Achieving planning consent is not just about what your scheme looks like, it is about a lot more. The context within which your application is submitted is incredibly important. That’s why it’s important to get the right advice and that’s why you may need to work with a planning consultant.
1: Get the right advice
A planning consultant can act as your project manager throughout the process. They will advise on the most suitable content for your application, help you build the best team to ensure success and also help you build the best possible relationship with your local authority.
Each of the key steps below can be made easier with the help of a planning consultant.
2: Work with the public
Public objection is one of the main reasons why many schemes are unsuccessful at gaining planning consent. Getting local people (including Parish and Town Councillors) on board and giving them ‘ownership’ of your project is often critical. Public consultation is important and this usually includes an event or exhibition to show residents what may be included and gain their input. A planning consultant is ideally placed to run your public consultation event on your behalf given their project management role.
The key here is not saying, “This is what the scheme will be, do you have any comments?” It’s more about saying, “We want you to tell us about the development you’d like to see and be involved in the process.” This enables you to understand the concerns of local people and address and manage them.
Appropriately gathered information representing local views can then be included in your submission, reducing the likelihood of any opposition.
3: Understand the Local Plan
Your development team needs to fully understand the Development Plan and address the detailed land use policies and conditions included. Your planning consultant can provide you with a thorough understanding of the Plan and help you determine whether there is room for interpretation of the policies and the relative priority of those policies.
Your planning consultant can help you understand whether the local planning authority are interpreting their own policies correctly and whether there is scope to challenge this interpretation. This will also depend upon other ‘material’ considerations that need to be taken into account.
4: Aim to be policy compliant
Following on from the above, local authorities expect developers to comply with their policies, such as those relating to affordable housing or green space.
Generally, the more you can be policy compliant, the more likely it is that your application will be approved. However, there is a real art in knowing when you must be policy compliant and when there’s flexibility to negotiate.
Your planning consultant can help you make this judgment.
5: Be flexible
The planning process is about compromise. Be prepared to be flexible. You will never achieve 100% of your original objectives but with a planning consultant on board you stand a better chance of getting as close to that 100% as possible.
Remember, you don’t have to win every battle to win the war!
Get a yes
Getting your application passed is a complex process but it’s all about getting everything in place and taking the right steps.
RCA Regeneration delivers wide ranging planning and development consultancy advice and support.
Why not get in touch for an informal chat on 01905 887686
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org