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Quick Guide - What is Planning?

Town Planning can be complicated and it can be difficult for homeowners and applicants to understand the what's and why's behind the profession.

This Quick Guide hopes to provide an introduction into the town planning system so that you can enter into your applications and appeals a bit more confident!

1. What is town planning?

Town planning is the process of making places - and town planning done well allows us to make sure these places meet the needs of the community.

This can include a variety of opportunities such as building new houses, developing land for employment to cultivate economic growth in an area, or creating open spaces for people to play and walk their dogs!

2. What is planning policy?

Every Local Planning Authority (LPA) (usually your local Council) has a local Development Plan. This sets out the targets and rules that development should meet in order to go ahead.

In addition, there are national planning policies and legislation all development in England will have to abide by.

In the UK, and in many council areas specifically, there is a limited amount of space. Therefore, ensuring we are making the most efficient use of land is critical.

This is one of the reasons LPA planners are so important - they have knowledge of a local area and can look to ensure that planning applications are providing the development we need, where we need it.

3. What are the main factors which can impact my planning application or appeal?

There are many factors which can impact a planning application or appeal, much of which depend on the specific proposal coming forward. For example, if you are looking to extend your home, it's unlikely you'll need to specifically consider how much funding the local school has, but if you are looking to build 100 houses nearby, this could significantly impact the local educational facilities and must be considered within a planning application!

Some of the most-considered matters in planning applications are:

  • The character and appearance of the site and local area

  • How it impacts the amenity of the neighbouring properties

  • Flood Risk

  • Land Value

  • Impact on the local roads and transport networks

  • Health and wellbeing

  • Impact on the historic environment, such as nearby listed buildings

  • Impact on the natural environment

4. Why do I need a town planner?

Town Planners are professionals who assist in the town planning process. This includes preparing and submitting planning applications and appeals, or reviewing the chances of success for a prospective development.

Oftentimes, an architect will be required to prepare the plans to be submitted to the Council. The job of a planner is often to review the policies and legislation which can impact a submission, to ensure all the right boxes are ticked!

A town planner can make the difference in obtaining your planning permission as they have the experience and expertise to know how to liaise with the local Council and what policies will be crucial in a successful submission.

5. Any questions?

Whether you are homeowner, professional developer, architect, or fellow town planner - if you have a scheme and would like to discuss it with us - please don't hesitate to get in touch.


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