The Value of a Planning Consultant

29th March 2023


Melissa Diamond

Business Development Manager

Why employ a Town Planning Consultant? …To reduce the risk of costly mistakes!

If you are embarking on a building project, whether it is for the construction of a single dwelling house, commercial unit, agricultural shed or conversion of a building, you are going to find yourself navigating the planning process. This can be confusing (and frustrating!) if you haven’t done so before, or if the build project is not straightforward. Examples include building in a Conservation Area or Green Belt: there are specific planning policies and statutory legislation which seek to safeguard harming these designations and you would need to demonstrate that you have a policy-compliant scheme. That’s where the value of a Planning Consultant comes into it’s own.

How we add value to you

Aspbury Planning is a Midlands-based independent town planning consultancy with over 40 years’ experience. Our team gained its experience in local authority, the housebuilding industry and the building conservation and heritage sector. Our Planners are experienced in understanding and interpreting planning policy and can take the headache out of second guessing what might be deemed acceptable by the Local Planning Authority (LPA).

You may have a vision which seems logical to you but does not necessarily meet what the Planners and Councillors want for that area or the relevant planning policy. If you have to keep amending your plans, you are not only increasing the costs of the project but also delaying an outcome, which could have a knock-on effect on your future projects, employing tradespeople or ordering materials.

If you cannot provide the planning policy justification required to support your project, you are more likely to receive a refusal of planning permission. You are then faced with the added delay and further costs associated with appealing the decision, or resubmitting a planning application with no certainty of a successful outcome.

Getting it right first time

Appealing a refusal decision should be the last resort, and that’s why we encourage early dialogue between the project team and Local Planning Authority.  Most LPAs offer a pre-application service; some have a scale of charges. However, there can be great benefit to embarking on pre-application advice if your scheme is in a sensitive area, such as the Green Belt, or impacts upon a designated heritage asset (Conservation Area or listed building). Our Planners have either previously worked in local government and/or assisted clients with obtaining planning permission across the East Midlands. We are trusted for our honest and straight-talking approach to planning.  If we don’t think the Local Planning Authority will support your proposal, we will tell you! It is better to get it right first time and submit a policy-compliant scheme than take your chances.

There are times when an Appeal cannot be avoided. Planning is such an emotive subject and sometimes the Planning Committee does not agree with their Planning Officer’s recommendation and refuses a scheme – particularly if there has been a lot of public objection.

Our Planners can lead you through the complexities of the planning system leaving you to get on with what you do best….building!

Get in touch for support with your next project.