I am often asked what benefits a dedicated planning consultant adds to the process of achieving consent for new development. We do not design buildings like an architect and we are not engineers, like a highway consultant on an ecologist, yet we add an additional level of expense to a project.
My response is always the same; we argue on the margins and give the best possible chance to gain consent for projects and proposals that push the limits of what is acceptable, rather than sitting comfortably within them. We do this because we understand how the local authority deals with applications (many of us are former Council planners) and use our local knowledge to do our best to gain that little bit extra that we know would make the world of difference to you and your family, whether it be an extra bedroom, a larger garage or a whole new house.
Contrary to belief, we do not do this for greed or financial reward, but instead for the professional satisfaction and knowledge that we have helped somebody to realize their ambition and achieve the best possible outcome available.
Sadly, 90% of the projects we become involved with come to us because the initial stages of the planning process have gone wrong. This is usually due to flaws within the planning arguments or because the documents/drawings presented to the local planning authority are not quite right. Often this is through no fault of the person who has prepared them; instead it is more often than not a result of the ever-evolving planning system, which changes on a day-to-day basis. For example, what layperson really understands the implications of trying to build within 7km of the Ashdown Forest, the need to ‘preserve or enhance’ the setting of a Conservation Area or the relevance of whether the Local Authority has an adequate supply of housing land? Yet these are the sorts of important issues that we deal with on a daily basis and have a major impact upon whether a planning application succeeds or fails.
So my advice is simple, if you are considering investing in your property/land in a way that will result in the need to submit a planning application, give a planning consultancy a call and chat through the project with them at the early stages. The chances are if it is a small-scale proposal you may not need us. However, like any situation in life, if there are local issues that are likely to be problematic, it is better and more cost effective to identify them and deal with them early on in the process.
Of course, we cannot guarantee a 100% success rate, but we will always do our very best to give you a clear steer or whether your objective is achievable and your overall prospects for a success outcome.
Kember Loudon Williams LLP
Kember Loudon Williams LLP was established in 1995 as an independent town planning consultancy operating from offices near Tunbridge Wells. With a planning staff of 8 Chartered Town Planners and a team of technical support staff we offer our clients a high quality planning, urban design and environmental service. For a no obligation chat or help with a project, please call 01892 750018 or E-mail email@example.com.