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How to Find a planning permission application / advice professional

Hiring a planning consultant

The world of property can be tricky to navigate, but there’s nothing worse than getting everything ready for a new home improvement project only to be blocked by your local planning authority. Acquiring planning permission is complicated, with different local authorities enforcing their own rules and guidelines, which is why many people choose to hire a planning consultant.

Finding a trustworthy planning consultant can be a difficult task, not to mention time consuming. You can save yourself time getting your home improvement project underway through Plentific. The Plentific website can instantly generate a bespoke list of tradesmen in your local area offering the services you need, and by posting a job you can have them start contacting you with quotes immediately. The Plentific dashboard lets you message and manage different tradesmen and projects from a single convenient location, and you can even pay your tradesmen through the Plentific wallet. Finally, by choosing a verified Pro you can qualify for the Plentific Guarantee, which can cover an entire project from start to finish. With tradesmen from all over the UK, Plentific is ready to help you find your ideal hire, whatever your job may be.

What does a planning consultant do?

A planning consultant knows the ins and outs of a local planning authority’s rules and guidelines, and can help a homeowner ensure that they can get planning permission for their project. There are always complications when applying for planning permission, especially in cities where space is short or with listed buildings whose character must be maintained. A planning consultant can help you by advising you closely on your planning application and helping you navigate the rules of your local authority. They make take an active or advisory role in your planning phase, and will help you attain permission for your project without wasting money.

What makes a planning consultant valuable is their local knowledge. In addition to local planning policy, they will often have intricate knowledge of the local area and will have a standing relationship with local community and stakeholder groups. For example, if a community was against a project, a consultant might prepare a case to show them that the proposed work would not affect them or their own properties. They are also likely to know of projects similar to yours that have been completed in the area and what had to be done to get them approved. However, they will also be used to undertaking specialist research tasks if necessary. It it comes to it, they can also represent you during any public enquiries into your project.

How much does it cost to hire a planning consultant?

The cost of hiring a planning consultant will usually be around £2,000 for a standard application, though this will depend on the experience and rank of your chosen Pro. A price will usually be agreed beforehand based on an hourly rate. More complicated projects, or those that require consistent dialogue with a local planning authority over a long period of time, will incur a higher charge. Remember, planning consultants are usually only brought in for larger or more complicated projects. For more standard jobs, a builder or architect will usually be able to provide all the advice you need.

Remember, the real cost can come from not hiring a planning consultant. If you are refused planning permission at a point where you have already hired tradesmen and sourced materials you will find yourself making a painful loss. Plus, a planning consultant can help you avoid having to make costly revisions down the line if you speak to one early on.

What to consider when hiring a planning consultant

When looking for a planning consultant there are a few crucial things to look out for. Most importantly, all accredited planning consultants must be registered with the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI). Any members will need to have a degree or postgraduate qualification approved by the RTPI and will have years of experience in spatial planning. They may also belong to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

However, local knowledge is important as well; when screening candidates, ask them about the most common difficulties faced when dealing with your local planning authority, and how they have been able to get around these barriers in the past. The RTPI itself has a database of local planning consultants which you can make use of.

Take the time to compare your candidates carefully. They should have reviews from satisfied clientele, as well as examples of previously completed work. Your final choice should also have active Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII), in case their advice or recommendations result in any costly mistakes.

Latest Reviews

by Peter S.
Planning a small but complicated extension, we needed someone to guide us through the process. David Fletcher made us feel that all our concerns were listened to constructively and understood, and he would address them with interest and enthusiasm. He is very good at setting out options based on a thorough understanding, and at explaining the principles involved and the reasoning. This helped us to be clear about what we really wanted. We were happy to know that he would take a detailed and thorough approach and was drawing on a huge range of experience. We were also very reassured by his knowledge of the planning process and what to expect at various stages. It was tremendously helpful to have his patient and sympathetic support and I would highly recommend his service.
by Southwark H.
We engaged Eli to provide drawings for our 2 story side extension on a 1930s end of terrace in a very small conservation area. From the first phone call, Eli was professional throughout and provided the right level of detail to us to get the project moving. Through various delays (no fault of 4Ds), Eli was extremely patient and professional. I would highly recommend using 4D for any sort of planning applications that carry uncertainty or some level of risk, as Eli was able to formulate the right strategy for us and execute this - above and beyond just delivering good quality drawings and service.
by Jules W.
Thank you for your efficient service. Really impressed with the level of service and the speed !
by Daniel B.
I was recommend David Fletcher by my daughter who had a specific architect project over seen by David Fletcher. I found David to be very professional with integrity and would not hesitant to highly recommend his work and service. I would confidently use David for any future work we have in mind.