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11 April 2019

King West

King West Planning Services

The planning system sometimes seems complicated, but a successful planning application or representation on an emerging Local Plan can dramatically alter the value of your property or the success of your business.

The King West Professional Team offer the following range of services to help you through the planning process:

  • Planning Appraisals 
  • Planning Applications 
  • Planning and Enforcement Appeals
  • Building Conversions 
  • New Residential and Commercial Buildings
  • Leisure and Recreational Facilities
  • Farm Houses and Farm Buildings 
  • Local Plan Representations 
  • Site Promotion 
  • Development Option Agreements 
  • Conditional Contracts 

Your Project 

Realising a planning project dream is a convoluted, complex and difficult process without the appropriate support of knowledgeable experts. The process of writing a planning application requires innovative and proactive thinking and a process driven, systematic approach to achieving permission. 

The Planning Application Process

The planning application process follows a number of different steps. Following the cycle of the planning application from validation to decision will show how the applicant, public and local planning authority are involved. 

Validation

Applications are checked at the council within 3 working days of receipt. The applicant will be contacted if further information is required and once complete, the application will be registered.  The applicant will be given a reference number, the name of the planning officer who will be reviewing the application and a site notice. This notice should be displayed on or near the application site. A target date for a decision will also be provided at this time. All information – unless confidential, is then published on the council online planning system: Planning Portal.

Consultations 

The council planning department will consult with neighbours who could be affected by the proposed development in addition to statutory consultees. These consultees will differ depending upon the type of application. Comments received by consultees will be added to the online planning system when received. When requested to submit information or comments, a three-week window is provided to all consultees. 

During this time, if amendments are made to the application, the planning officer will use their professional judgement to determine whether a material impact will be made due to the changes. It is plausible but not defined that a further round of consultations will take place following an amendment. If there is a need for a second consultation, the time frame is usually two-weeks. 

Advertisement of Planning Applications

All planning applications are displayed online and can be viewed by date, date range, location or keyword. Additionally, statutory requirement demands that certain applications are advertised in the local paper. 

Considerations

Planning applications have to be decided in line with the relevant Local Planning Authority’s (LPA) development plan, and any other material considerations unless there is a very good reason not to do so.

The development plan incorporates any adopted Local Plan and/or Neighbourhood Plan and any 'saved policies' carried over from the local planning authorities’ previous local plans.

Material Considerations

The material considerations are the matters that can be considered in deciding a planning application decision or an appeal against a planning application decision. 

These can include:

  • Emerging Planning policies
  • Local Planning Authorities Supplementary Planning Documents
  •  Highway safety issues
  • Impact on the countryside
  • The National Planning Policy Framework
  • Traffic generation
  • Loss of important trees
  • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
  • Parking
  •  Landscaping
  •  Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
  •  Design, visual appearance, and materials
  •  Impact on listed buildings/ Conservation Areas
  • Loss of daylight or sunlight
  • Layout and density of buildings
  • Archaeology
  • Overshadowing/loss of outlook (but not the loss of view)
  • Noise and disturbance from use
  • Risk of flooding
  • Overlooking/loss of privacy
  • Smells
  •  Hazardous materials and ground contamination
  • Light pollution
  • Nature conservation
  • Disabled persons access

Set Standards

Although not universally adopted by Local Planning Authorities, it is generally considered good practice for a development to achieve a set standard, although there are instances where non-standard metrics can be deployed. 

These set standards can include:

  • 21m between building faces at 2-stories
  • 27.5m between building faces for 3-story buildings
  • 1.8m high fencing or walling on boundaries, unless adequate mature screening or fencing exists. 
  • 70 sq m minimum garden size for family accommodation
  • 42 sq m garden size for 1-bed houses
  • 30 sq m of communal space per unit in developments of flats or other developments providing communal amenity space.  

What does not constitute a planning consideration?

There are factors which, although unfortunate, do not constitute planning considerations. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Loss of property value
  • Loss of view
  • Right to light
  • Business competition
  • Property disputes of ownership or land ownership
  • Opposition in principle where planning permission has previously been approved

Timescales

The timeframes for decision-making process for planning applications is set by the government. Councils aim to deliver within the set targets but can agree with developers on an agreed time extension on some larger application. 

The timescales include:

  • Full planning or outline - 8,13 or 16 weeks*
  • Reserved matters – 8 or 13 weeks*
  • Advertisement – 8 weeks
  • Listed building – 8 weeks
  • Conservation area – 8 weeks
  • Lawful development certificates for existing or proposed use or operation – 8 weeks
  • Trees in a conservation area – 6 weeks
  • Tree preservation orders – 8 weeks
  • Telecommunications – 8 weeks
  • Agricultural or forestry – 4 weeks
  • Hedgerow – 6 weeks
  • Demolition – 4 weeks
  • Electricity act – 8 weeks
  • Hazardous substances – 8 weeks
  • Householder prior approval – 8 weeks
  • Certificate of the lawfulness of proposed works to a listed building – 6 weeks 

*If an application is a major application, the timescales are 13 weeks but if an environmental statement is also included, this stretches to 16 weeks. 

These timescales do not apply for any applications which include a Planning Performance Agreement or where an extension has been agreed and therefore, unique dates have been agreed. 

Planning Objections

An S106 agreement is a planning objection. It is a legal undertaking between the Council and the applicant or developer and is attached to the application. The agreement requires the owner or developer to carry out specific work or make financial contributions towards the provisions to offset the negative impact of the development. If the Council is the owner, then a unilateral undertaking must be agreed. This introduces an additional level of control for the planning system and can provide a solution to overcome issues and obstacles. 

