Norton Taylor Nunn2021-11-03T15:46:47+00:00

Town Planning Consultants London

Norton Taylor Nunn’s town planning consultants in London are trusted to provide outstanding town planning consultancy services and planning advice to commercial partners and the public. 

    Looking for professional town planning advice in London? Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements with our highly talented town planning consultants.

    Town Planning & Development Consultants

    Norton Taylor Nunn Ltd are trusted to provide outstanding town planning consultancy services to commercial partners and the public. 

      Looking for professional town planning advice in London? Get in touch with us to discuss your requirements with our highly talented town planning consultants.

      What is Town Planning?

      Town planning is the process of managing land resources. It involves the control of existing and new developments, as well as strategy preparation to ensure managed future requirements. It is a dynamic process that changes in response to policy, development proposals, and local needs. Contact our town planning consultants for planning advice in London and beyond today.

      Navigating your way through the urban planning system in England can be a nerve-wracking process.

      • Our town planning consultants in London will help you work with the local planning authorities to ensure you don’t fall foul of increasingly complex development regulations.
      • Our development and town planning consultants bring their commercial expertise to your proposals to help you find solutions that solve any problems.

      Town Planning Consultancy Services in London

      Our London-based planning consultants have the tools and experience to help your vision come to life. No project is too big or small. We’re always happy to  give professional town planning advice and talk about how we can best serve you.


      Our town planning consultants in London work with you to help secure planning permission for your project.


      The planning and development consultants at Norton Taylor Nunn win the majority of planning appeals we undertake.


      Our town planning consultants can help if you’ve been issued a stop notice or received an enforcement notice.


      Our town planning consultants can help you prevent that inappropriate development or extension.

      Strategic Land

      The town planning consultants at Norton Taylor Nunn work with expert partners to unlock the full value of your land.


      We have a track record of winning cases with the Planning Inspector.

      Why choose Norton Taylor Nunn as Your Town Planning Consultants?

      The earlier you bring our town planning consultants on board, the more you will benefit from our expert advice. We recommend our involvement with your project from its inception as it helps to safeguard against potential problems at a later date, thus saving you time and money.

      Planning Solutions at Minimal Cost

      Our personal approach to every client is to provide town planning solutions at the minimal cost. Our planning consultants take each case personally, and will seek to resolve issues wherever possible. We believe that working in partnership with the local planning authority achieves the best results.

      Professional standards approved by the RTPI

      Professional standards by the RTPI are at the heart of what we do. We are corporate members of the Town and Country Planning Association, working to challenge, inspire and support people to create healthy, sustainable and resilient places that are fair for everyone.

      Experience with
      Planning Applications

      With decades of experience in town planning across the business, our planning consultants will use the knowledge and skills we have gained to help our client obtain the best possible result for them. We have substantial experience in managing planning applications and securing planning permission for both major and minor development.

      Let’s Build Something Together

      You’ll be involved in the process from beginning to end to ensure our town planning consultants provide a quality finished product that exceeds your expectations.

      Town Planning Consultants FAQs

      Why is town planning important?2019-12-31T00:49:12+00:00

      Town planning makes better and more sustainable places for everyone to live, work and enjoy. At the heart of their work, planners balance social, economic and environmental needs to shape the way that towns and cities grow and to create great communities for everyone.

      Visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website for more information about what town planning is.

      What is a Breach of Planning Control?2021-09-28T08:26:07+00:00

      A breach of planning control is defined by law as the carrying out of development without the required planning permission, or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted.

      Any development falling outside of the limits of your Permitted Development Rights will also constitute a breach of planning control, which could also lead to enforcement action.

      Visit the Planning Portal website for more information on what constitutes a breach of planning control.

      I have received a Planning Contravention Notice, what should I do?2021-10-01T14:42:24+00:00

      A failure to complete or return a notice within 21 days is an offence, as is providing false or misleading information on the notice. You should immediately obtain professional advice.

