Planning applications

Let us guide you through the planning maze.

Planning seems to get more complex every day, and it can be a real minefield if you’re new to it.

Even those who know the system need help at times, due to the sheer size of the Town and Country Planning Act, government policy and all the associated guidance.

With experience of all types of planning applications, we can guide you through the process to get the best outcome – however large your project.

We can also negotiate planning contributions, whether through a Unilateral Undertaking or an S.106 legal agreement.

planning application consultancy services
We can help you with…

Full planning applications

With most applications, you’ll need to submit full details of your proposal. This is also the right approach if you want to change the use of land or buildings.

Outline planning applications

Outline planning applications establish whether a development is acceptable in principle. The advantage of this approach is that you don’t need detailed drawings.

Once outline permission has been granted, full details of your proposal must be approved before you can start work. This is known as ‘reserved matters’.

Certificate of lawful use

A certificate of lawfulness for proposed or existing use confirms that a use, operation or activity is lawful for the purposes of planning control.

You need this certificate to show that an existing use or activity that was in breach of a planning condition is now lawful, or that a use or activity you are proposing will be lawful.

Permission in principle

This is an alternative way of obtaining planning permission for housing-led developments, split into two stages.

The first stage, ‘permission in principle’, establishes whether a site is suitable in principle. At the second stage, ‘technical details consent’, the detailed development proposals are assessed.

Prior notification

With some proposals for developments involving telecommunications, demolition, agriculture or forestry, you need to pass full details to the local planning authority before work begins.

Approval (discharge) of conditions

This type of application is needed where a condition in a planning permission or listed building consent requires details of a specified aspect of the development (that was not fully described in the original application) to be approved by the local planning authority before the development can begin.

This is also known as 'discharging' conditions, and is different from removing or varying a condition (see below).

Variation of condition (Section 73)

Under Section 73 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), you can apply to vary or remove a condition on an existing planning permission. If it’s approved, a new permission will be issued, potentially with different conditions.

Householder planning consent

This form is used for proposals to alter or extend a single house, including work within the boundary or garden. It’s used for projects such as:

  • Extensions
  • Conservatories
  • Loft conversions
  • Dormer windows
  • Garages, car ports and outbuildings

Note that you don’t need planning permission for all household building work. You can carry out some projects within permitted development rules, as long as they meet certain limits and conditions.

Listed building consent

You will need to apply for listed building consent if you want to demolish a listed building, or if you want to alter or extend it in a way that affects its character as a building of special architectural or historic interest.

You may also need this consent for works to separate buildings within the grounds of a listed building.

You can find more information on our Heritage consultancy page

Advertisement consent

You may need this consent if you want to display any of the following:

  • Posters and notices
  • Placards and boards
  • Fascia signs and projecting signs
  • Pole signs and canopy signs
  • Models and devices
  • Advance signs and directional signs
  • Estate agents' boards
  • Captive balloon advertising (not balloons in flight)
  • Flag advertisements
  • Price markers and price displays
  • Traffic signs
  • Town and village name signs

Works to trees

You will need to submit a tree works application if you want to carry out work on trees that are protected by Tree Preservation Orders or located in conservation areas.

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