Planning Consultancy Services
Copesticks chartered town planners can offer a wide range of professional planning consultancy services including:
If you have an idea of what you want to achieve, or if you have a property asset and hope to increase its value, we can analyse the possibilities, advise on a suitable strategy and likelihood of gaining Planning permission, along with the likely costs.
Whether it is in use or vacant, industrial, agricultural or just scrubland, there is always a good chance that some alternative use could increase its value. We would be very happy to advise, prepare a strategy and enter negotiations with the local authority.
We might advise that the site be promoted through the development plan process, or an application is progressed, or both.
Development Plan Representations
The Development Plan system is in a state of flux and many changes have taken place in the past year, with the right strategy these changes can be exploited.
If a site is not included within a development plan it is likely to be much harder to obtain planning permission in the future. As Development Plans tend to last for approximately 15 year, the inclusion of a site within a plan is a very helpful tool that can enable development proposals in the future, even if planning permission is not being sought in the short term. In order to ensure the best possible chance of a site being included within a development plan, it needs promoting.
There are many ways through which a site can be promoted, and for various uses. These include Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA), Employment Land Reviews, Core Strategies, Allocations DPD or area specific DPDs. We are able to prepare submissions for these documents and this is an area of particular speciality of the firm.
Pre-application Strategy, Advice, Management & Consultation
Planning has become increasingly complex over the last decade and it is important to get everything in order before submitting an application. This can include public consultation and specialist surveys and reports, e.g. ecology or flood risk. We will ensure that everything is in order for the application stage and any impact can be mitigated to ensure the very best chance of success.
We have worked with a large number of architects and other consultants over the years and have good contacts that can help with all areas and all specialist needs, but we are also happy to integrate into established teams.
Planning Applications for Development & Use
Based on pre-application discussions, consultation responses and the sum of all the specialist reports and surveys, we will prepare a bespoke case to support your proposals. We will communicate the benefits of your case to the relevant authorities.
We will negotiate the best possible outcome for you in terms of the application and any legal agreement or conditions and deal with any issues arising as efficiently as possible. Throughout the whole planning process we can act as lead consultant and drive the process forward.
There are a number of reasons why you may consider an appeal. If your application has been refused; if the planning authority is not dealing with your application within the statutory time limits; or, if you have received an enforcement notice.
Every case is different and appeals deserve a considered approach and detailed research to ensure that the most effective arguments are forwarded and that pertinent precedent is noted.
Whether approval is granted through permission of an application or an allowed appeal, there is a chance that there will be conditions added that need to be discharged, e.g. provision of a landscape scheme. Even after approval, you will benefit from our consultancy services, negotiating and managing this formal submission.
S106 Negotiation and Re-negotiation
Preparation of the legal document is a matter for your legal adviser, however, we can ensure, through the course of an application that what the authority is seeking is reasonable and necessary to secure consent.
Over recent years, during the recession, some planning permissions have become un-implementable due to the agreed S.106 being overly onerous now that market conditions have changed. In order to promote economic development, the government encourages local authorities to accept developer approaches to renegotiate agreements to enable development to come forward.
Lawful Use or Development Certificates
If you have been carrying out a use or undertaken development without planning permission and you now think, for whatever reason, that permission may have been needed, we would be happy to advise. If your use or development is lawful by reason of the number of years that is has been operational, we can seek a certificate from the authority to confirm this.
Preparation of a case for a certificate is very different to a planning application and will be based on documentary evidence. It is important that you retain all paperwork relating to your undertaking.
Evidence Base Preparation
On behalf of local authority clients we can prepare undertake a strategic housing land availability assessment (SHLAA) and produce a robust publishable document to provide an important element of the evidence base.
On behalf of private clients we can scrutinise housing figures and other elements of the evidence base to determine whether an authority's land supply is robust. This is currently extremely important and can positively change the prospects of gaining consent.
With the emergence of the Localism Bill, greater emphasis is being placed on public consultation. As professional Town Planners, we can support any participant in the planning process and would be more than happy to do so.
We can analyse development proposals, either applications or proposals for inclusion in the development plan and seek to ensure that the local authority takes everything into consideration that it should. We can also assess whether the proposal complies with policy and the likely impacts of a development and ensure that everything possible is being done to mitigate or compensate for those impacts if the application is possibly going to be approved.
It is advisable to contact a planning consultant as soon as you are contacted by a local planning authority that is threatening to serve an enforcement notice. Enforcement matters can sometimes be easily resolved, but more often than not, an application and/or appeal will be necessary, in an attempt to regularise the use or development. We can manage the process, engage with the local authority and prepare all essential documents.
Competitive rates and professional service.