      The local council will only issue a Planning Contravention Notice when they believe a breach of planning control has taken place and they want to obtain further information before they decide whether (or if) to take planning enforcement action.

      Issuing a Planning Contravention Notice is discretionary; a local council doesn’t have to issue one before taking enforcement action.

      Consult the Government’s website for more information on planning contravention notices.

      I have received an Enforcement Notice, what should I do?2021-10-01T14:44:10+00:00

      It is an offence to fail to comply with an Enforcement Notice, once the time limit has been reached and no appeal is outstanding. A person found guilty of an offence is liable to an unlimited fine, and the courts will take account of any financial benefit stemming from the offence. You should immediately obtain professional advice.

      The local council does not have to take enforcement action, as it is a discretionary power. An enforcement notice should only be issued if it is in the public interest to do so, and if it is the most expedient way to resolve the breach of planning control.

      Consult the Government website for further guidance on enforcement and post-permission matters.

      Can I appeal against an Enforcement Notice?2019-12-31T00:40:46+00:00

      There are seven statutory grounds of appeal against an Enforcement Notice; these are:

      • That planning permission ought to be granted, or the condition or limitation should be discharged;
      • That the alleged breach of planning control has not occurred;
      • That the matters alleged (if they occurred) do not constitute a breach of planning control;
      • At the date that the Enforcement Notice was issued, no enforcement action could be taken;
      • Copies of the Enforcement Notice were not served in accordance with the Statutory Requirements;
      • The steps required by the notice to be taken, or the activities required by the notice to cease, exceed what is necessary either to remedy any breach of planning control or to remedy any injury to amenity which has been caused by any such breach; and/or,
      • Any period specified in the notice falls short of what should reasonably be allowed.

      Visit the government website for further guidance on the appeal of an enforcement notice.

      How long do you have to object to a planning application?2021-10-01T14:47:32+00:00

      Members of the public have a few weeks to comment on a planning application to their Local Planning Authority (LPA). The deadline for comments is 21 days from the date a site notice is put up or notice is served on neighbours, or 14 days from when an advert appears in a local newspaper.

      What are grounds for objecting to planning permission?2019-12-31T00:35:25+00:00

      The Council can only take into account ‘material planning considerations’ when looking at your comments. The most common of these (although not an exhaustive list) are shown below:


      • Loss of light or overshadowing
      • Overlooking/loss of privacy
      • Visual amenity (but not loss of private view)
      • Adequacy of parking/loading/turning
      • Highway safety
      • Traffic generation
      • Noise and disturbance resulting from use
      • Hazardous materials
      • Smells
      • Loss of trees
      • Effect on listed building and conservation area
      • Layout and density of building
      • Design, appearance and materials
      • Landscaping
      • Road access
      • Local, strategic, regional and national planning policies
      • Government circulars, orders and statutory instruments
      • Disabled persons’ access
      • Compensation and awards of costs against the Council at public enquiries
      • Proposals in the Development Plan
      • Previous planning decisions (including appeal decisions)
      • Nature conservation
      • Archaeology
      • Solar panels

      We cannot take into account matters which are sometimes raised but are not normally planning considerations such as:

      • The perceived loss of property value
      • Private disputes between neighbours
      • The loss of a view
      • The impact of construction work or competition between firms
      • Restrictive covenants
      • Ownerships disputes over rights of way
      • Fence lines etc
      • Personal morals or views about the applicant.

      Please note: it is important to understand that the material considerations relevant to any particular application will need to be weighed in the final decision process according to their seriousness and relative importance.

      Visit the Planning Portal website which answers the question “How do I object to a planning application and can I do so online?”

      Is it possible to make changes after receiving planning permission?2019-12-31T00:31:23+00:00

      It is possible to make changes after receiving planning permission and there are a number of options for this;

      • Non-material amendments – for very minor changes that do not materially alter the size and scale of the development
      • Minor material amendments – for less minor changes whose scale and nature results in a development which is not substantially different from the one which has been approved.
      • Time limit extensions – to change the expiry date of a planning permission

      For more information on whether you can amend a submitted planning application, visit the Planning Portal website.

