Planning consultants can provide advice and guidance for property developers, whatever the scale of the development proposed. For the larger developer, undertaking a major planning & development scheme, understanding not only planning law but the policy behind it, the legal precedents involved and the complex legal processes that it can involve will require an experienced team of planning consultants. This is equally true of both gaining planning permission and for negotiating the planning appeals process; it is therefore crucial to employ a dedicated team of planning consultants.
Local Authorities and Development Frameworks
Planning law in the UK is a complicated matter. There is no level of government that is not involved in some sense in the development and implementation of planning law. The first point of contact for anybody undertaking a development that requires planning permission – often a good place to start even if you think that your proposal does not require planning permission – is your local authority. These bodies produce the Local Development Framework – formerly known as a Development Plan. This is a document that sets out what types of development are allowed within the area, and specifies which policies apply to which type of land – for example green belt or other protected landscapes. Exception policies are also included, which state on what grounds development may be allowed against the standard policies. Even for a householder these documents are daunting, and planning consultants or solicitors can help to ‘unravel’ their meanings.
The Role of National Governments and European Strategies
Planning Law is not, however, solely the preserve of the Local Authority. Both the Environment Agency and the Highways Authorities have significant involvement in the process along with small bodies such as parish councils and at the other end of the scale regional assemblies and national governments. National planning inspectorates take responsibility for planning appeals, while applications that are considered to affect national interests may be ‘called in’ to central government. Planning circulars and guidance notes form the basis of much policy and these originate from the Westminster government, while this in turn is influenced by broader European strategies and international treaties. If all this leaves you feeling a little giddy, then it may be time to take some expert advice!
Planning consultants can deal with all aspects of planning law to guide you through the planning process. They can help to create a case for a successful appeal against a decision and in addition can prepare contracts and legal documents to ensure that a property development can be efficiently disposed of once completed.