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Find out more about our sister guide - The Specification Manual to support your Building Regulations application.

Monthly News letters for our subscribers

<< Planning Permission Tips >>

This months subject:-


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.

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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 market value.

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 scheme.

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.

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Thought for the month.....

"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.

This email, its content and any files transmitted with it are intended solely for the addressee(s) and may be legally privileged and/or confidential. Access by any other party is unauthorised without the express written permission of the sender. If you have received this email in error you may not copy or use the contents, attachments or information in any way. Please destroy it and contact the sender via e-mail return. Internet communications are not secure unless protected using strong cryptography. This email has been prepared using information believed by the author to be reliable and accurate, but we make no warranty as to accuracy or completeness. In particular MSM does not accept responsibility for changes made to this email after it was sent. Any opinions expressed in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the company or its affiliates. They may be subject to change without notice.

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