Planning & Design Services

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What is planning?

Put simply, planning is the mechanism by which the use of land and buildings is controlled in the public interest. If you want to carry out development works, from a loft or small extension to Building an Airport, you will probably require Planning Permission from your Local Authority. The following are common examples of when you may need to apply:

1. Loft conversions
2. Extensions
3. New build Construction
4. Flat conversions
5. Change of use class
6. Additions or extensions to a flat or maisonette
7. Building a new house in your garden.
8. Dividing off part of your home for business or commercial use (for example, a workshop) Building a parking place for a commercial vehicle.
9. Work you want to do might obstruct the view of road users.
10. Work would involve a new or wider access to a trunk or classified road.

When dealing with applications for planning permission/other consents, a planning authority may request amendments or improvements to the submitted proposal, impose conditions on the permission, or require the applicant to enter into a ‘planning obligation’ in respect of the use or development of the application site or of other land or buildings

Our Role and Services as your Planning Agent

The planning process is constantly evolving and changing in terms of supporting information required, format of drawings, application forms, methods of submitting applications, etc

Submitting an application for the first time can be particularly confusing and daunting for individuals and owners of a property, wishing to carry out an extension, flat conversion, change of use, etc

Our role as your Planning Agent is to simplify this process, by identifying the specific requirements of your development and incorporating them into your Application.

Upon being commissioned to act as your Agents, a typical example of what we do in the preparation of a planning application is:

1. Assess your needs with regards to your development
2. Identify specific Planning Policies for your area and how they might affect your application
3. Provide design and layout advice for the proposed scheme.
4. Carry out a full site survey of the property
5. Produce scaled drawings showing existing and proposed floor plans and elevations of your property
6. Prepare a Design and Access where required, which provides a description of the scheme.
7. Prepare any additional Assessments/ Statements required (FRA and Light Studies)
8. Complete the application form
9. Submit the completed Planning Application to the LPA on your behalf
10. Send you a copy of the application submitted to the Local Planning Authority
11. Monitor the progress of the application and liaise with the Planning Officer assigned
12. Discuss the Application with the Planning Officer and make any changes requested to facilitate an approval
13. Arrange times for site visits and if necessary meet the Planning Officer on site
Send you a copy of the final decision

In effect, we take the headache out of the entire process, so that you only need to make time for the initial assessment, a survey and site visit.
We take care of the rest.

Planning Appeals

On occasions where we believe that the Local Planning Authority has refused an application on poor grounds, a Planning Appeal can be submitted to the Planning Inspectorate.

The Planning Inspectorate is a National body that deals with Applications refused or undecided by Local Planning Authorities. It is independent of the Local Authority and re-evaluates the merits of a development. Based on local and national policies. Their decision is final and cannot be appealed further.

This process must be carried out within six months of the dated refusal notice.

We have experience in preparing and submitting Appeals to the Planning Inspectorate, which involve presenting the Grounds of Appeal and subsequent response statements in response to the Local Authority.

Permitted development rights

If you live in a house, you can make certain types of minor changes to your home without needing to apply for planning permission. These rights are called ”permitted development rights”. They derive from a general planning permission granted not by the local authority but by Parliament.

In some areas of the country permitted development rights are more restricted. If you live in a Conservation Area, a National Park, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty or the Norfolk or Suffolk Broads, you will need to apply for planning permission for certain types of work which do not need an application in other areas.

There are also different requirements if your house is a listed building. Conservation areas are designated by local planning authorities and are ‘areas of special architectural or historic interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance.’ Over 9,000 conservation areas have been designated in accordance with guidelines issued by the Government and English Heritage/CADW.

The main consideration is the quality and interest of the area, rather than that of individual buildings, although conservation areas will of course often include a high proportion of listed buildings. Although there is no statutory requirement to do so, it is normal practice for planning authorities to consult residents and others affected, before making a conservation area.

We have a wide range of experience in applying for, and obtaining planning permission for a variety of projects and developments. We are able to discuss and negotiate with Planners to ensure that your project obtains the necessary approvals.

Certificate of Lawful Development

If you are unsure, or require formal confirmation that works can be carried out under Permitted Development rights, without the need for Planning Permission, you can apply to your Local Authority.
This request for a determination by the Local Authority can be either for an existing or proposed use.
For example you or your mortgage company might request confirmation from the Local Authority that the Dormer Loft constructed or proposed to be constructed is within your Permitted Development rights of your home and will not (or did not) need Planning Permission.

SEDC Ltd is able to prepare and submit an application for a Lawful Development Certificate should you require this service.