Let’s begin by assuming that you have identified one or a number of potential development sites, and that you’ve already undertaken due diligence research.
Within this you will have probably addressed issues such as access, ground conditions, green infrastructure and some other key considerations.
An independent planning and development (P&D) consultant can be very helpful at this stage in terms of shaping and improving your assessment - and therefore the planning proposal that you will ultimately submit.
Here’s how they can help.
A P&D consultant can confirm that you have correctly identified appropriate site use and build mix in relation to the local development plan.
This mix consideration would address the required balance of housing and dwelling types, use of green space, support infrastructures, etc.
Further, if your existing proposal is not fully aligned to the local development plan, a P&D consultant can support your justification for this.
Let us explain.
It may be the case that, although the authority is looking for fulfilment of its written housing mix policy; by highlighting within your proposal the existing nearby housing mix (let us say it’s currently, predominantly smaller, two or three bedroomed, affordable properties) this then gives you scope to suggest a development with a larger number of four and five bedroomed properties.
It all comes down to addressing the overall, locally required, housing mix.
You therefore, may not need to change an existing proposal; it may just be the case that you need to submit additional context.
Density and best value
A P&D consultant can also confirm what’s included in your submission in terms of build density, green space allocation and realisable values.
These are generally known as options appraisals.
For example, if you are proposing to put some retail units into the ground floor of a block of flats, an alternative (such as more residential units) may give you a higher financial return in this particular area.
It may of course, be the other way around, with retail units giving more value.
It’s all about understanding the commercial use value, balanced against an application that’s most likely to get you planning permission.
A P&D consultant can also help you reduce your obligations.
Typical obligations may be the percentage of provision of affordable housing, green space allocation and use, highways infrastructure and social infrastructure.
What may change?
When RCA is called in as a consultant to review and comment on an existing option, it is sometimes the case that we recommend quite a variety of proposal changes.
Some applications will be very aligned to the local plan and require just some minor design tweaks, subtractions or additions.
Some however, need to be redrawn on the basis of the insights and advice that we can provide.
When should you call in a consultant?
As you may expect, we advise you to call in a consultant, as early as possible in the process.
Here to help
RCA Regeneration delivers wide ranging planning and development consultancy advice and support.
Why not get in touch for an informal chat today, on 01905 887686?
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org