So, you’re looking to do an extension, build a house or change the use of land/building. You’ve hired an Architect, and it all looks good. However you are not sure whether you’ll be able to get planning permission, that’s if you need planning permission in the first place or worse planning permission has been refused, and your architect doesn’t really understand why. You are now asking the question, how do I know what to do. The Local Planning Authority isn’t able to really provide you with the answers.
There is an answer – A Planning Consultant.
The result of a planning decision may be so important that it is worth going to great lengths to put one’s arguments in the best possible light. One way of ensuring that your case is well argued is to employ a good planning consultant.
Is this unnecessary additional cost”?
Well, they are skilled professionals and may not come cheap, and hence are rarely used on, say, domestic extensions. But for larger projects, they may well make all the difference. If you are building a new house or changing the use of a building, this is likely to be for financial benefits and therefore the cost of a Planning Consultant may be insignificant.
So, you are probably thinking, how is a Planning Consultant able to help, I’ve already employed an Architect?
Some planning issues are fairly straightforward and may not need the expertise of a planning consultant; however many others would involve arguments as to the interpretation of planning policy and local development plans. Architects will have some basic knowledge of the planning system, however, are not specifically trained, and often not very interested, in the complexities of planning law and policy.
Therefore, if the argument relates to the interpretation of planning law and precedent, it could be difficult for yourself and your architect to overcome and understand the reasoning of the planning officers. As such, there is every advantage in having a planning consultant on your side.
So what services will they provide?
Planning consultants can help with more than just gain planning permission. A good planning consultant should be given a chance to have an input into any proposal where their skill can lead to a better and more appropriate development. This is not only better for you, but is more likely to obtain planning permission.