Find out more about our sister guide - The Specification
Manual to support your Building Regulations application.
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<< Planning Permission Tips
April already and Spring is in full swing - Just where does
the time go? Most builders are already flat out pricing various plans
and work schedules for all manner of building works. A common problem
most people find in selecting their builder is that fact that most builders
seem disinterested in providing prices based on skimpy Planning drawings.
You have to understand that when builders price work it does take up
their time (or their paid pricing Agent) - even just assessing for estimated
client guide prices takes up valuable time. Builders are so busy with
work in hand they are tending to 'filter' out the best, most viable schemes
and disregarding the schemes that do not have the benefit of an approval
with a full construction design ready for the Building Regulations. And,
to be honest, I don't blame them. We use a filtering technique on our
own new client enquiries - it's called requesting a small fee for the initial
visit to provide them with a fee quotation - this soon sorts out the dreamers
from the serious.
Hopefully you would have already received an estimated
budget guide price on the construction cost from your Design Agent or from
your own research. Builders can only price correctly as a true quotation
when the full construction design has been completed WITH a separate
Specification Manual scheduling all the other stuff that you are unable to
show on the drawings. This way ALL builders are pricing on the same
quantity of work and each one is not guessing the extent of making good for
example. So, if your invited builders have vanished into thin air clutching
your scheme design Planning drawing - you now know that they have better
'fish to fry'! - Re-contact them again when you have the Construction drawings
and specification manual ready. I promise you they will be far more customer
focussed at this stage of the game.
Tactics of Appealing
to the DOE - There will
be times in any Design Agents career when a clients scheme will be refused
Planning Permission. Fortunately, our experience is now at a point
when we can normally forecast these schemes and steer the client away from
that design solution. Clients that wish to pursue these contentious schemes
are at least forewarned of the likely outcome so that we can formulate a
'plan of attack' for the next phase of the extension or development. Many
clients seem to want to drive head first to the Appeal route directly after
refusal - IN MOST CASES THIS IS NOT A WISE DECISION and IT CAN AFFECT
THE FUTURE DEVELOPMENT VIABILITY OF YOUR SITE.
Now many of us 'Agents' have varying views on this
mainly because many Agents specialise in appeal work and it amounts for a
large proportion of their fees - these agents would have you appeal ing at
the drop of a hat. I can only speak from my own experiences and DOE appeal
results. It should always be remembered that the national average on appeal
success is still only around 30%. In other words the odds of winning are
always against you to begin with.
Without doubt, most extension and development schemes
can be adjusted or redesigned in some way to overcome the reasons for refusal.
Many clients are blinded by this fact and see their current proposal
(now refused) as an 'all or nothing' type of scheme. Most Design Agents
will be able to come up with an an amended scheme that will get around the
main refusal reason(s) and this is were they often score over the DIY householder
submitting their own schemes. Yes you will have to accept that the
fourth new bedroom has a bit less space or the second ensuite has to be omitted
or the lowered roof line looks a little odd etc..etc....BUT, HALF A LOAF
IS BETTER THAN NO LOAF as the saying goes. Now, this new approval
for an amended scheme has several tactical advantages - let me explain.
Firstly, The site benefits from an approval.
From a marketing point of view you have not left a big question mark
over extending the property or developing the site. Remember, future
purchasers of your property may also want to extend or develop in that identified
area so why leave it in a negative state that often means not getting proper
Secondly, once a client has obtained an
approval, its amazing how quick they realise how close they came to 'cutting
off their nose to spite their face' and the scheme isn't that bad after
all - so it gets built - everyone's happy.
Thirdly, if the client really finds that
the amended scheme is not for them then at least it sets a positive framework
for the DOE appeal. This is because most elements of the original refused
scheme are now likely to have been approved in the new revised scheme.
This now focuses the reasons for reasons for refusal upon the 'extra'
element that the original scheme had. Its like having the Appeal Inspector
only having to prove the remaining 10% and his question that he has to resolve
is does this extra 10% justify withholding Planning Permission? It is
my opinion that the refused scheme has a better chance of being overturned
at appeal when there is already an approval in place for a similar
Going to appeal without some sort of current approval
in place via a negotiated scheme with the Planners could have a detrimental
effect on your chances at appeal.
Our 'Maximum Build
Planning Guide' explains further the tactics of appealing
and how best to set the course to give yourself the best chance of winning
an appeal. There are some reals do's and don't's that must be implemented.
There can be some serious consequences if your appeal fails that you
must be made aware of before embarking on the DOE Appeal route.
"Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence
of consistently applying basic fundamentals "
About the Author
MSM is a Practicing Planning Agent and building design team offering
Architectural Services to their clients specialising in residential
development. The views and opinions expressed here are personal
ones based on relevant life experiences. These views and opinions are
not intended to be actioned or copied by others.
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