Tag Archives: Town planning consultant near me

Understanding Planning Conditions

If you have received a planning approval it’s essential you know what conditions are attached, what they cover and how they can be complied with. Rather than refusing a planning application, a local planning authority (LPA) may grant permission subject to conditions, most approvals have conditions relating to the time frame to start a development and materials to be used, but often they have more and can vary between LPAs. This article from Northern Insight Magazine details the top 5 things to know about planning conditions.

1. The 6 Tests
Planning conditions should be kept to a minimum and only imposed where they are:

1. necessary; without the condition should the application be refused?

2. relevant to planning; does the condition relate to planning objectives and is it within the scope of the permission to which it is attached?

3. to the development to be permitted; Does the condition fairly and reasonably relates to the development to be permitted?

4. enforceable; would it be practicably possible to enforce the condition?

5. precise; is the condition clear to the applicant and others on what is required?

6. reasonable in all other respect; is the condition reasonable?

2. Removing or modifying conditions
If you don’t think that a condition imposed meets the 6 tests you can apply to the LPA to modify/remove the condition, the application fee for this process is £234. If an application is refused you do have the right to appeal the decision, regardless of the outcome of the appeal the original permission remains valid and it is only the condition which is removed or modified. There is a mechanism to appeal the imposition of a condition on the initial application without going through the process to remove or modify the condition; however, if you appeal at that stage there is a risk as the whole application is reconsidered and could be refused in entirety.

3. Pre-Commencement Conditions
Pre-commencement conditions are those imposed on the grant of planning permission which prevents a start on site until the conditions have been adhered to, this could be by submitting information for agreement or ensuring a specific action is taken. In its emphasis to boost growth and avoid delays the government have imposed that from October 2018 all pre-commencement conditions must be agreed with the applicant prior to approval, this includes during an appeal process. This does not apply to prior approvals as that is not a planning permission. However, be aware if you don’t agree to pre-commencement conditions your application is likely to be refused.

4. Approval of conditions
Conditions which require details to be submitted for approval (or in planning jargon discharged) can take up to 8 weeks from submission to the LPA, this additional time should be planned into your build schedule. The process to discharge conditions does require a fee to be paid to the LPA which is £34 for conditions relating to householder development i.e. extensions or £116 for other proposals. The charge is imposed for each submission; however, you can discharge more than one condition under the same submission.

5. Breach of conditions
If you carry out a development without compliance with a condition, enforcement action could be progressed by the LPA. A Breach of Condition Notice (BCN) could be served which would require compliance to the condition, there is no right of appeal against these notices and you could end up at a Magistrates Court. If you have been in breach of a condition for in excess of 10 years there maybe potential for you to be immune from enforcement action.

Conditions are imposed to avoid refusing an application, therefore don’t ignore them, if in doubt seek assistance from a Town Planning Consultant.

Planning Conditions
Top 5 things to know about Planning Conditions

8 steps to choosing a Town Planning Consultant

Planning House have prepared an article for Northern Insights Magazine on 8 steps to finding your perfect town planning consultant.

If you’re planning a development, choosing the right professionals needs careful thought. An architect will design to your specification, however progressing this through the red tape of the planning process without a town planning consultant onboard can be risky. To help you narrow down your selection I’ve prepared 8 steps to finding your perfect consultant.

As with any profession which provides a service, you will want to make sure your town planning consultant is accredited and insured. A Charter Town Planning Consultant is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute, fully trained and professionally qualified. All members of the RTPI are bound by a Code of Professional Conduct setting out required standards of practice and ethics. The Institute requires planning professionals to meet and maintain high standards of competence and conduct themselves in a way that inspires trust and confidence in the profession. A chartered town planner will usually have MRTPI after their name to identify that they are accredited.

There are many areas of planning so just because someone is a town planner doesn’t mean they have been involved in handling planning applications. It’s not essential that a consultant has experience in public sector planning, however, if they have experience dealing with planning applications by working in a Local Planning Authority they can have an edge in providing advice to developers on what the best approach maybe for a particular scheme.

Everyone has an area of expertise, a town planner who works predominantly in waste and minerals isn’t necessarily going to bring the right set of skills to support a self builder through the planning process. Whilst town planning isn’t rocket science each consultant can have knowledge and experience in different development areas.

Most planning consultants have a website, do they have references or testimonials to support their work. Do they advertise elsewhere for instance Yell or Google are there reviews you could consider? Do your homework.

When you talk to your consultant are they interested in the proposal? Do they think what you are trying to achieve is reasonable? Talk about timescales but be aware once a planning application is submitted it is generally out of your planning consultants hands.

Do you feel comfortable with them? At the end of the day they are acting on your behalf trying to secure your planning consent. Do they know what your aspirations are and what (if anything) you would compromise on? Be honest about what you’re looking for and ask them for their honest opinion about your chances of success, but don’t discount them if they don’t think your proposal is 100% guaranteed – be more worried if they think it is!

I don’t mean do they live in the area, rather do they have experience in the local area, have they been involved in other projects? If they have they may provide more realistic advice about your project, local planning policies and what the best approach may be to take your proposal forward.

Everyone loves a bargain; however, every town planner will have their own fee structure, it’s really no different to EasyJet and Virgin airlines, both services will get you there but you need to weigh up what’s important to you. Do you opt for a no frills service or go for a more personal bespoke service – neither are incorrect. My advice compare your quotes taking into account all of the other steps and I’m sure you’ll find your ideal town planning consultant.


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