      What is planning permission?2019-12-31T00:28:39+00:00

      Planning Permission is needed if you want to do certain building works. It will be granted (possibly subject to certain conditions) or refused. Permission can be granted for:

      • building new structures;
      • changing or enlarging structures;
      • changing the use of land or buildings on it; or
      • for quarrying or the mining of minerals.

      It is your responsibility for seeking, or not seeking, planning permission. Planning permission should be granted (if needed) before any work begins.

      The granting of planning permission is different from the consent of use for land or premises. You would still need to gain permission from the owner of the land or premises to use or to change it. If you don’t gain permission, you could be liable for trespass or criminal damage which could be pursued in civil law.

      Visit the Planning Portal website for more information and guidance on planning permission.

      Who grants planning permission?2019-12-31T00:26:54+00:00

      Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) is responsible for considering planning applications.

      ou can apply to every local authority in England through the Planning Portal.

      Why do I need to get planning permission?2019-12-31T00:25:29+00:00

      Planning is about how we plan for, and make decisions about the future of our cities, towns and countryside. Your local planning authority is responsible for deciding whether a development – anything from an extension on a house to a new shopping centre – should go ahead. For example, in most cases, it would probably not be a good idea to apply to build a nightclub or disco next to a retirement home.

      However, careful and clever planning combined with sensitive design and landscaping can make some development acceptable where it would previously be thought unsuitable. This is the reason that applications are considered so carefully. The planning system is needed to control development in your area.

      Check planning permission section of the government website for further guidance.

      Do I always need planning permission for a development?2019-12-31T00:23:20+00:00

      No. Certain developments can be done without the need for planning permission. This is known as “permitted development”. However, some or even all permitted development rights can be withdrawn by the use of an “Article 4 Direction”. This is issued when specific control is required over-development in an area of special importance, such as a conservation area.

      A given size of extension is usually permitted development, which is normally set in cubic metres and percentage of the original building.  However, any work undertaken on the property since its construction counts towards this volume, including any work done prior to you moving in.  You should seek advice from Norton Taylor Nunn before considering undertaking additional work, just to be sure.

      For further guidance on when is permission required, visit the government website which sets out when planning permission is required and different types of planning permission which may be granted.

      What is the development plan?2019-12-31T00:20:01+00:00

      Each local planning authority is required by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to prepare a development plan for its area. Although the structure and content of plans have been amended, the basic principle remains the same.

      The plan should set out a strategic vision for the area and be subject to an environmental assessment.

      Environmental assessment is a process that ensures significant environmental effects arising from policies, plans and programmes are:

      • identified;
      • assessed;
      • reduced;
      • communicated to decision-makers; and
      • monitored.

      It also gives you a chance to have your say.

      The plan also contains local policies for land use. Certain areas are selected for future uses. These local policies consider how those uses should look, operate and interact with the environment are set out in the plan.

      When a local planning authority receives an application, the first aspect it should consider is whether or not the development follows the development plan. If it would, then normally the application would be approved – although other considerations, such as representations from the public on planning issues, may lead the authority to decide otherwise.

      You should be able to view your local planning authority’s development plan, on the authority’s website.

      Check out the nidirect website for more information about how development plans set out how an area should look in the future by deciding the type and scale of development and where buildings should be allowed.

      I object to a planning proposal. What should I do?2019-12-31T00:16:23+00:00

      When a local planning authority receives a planning application, the law requires it to give publicity to the application in various ways. This allows those who may be affected by it have the opportunity to make their views known. The publicity often includes:

      • publishing a notice in a local newspaper;
      • posting a public site notice; and
      • neighbour notification to occupiers and owners of adjoining properties.

      Write down your planning concerns and supporting points and send them to the Local Planning Authority’s Planning Department. There is usually a Case Officer or Area Group allocated to deal with the application, but if you cannot discover the exact person, send the letter to the Planning Department. Always try to include the Planning Reference Number and location of the property/development. Some authorities now accept online submissions via the planning pages of the Authority’s website.

