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Do I need a Planning Consultant?

Do I need a planning consultant?

Do I need a planning consultant? Many development projects start off on the wrong foot as a consequence of unfounded albeit well-intended advice. So while the usual advice is to commission a planning consultant to make your project a success, clients may be reluctant to spend large sums of money unnecessarily.

This is a decision you have to consider – the involvement of a planning consultant can make or break your project.

You should engage a planning consultant if securing permission for your project will not be straight forward, especially if it will require the interpretation of planning policy and local development plans. However, you should not assume that your architect will be able to navigate planning permission in complex cases.


Why hire a planning consultant?


“Planning consultants are often appointed because they have an existing knowledge of the local area, local planning policy, local community groups, and other stakeholder groups and they have an existing relationship with the local planning authority” – Designing Buildings Wiki


In most cases beyond relatively simple house extensions and garage conversions, you are likely to need the advice of a planning consultant.  They can help to save time and money in the long run and avoidable mistakes through their knowledge of the Council’s policies, rules around the development, and the decision-making process.  It is a specialist area and will often draw on several professional aspect such as design, commercial viability, heritage and conservation, and traffic and highways.  They can also in many cases identify opportunities for adding value through planning permission and help you to take this through the planning process for you, alongside your other professionals.


Legislation hurdles

The planning and legal framework are two extensive subjects that are difficult for a layman to grasp. Despite several efforts to streamline planning, its complex nature, exacerbated by the ever-changing planning policy makes it hard for anyone to start a project.

Recognising what is relevant and what has just been superseded will be instrumental in obtaining a permit. Having an expert on board will aid in the planning process more efficient and will offer a valuable sense of reassurance.

If a plan is refused permission the first time around, its probability of success, later on, can significantly decline. Because of this, it is common for clients to hire a planning consultant, particularly on major and complex projects to help navigate the system and increase the chances of obtaining planning permission.


If you need planning consultant support on your project, you may contact our team via info@drkplanning.co.uk or call us on +44 (0)7711 672185 to see how we can best assist you.

Written by:

David Kemp provides a unique multi-disciplinary approach to Planning Consultancy with over 20 years of experience as a planning consultant. His expertise emanates from a vast background obtained as a chartered surveyor, Town and Country Planning consultant and as a specialist planning and environmental lawyer in both private practice and the public sector.

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