Whether you are a private residential or commercial client, our services can take your project from brief to planning approval.
Planning or Permitted Development
Many projects fall under permitted development and do require planning permission. Read more about permitted development on the Planning Portal.
If you are not sure if your project will need planning, contact us so that we can review what you want to do against the permitted development guidelines. If you wold like a project under permitted development, we can design it so that it does not exceed permitted development.
Prior Approval allows you to expand the area of your permitted development by asking the planner and your neighbours if they agree to it.
Certificate of Lawful Development
If your project is on the threshold of planning and you would like assurance that it does indeed fall within permitted development, we can apply for a certificate of lawful development.
Brief to Planning – Step by Step
Example – Residential Alteration for a Private Client
Once you have developed a brief you can appoint us to develop your design. A survey provides a starting point to design from. For UK-wide domestic projects you can provide the survey and we can draw it up for you. On more local smaller projects we can survey the building and draw it up. For larger or commercial projects it will be necessary to have a survey conducted by a professional measured survey company, who will provide us with Autocad drawings.
Once we have the survey in CAD we can develop Existing Drawings for the planning application.
The Proposed Drawings come from your brief. We will use the Existing Drawings as a starting point and alter these to draw the proposal in Autocad.
As architects it is important for us to work in a structured way and adhere to the RIBA Plan Of Work.
We send you the drawings to check everything is exactly how you want it. Once you are happy with the design, we will apply for Planning via the Panning portal.
The Planning Portal provide a Fee Calculator.
They also provide A Guide to the Fees for Planning Applications in England.
Once the application form has been completed, the documents uploaded and the fee paid, the application is sent from the UK Planning Portal to the local council office, where it is checked for errors or omissions before being validated and assigned to a Planning Officer. We will receive emails stating it has been received and checked. The Planning Application is given a Reference Number and this will be sent to us with the Planner’s name and contact details.
Once the project is with a Planning Officer it will become public via:
- Upload to the Planning Portal Public Access website
- Advertisements in local newspapers
- Letters to neighbours
The planner will assess various factors known as material considerations. Some of these are listed below:
- Overlooking/loss of privacy
- Loss of light or overshadowing
- Highway safety
- Effect on listed building and conservation area
- Layout and density of building
- Design, appearance and materials
- Government policy
- Disabled persons’ access
- Proposals in the Development Plan
- Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
- Nature conservation
Residents are given 21 days to submit letters of objection or support. These are displayed on the Planning Portal and contribute towards the Planner’s decision.
Timescales for Planning
- 8 weeks for most applications
- 13 weeks for larger, more complex applications
- 16 weeks for complex projects requiring an Environmental Impact Assessment
Discharging Planning Conditions
We keep track of the planning conditions using a Planning tracker with a red / amber / green system. Some do not require any further work and are just there as statements of requirement in the finished project. Other conditions require additional information to be formally discharged through application, for which there is a charge.
Refused planning applications can go to appeal. There is no charge for this. You have 6 months to appeal against a planning decision.
Controversial or large projects which are difficult for the planners to determine go to Panel. Planning panel events allow applicants, supporters and objectors to speak at the planning office or remotely. These views allow the planner to reach further decisions about the project.
Pre-App – if you would like to engage with a planner about your proposal, you can apply for pre-application advice through a pre-app. This normally for commercial projects.
Consultants Documents and Reports
Planning reports are written by specialist consultants. Some examples:
- Design & Access Statement
- Tree Surveys / Arboricultural Assessment
- Bat Survey
- Phase 1 and 2 Desktop study
- Heritage Report
The role of a Planning Consultant is a Client Adviser who calculates the gradual impacts of compromises and discusses these with Client and Planner to develop a pathway to approval.
For complex or controversial projects this level of expertise can save time and money. The Planning Consultant has detailed knowledge of the Planning system. In comparison, architects generally work for the Client to provide the drawings for the planning applications.
If there is a Planning Consultant on the project, they will send and receive the planning communication and will instruct the architect and wider team to provide planning packages.
If there is no Planning Consultant, the architect sends and receives planning information but does not have as strong a negotiating power as a planning consultant.