Cornering the market – planning applications10/01/22
Our roles as surveyors and valuers mean we undertake many different jobs in the course of a ‘normal’ week. One of the key parts of our service is submitting and securing planning permissions for our clients, who want to make changes to their properties – or ones they plan on buying. These changes can be for a number of reasons, from upgrades and renovations, to extensions or repairs. The process isn’t always straightforward, so it’s best to engage a team of experts, who have the knowledge and experience to make the procedure as smooth as possible.
We recently successfully submitted a full planning application for a two bedroom annex to be built in Morda, a village on the outskirts of the town of Oswestry in Shropshire, located near the border between England and Wales.
Initially we carried out a measured survey of the existing buildings – which consisted of a dilapidated two storey brick building with pitch roof being used as a storage facility. Adjacent to this was a covered area also being used for storage. These were then converted digitally into scaled drawings, using AutoCAD. We then formulated a design based on the client’s brief and a set of scaled plans was produced. A design access statement was then pulled together. Applications are submitted online to the local government planning portal, so an online application was completed, along with any supporting documents – such as the scaled drawings, DAS, site plan and location plan. This process is very straightforward, as it is all in our own hands.
Bumps in the road
Then comes the waiting game. We have to await confirmation that the application meets all requirements, regarding the documentation supplied, for it to be validated. This will mark the beginning of the consultation period, where any issues with the application are raised and addressed. The obstacles we had to overcome on this project were as a direct result of the area conservation officers, who aired their concerns about the proposal. They felt it was going to have an impact on the neighbouring chapel, even though it was not a listed building. To address this issue, we had to prove the proposal was not going to make the chapel subservient.
Firstly, we had to negotiate the material choices, to alter the final external appearance. However, this only went part of the way to redress the balance and for the planners to not consider the alterations having a detrimental impact on the chapel. We also had to take into account the fact that our client was having to do this and what was it going to add, in terms of additional cost, to the build?
Resolution and success
The next aspect we had to look at was the scale of the proposal. We had to reduce it in size, but fortunately we had the scope to do this and still meet the client’s objectives. Finally, the planners were under the impression the proposed building was set further forward than was intended. After a quick discussion to clarify its positioning and evidence to prove this would not be the case, the matters were resolved.
We also had to apply for an exemption that enabled the client to avoid paying the Community Infrastructure Levy. The Community Infrastructure Levy is a charge which can be levied by local authorities on new development in their area. It’s an important tool for local authorities to use, to help them deliver the infrastructure needed to support development in their area. As our client’s build was an annex, we were able to secure an exemption.
Every planning application is different, with different criteria and various elements and challenges. It is primarily our local knowledge and years of experience that enables us to address each obstacle in a logical, systematic way and ensure that all parties are happy with the resolved outcome.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help you with your planning application.