What are Planning Obligations Used For? 

Planning obligations are legal obligations entered into, to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal and often referred to as a Section 106 Agreement.

This can be via a planning agreement entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, by a person with an interest in the land and the local planning authority; or via a unilateral undertaking entered into by a person with an interest in the land.

Planning obligations run with the land, are legally binding and enforceable. A unilateral undertaking cannot bind the Local Planning Authority because they are not party to it.

Planning obligations are also commonly referred to as ‘section 106’ as well as ‘developer contributions’ when considered alongside highways contributions and the Community Infrastructure Levy. 

Matters dealt with by a planning obligation can include:

  • Road and highway improvements
  • Improved bus services
  • Provision of open space
  • Sports and recreational facilities
  • Provision of social and community facilities
  • Provision of primary and secondary schools
  • Provision of affordable housing as volume or a percentage of the overall
  • Provision of waste recycling facilities
  • Environmental enhancements 

The planning Application Decision

A report will be prepared by the planning officer with a recommendation to approve or refuse the application. Most applications will be determined by the authorised planning officers through a system of ‘Delegated Powers’ although others may be required to go to the planning committee. 

An approved application remains subject to conditions set out, including when the build must have commenced by and that the build is in accordance with the submitted plans. Conditions may be added at this point and some permissions may be subject to an S106 agreement. The permission is a formal document, issued by the Council, although, in most cases, applies to the land rather than the person applying for the document. 

If a planning application is refused, the decision notice will state the reasons for the refusal. 

The formal decision will be sent in writing and can also be viewed through the online portal. 

The right to appeal will also be sent through with a rejected planning decision. In addition, if conditions have been applied to an otherwise successful application, these can also be appealed against. Furthermore, if a decision has not been made within the set timeframes, without a pre-agreed extension, the appeals process is an option. 

Refusal for Planning Permission

If your planning application is refused, you do have the right to appeal that decision through the Planning Inspectorate. The King West planning team will support and encourage the appeals process if it is believed that there is a likelihood of success. If there are ways to amend or revise the proposals to overcome previous objections, King West will consider these and are able to support you through the process of submitting a revised application.

We are proud of our commitment to providing excellent service for individuals and developers, promoting high-quality design and developments. It is our intention to develop long-term relationships with clients to become the local planning consultant partner of choice. 

King West Planning Consultants 

Support for developers and homeowners for a variety of planning needs:

Development Plans  

King West has a proven track record in submitting local planning applications and achieving planning permissions for all types of agricultural /commercial and residential developments including developments from single dwellings to large scale housing.

Planning applications must be grounded on sound, robust research with considered pre-application negotiation with planning officers and with all stakeholders working together- this list would include the architect, highways consultants and any engineers, dependent upon the area, such as flood risk engineers. 

Our specialist planning consultant team is able to advise on a variety of projects and requirements, such as the inclusion of additional aspects to your application. These include:

  • Affordable housing
  • Small scale developments
  • Large scale developments
  • Mixed-use schemes
  • Residential developments
  • Urban housing developments
  • Rural housing developments
  • Town developments
  • City centre developments 

To speak to one of our planning consultants for planning support and advice on local planning applications in Leicestershire, local planning support in Northamptonshire, local planning support in the East Midlands, contact our Market Harborough office on 01858 435 970

Planning Appeals

We undertake planning appeals through written representations, hearings and public enquiries.

We work on formulating planning appeals to create the best chance of having an initial decision overturned. We help by engaging our professional expertise to create an appeal strategy, present a strong and robust case and ensure that stakeholders are all supporting the appeal. 

We have significant experience in supporting our clients through the appeals process- regardless of our involvement or not in the initial application. We promise to always provide transparent, honest advice and to only press forward with an appeal on your behalf if we are sure that the appeal is based on strong foundations. 

Planning Appraisals

Our extensive experience and up-to-date knowledge of planning policy enables us to appraise potential sites for development or redevelopment and to provide cost-effective advice on the prospects for obtaining planning permission, including preparation and submission of pre-application enquiries

Environmental Statements

We are frequently asked to prepare and submit Environmental Statements in support of large Town & Country Planning applications. 

An environmental statement is part of an Environmental Impact Assessment in support of certain planning applications, prepared as a part of the overall planning application to summarise the findings of the Environmental Impact Assessment process and is used primarily to help the planning officers to make informed decisions about a planning application from the point of the environmental implications of a development being built. The statement must include appropriate information for statutory consultees, other relevant organisations and members of the public. The statement should provide a start point for consultation with the relevant parties. 

Although there is no statutory format prescribed by law, Environmental Statements must include:

  • Description of the development
  • Outline of alternatives considered
  • Descriptions of the environmental aspects likely to be significantly affected by the development
  • Likely effects of the development upon the environment
  • Descriptions of the measures for avoiding or reducing significant environmental effects
  • A non-technical summary
  • Any difficulties encountered during the EIA process 

As a summary, the statement should provide a detailed, factual account of the development. 

Local and Neighbourhood Plan Representations

A local or neighbourhood plan sets out local planning policies and identifies how land is used, determining what will be built where. Adopted local plans provide the framework for development across England.

If you own land or buildings, it may be important that you engage in the Council’s process of preparing their Local Plan.   We will explain and guide you through the process, review draft policies and their implications for your land and help you engage when necessary to achieve a positive planning framework.

 

If you would like to speak to one of our planning consultants in regard to any aspect of the planning application process or journey, please call Mike Smith on 01858 435 970.

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