      Concerns about the potential loss in value of your property because of possible nearby development are not something that the local planning authority can take into account in deciding the application.

      View “How to respond to planning applications: an 8-step guide” by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for more information.

      How long should it take to decide whether to grant permission?2019-12-31T00:10:39+00:00

      The statutory determination period for validated planning applications, which local planning authorities should not exceed, is 8 weeks for straight-forward planning applications, 13 weeks for unusually large or complex applications, and 16 weeks if the application is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA).

      Failure to determine the application within these deadlines means that the applicant can choose to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate on the grounds of non-determination.  Local planning authorities have to inform applicants of these rights.

      See “Determining a planning application” on the government website which sets out the process and expectations on planning performance and decision making.

      What is EIA – and how will I know if it is needed?2019-12-31T00:12:18+00:00

      An EIA is an Environment Impact Assessment. It assesses how the proposed development will impact both on the nearby environment and on the wider environment generally. It is required for some sorts of development under European legislation. You are advised to contact your LPA for further information.

      See “Environmental Impact Assessment” on the government website which explains the requirements of the Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017.

      How does planning permission work?2020-01-04T20:53:58+00:00

      To make a planning application for full planning consent, you have to first contact the relevant local authority. This can either be done online via the Planning Portal or on paper using the relevant forms.

      Your application must be accompanied by the necessary plans of the site, the required supporting documentation, the completed form and the fee. Once an application has been validated and registered, the local planning authority (LPA) will then publicise and consult on it.

      They will also either notify your neighbours or put up a notice on or near the site. In certain cases, applications are also advertised in a local newspaper. This gives the public the opportunity to express views. The parish, town or community council will usually be notified, other bodies such as the county council, the Environment Agency and the relevant Government Office for the region may also need to be consulted.

      Most planning applications are decided within eight weeks unless they are unusually large or complex – in which case the time limit is extended to 13 weeks.

      When deciding whether a planning application is in line with its Development Plan, the LPA will consider the following:

      • The number, size, layout, siting and external appearance of buildings
      • The infrastructure available – e.g. roads and water supply – and proposed means of access
      • Any landscaping requirements
      • The proposed use of the development
      • The likely impact on the surrounding area

      A planning officer will present a recommended decision to a planning committee – made up of elected councillors. Applicants may attend these meetings and, in many cases, are entitled to speak briefly. Only the elected councillors can vote on the planning application itself. They do not always follow the planning officer’s advice. Councillors or planning officers cannot refuse a planning proposal simply because many people oppose it. If an application is refused – or granted subject to conditions – that decision must be based on the approved plans and policies of the LPA’s Development Plan. The key considerations will be whether the proposal would unacceptably affect amenities and the existing use of land and buildings which ought to be protected in the public interest.

      Once a decision has been reached, the LPA must give either a summary of its reasons for granting permission or detailed reasons for refusal.

      If an application is refused – or granted subject to conditions – the applicant will be told in writing. They then have the right to appeal.

      The earlier you bring our town planners on board, the more you will benefit from our expert advice. We recommend our involvement with your project from its inception as it helps to safeguard against potential problems at a later date, thus saving you time and money.

      Do I need planning permission for an outbuilding?2020-01-04T22:23:27+00:00

      Rules governing outbuildings apply to summer houses, sheds, playhouses, greenhouses and garages as well as other ancillary garden buildings such as swimming pools, ponds, sauna cabins, kennels, enclosures (including tennis courts) and many other kinds of structure for a purpose incidental to the enjoyment of the dwellinghouse.

      If you are unsure if your planned building falls into the category of ‘outbuildings’ or if you are unsure if planning permission is required, please contact your local planning authority or a town planner.

