­ta­tion

Make sure the draw­ings of your plans are easy to un­der­stand and rep­re­sent your scheme in its best light. Add a de­sign state­ment that can be used to jus­tify your scheme and ex­plain the poli­cies that you con­sid­ered. Draw­ings must be to scale and in­clude a scale bar and north point or they will be sent back. Build­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent to what you sub­mit­ted in the ap­pli­ca­tion can re­sult in the plan­ners tak­ing en­force­ment ac­tion, de­mand­ing the build­ing be al­tered or even de­mol­ished.

Keep in con­tact

Main­tain com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the plan­ning case of­fi­cer, but don’t pester them. Make con­tact in the fi­nal week of the statu­tory eight weeks to en­sure it is de­cided in time, to gauge whether you will get per­mis­sion or not, and give you the chance to make amend­ments to tip the de­ci­sion in your favour.

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