We are extensively experienced in preparing comprehensive and detailed planning applications supported by Planning Statements, Heritage Statements, Design and Access Statements, detailed plans and drawings and skilful negotiation based on knowledge of the planning issues at hand. All of our planners are ex-council Planning and Enforcement Officers with a wealth of knowledge and experience and as such, we’re confident of the best possible solution for your development. We co-ordinate and submit applications on behalf of residential and commercial clients.
If your planning application has been refused permission, you have the right to appeal against the Councils decision. We deal with all aspects of the appeal process by written representation or hearing and have handled a sizeable appeal case load on behalf of hundreds of clients. We have enjoyed an outstanding success rate in overturning the Councils decision and allowing our clients to implement or keep their development in the event of a retrospective application. In the event the Council have acted in an unreasonable manner in refusing your application, we can also recover the costs of the appeal from the opposing party.
It is important to submit an appeal before the Local Planning Authority serves an enforcement notice for the demolition or removal of your development if you have implemented it without planning permission. In the case that enforcement action is taken by the Council, we are also experienced in all aspects of enforcement work, including enforcement appeals. It is imperative to respond immediately if enforcement action is taken as failure to comply is a criminal offence, for which you are liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding £20,000.
Plans, Drawings and Associated Statements
We offer clients an in-house architectural and design service covering the full range from domestic extensions, flat conversions, changes of use, vehicular crossovers, and housing layouts to commercial design. It enables us to identify design solutions to your planning problems. In most cases a design and access report is also required to be submitted with a planning application. A design and access statement should explain the design principles and concepts that have been applied to particular aspects of the proposal – these are the amount, layout, scale, landscaping and appearance of the development. If your site is within a Conservation Area, a Heritage Statement may also be required.
Permitted Development Advice
You can make certain types of minor changes to your house without needing to apply for planning permission. These are called “permitted development rights”. They derive from a general planning permission granted by Parliament. Bear in mind that the permitted development rights which apply to many common projects for houses do not apply to flats, maisonettes or other buildings. For peace of mind you may choose to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. You will certainly require a Lawful Development Certificate for your extensions as your solicitor will ask for this when you come round to selling your property. This certificate establishes that your development did not require planning permission and is therefore lawful.
Lawful Development Certificates
While it should be possible in most cases to decide whether or not a proposed project qualifies as permitted development, there will inevitably be instances where the decision is less clear cut. For peace of mind you may choose to apply for a Lawful Development Certificate. This option is well worth considering even if you are sure your project is permitted development. If you should later want to sell your property a Lawful Development Certificate may be helpful to answer queries raised by potential buyers or their legal representatives. These legal certificates are an excellent but not very well known way of dealing with certain planning cases and can be a far better alternative to an ordinary application for planning permission.
Appraisal and Feasibility Assessment
Expert assessment of development potential is essential for landowners, homeowners and anyone with an interest in the development process. We can identify site constraints and opportunities and apply the relevant planning policy context. We can link planning appraisals, where necessary, with surveying, architectural and other professional advice. All of our colleagues are ex-council Planning and Enforcement Officers benefiting from a wealth of knowledge and experience and can provide expert advice of what type of development would be feasible and likely to be granted planning permission on your site.