Planning

Overview

C2J are a chartered town planning consultants who provide expert Town & Country Planning services throughout the UK. We draw upon over 30 years of experience to confidently deliver clients’ aspirations for the development and use of land and buildings in a timely and cost efficient manner.

In doing so our chartered town planners and town planning consultants work to stay at the forefront of current planning practice and seek to excel in an increasing range of circumstances, over an increasing geographical area and through partnership with those who have complementary skills.

The practice provides proactive expert advice on a wide range of development issues. We help our clients navigate through the increasingly complex and ever changing planning system, providing clear, considered and reliable advice based on a detailed knowledge of local, regional and national planning policy, in order to achieve a successful outcome; on time and within budget.

With our own in house Architects (RIBA), Building Technicians and Code for Sustainable Homes Assessors, we are able to provide our clients with an efficient, consistent and cost- effective service.

Applications

We have extensive experience in submitting all forms of application including those seeking the most common ‘outline’, ‘reserved matters’ or ‘full’ type planning permissions, to the more unconventional such as listed building consent, conservation area consent, certificates of lawfulness for existing and proposed uses, prior notification applications for agricultural development or demolitions and applications to vary conditions on existing consents.

C2J will manage your application from conception stage through to decision and advise on the best tactics to achieve your objectives. We can deal with the entire process or any part of it including:

  • Preparation of supporting documents,
  • Visiting the site to appraise the physical context
  • Liaise with specialist technical consultants,
  • Submission of application,
  • Negotiations with the local planning authority,
  • Presentations to planning committees and Third Parties,
  • Negotiate S106 agreement,
  • Discharge of planning conditions.

Appraisals

Prior to or following the acquisition of a site, we are able to provide our clients with an appraisal of planning merits of the site.

Through appraising the site, we are able to provide a balance view on the likelihood of planning permission being granted on the site, and the nature and extent of development appropriate for the site.

Our appraisals include:

  • Meeting the clients to establish their objectives
  • Visiting the site to appraise the physical context
  • Review of the planning history and policy background for a site
  • Identifying constraints and opportunities for development

Appeals

Appeals against refusal of planning permission, against unacceptable planning conditions, or against the many kinds of Planning Enforcement notices issued by local planning authorities, are the ultimate test of planning consultancy skill.

The best prepared application can, on occasion, be refused consent at the local level. Planning requires those making decisions to weigh in the balance many competing issues. Often the decision makers at the local level fail to apply sufficient weight to important considerations or within the planning committee forum go against the planning officer’s professional recommendation. Recourse in such cases is to appeal the decision with the Planning Inspectorate who operate independently of the local Council.

Appeals can take one of three formats depending upon the complexity of the case, the level of public opinion and whether the evidence needs to be taken under oath. C2J have an excellent track in dealing with all types of appeals including Public Inquiries and issuing instructions to Counsel where appropriate.

Consultations

From 1 August 2016 all applications (Full and outline) for ‘major’ development and Developments of National Significance (DNS) in Wales must show how the pre-application consultation requirements set out in the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 have been adhered to. This includes a requirement to submit a Pre-Application Consultation (PAC) Report to the Local Planning Authority

Schemes considered as major development include:

  • Residential: 10 or more units or covering 0.5 or more hectares
  • Single building: 1,000 square metres floor space or more
  • Any other development on a site where the area is 1 hectare or more

Consultations: The Main Requirements

  • Display a site notice in at least one place on or near the land to which the proposed application relates for a period of no less than 28 days before submitting an application for the proposed development.
  • Write to “any owner or occupier of any land adjoining the land to which the proposed application relates” requesting representations within 28 days from date of the service of the letter.
  • The Developer’s notification letter must specify where plans and supporting information will be made available for public viewing. Where the information is to be available on a website, the information must be available where computer facilities are made available to the general public, such as a public library.
  • Make the draft planning application Information available publicly for the duration of the 28 day publicity period.
  • Consult community consultees (Community Councils, Local Councillors) and specialist consultees (Local Authority, Natural Resources Wales (NRW), Welsh Government, Welsh Water etc) before applying for planning permission.
  • In some cases, particularly when considering more complex and technical schemes, the statutory consultee may require an extension of time to fully consider the proposed development. Developers have discretion over whether to accept an extension of time but should note that gaining a comprehensive, informed understanding of technical issues at this stage can facilitate quicker decision making at the planning application stage.
  • The specialist consultee is required to provide a “substantive response” to the developer within the prescribed 28 day period, or within such period that has been agreed in writing with the developer.
  • All comments received within the specified timescales need to be considered by the developer. There is no requirement for developers to consider representations that are received after the end of the period specified in the relevant notice.
  • Submit a pre-application consultation report (PAC) as part of the planning application. This must contain:
    • Copy of the site notice;
    • Declaration that the site notice was displayed in accordance with the statutory requirements, i.e. in at least one place on or near the development site for no less than 28 days;
    • Copy of the notice given to owners and occupiers of adjoining land;
    • Copies of all notices provided to councillors, town and community councils, and specialist consultees;
    • Summary of all issues raised in response to the statutory publicity (i.e. site notice and letters to owners, occupiers) – the developer must confirm whether the issues raised have been addressed and, if so, how they have been addressed; and
    • Copies of all responses received from specialist consultees with an explanation of how each response has been addressed by the developer

Strategic Planning

For land owners, there is great value in ensuring their land is properly promoted through the development plan process. C2J has extensive experience in promoting development land through development plans within Wales and UK.

We are able to manage, represent and coordinate site promotion, through the submitting comprehensive representations at the ‘Candidate Site’ stage, ‘Preferred Strategy’ and ‘Deposit’ stages.

With our in house Architects, we are able to prepare detailed and graphical site development frameworks. The frameworks set a vision and aspiration for a site and provide a local authority with an indication of how a development could proceed.

Planning Enforcement

Planning can be a minefield and there are numerous instances where people have inadvertently undertaken development in breach of planning control. We have a great deal of experience in the successful resolution of enforcement investigations through the submission of retrospective applications or lawful use or development certificates.

In cases where enforcement notices have been served, we have an excellent track record of successfully appealing against such notices.

Third Party Representations

C2J offer a comprehensive service to a range of third parties, from community action groups to companies and private individuals, helping them understand applications that may have an impact on their interests. We can assist with the submission of detailed representations, ensuring objections are relevant and focused and we are available to appear at planning committee meetings and appeal hearing. As a chartered Town Planning practice we will give you a realistic view of how an application may be determined and whether there are legitimate grounds on which to object.

Public Consultations

The planning process is open, accountable and acts in the public interest. Public participation is a cornerstone of government policy. C2J has the skill and expertise to publicly engage with your community or to represent your group at Local Authority meetings.