      Outbuildings are considered to be permitted development, not needing planning permission, subject to the following limits and conditions:

      • No outbuilding on land forward of a wall forming the principal elevation.
      • Outbuildings and garages to be single-storey with maximum eaves height of 2.5 metres and maximum overall height of four metres with a dual pitched roof or three metres for any other roof.
      • Maximum height of 2.5 metres in the case of a building, enclosure or container within two metres of a boundary of the curtilage of the dwellinghouse.
      • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms (a platform must not exceed 0.3 metres in height)
      • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
      • In National Parks, the Broads, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and World Heritage Sites the maximum area to be covered by buildings, enclosures, containers and pools more than 20 metres from the house to be limited to 10 square metres.

      *The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

      Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

      • Flats and maisonettes (view our guidance on flats and maisonettes)
      • Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use (as detailed in our change of use section)
      • Other buildings
      • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights.
      Do you need planning permission for a conservatory?2021-04-28T08:31:29+00:00

      Any plans for a conservatory will be subject to the associated neighbour consultation scheme. This requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.

      Adding a conservatory to your house is considered to be permitted development, not needing an application for planning permission, subject to the limits and conditions listed below.

      • No more than half the area of land around the “original house”* would be covered by additions or other buildings.
      • No extension forward of the principal elevation or side elevation fronting a highway.
      • No extension to be higher than the highest part of the roof.
      • Single-storey rear extensions must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than eight metres if a detached house; or more than six metres for any other house. If the house is in Article 2(3) designated land* or a Site of Special Scientific Interest, this limit is reduced to four metres if a detached house; or three metres for any other house. These limits are now permanent and subject to the neighbour consultation scheme. This requires that the relevant Local Planning Authority is informed of the proposed work via a prior approval application.
      • Maximum height of a single-storey rear extension of four metres
      • Extensions of more than one storey must not extend beyond the rear wall of the original house* by more than three metres or be within seven metres of any boundary opposite the rear wall of the house
      • Maximum eaves height of an extension within two metres of the boundary of three metres
      • Maximum eaves and ridge height of extension no higher than existing house
      • Side extensions to be single-storey with a maximum height of four metres and width no more than half that of the original house
      • Roof pitch of extensions higher than one storey to match existing house
      • No verandas, balconies or raised platforms
      • On Article 2(3) designated land* no permitted development for rear extensions of more than one storey
      • On Article 2(3) designated land* no cladding of the exterior
      • On Article 2(3) designated land* no side extensions.

      * The term “original house” means the house as it was first built or as it stood on 1 July 1948 (if it was built before that date). Although you may not have built an extension to the house, a previous owner may have done so.

      * Article 2(3) designated land is land within:

      • a conservation area; or
      • an area of outstanding natural beauty; or
      • an area specified by the Secretary of State for the purposes of enhancement and protection of the natural beauty and amenity of the countryside; or
      • the Broads; or
      • a National Park; or
      • a World Heritage Site.

      Please note: The permitted development allowances described here apply to houses and not to:

      • Flats and maisonettes
      • Converted houses or houses created through the permitted development rights to change use
        • Other buildings
        • Areas where there may be a planning condition, Article 4 Direction or other restriction that limits permitted development rights
      • Where work is proposed to a listed building, listed building consent may be required.

      Please be aware that if your development is over 100 square metres, it may be liable for a charge under the Community Infrastructure Levy

      How long does planning permission last?2020-01-12T23:27:31+00:00

      By law, any planning permission granted expires after a certain period. Generally, unless your permission says otherwise, you have three years from the date it’s granted to begin the development. If you haven’t started work by then, you will probably need to reapply.

      What does a planning consultant do?2020-10-10T08:52:50+00:00

      A planning consultant is a professional in property development and management, with expert knowledge in the field of planning permission. Though the role of a planning consultant can vary greatly, their work generally consists of advising, planning, and consulting within the fields of planning applications, planning appeals, planning enforcement, planning objections, housing economics, and property development.

      Common services offered by planning consultants include advising on, preparing, and submitting planning applications, appealing planning permission refusals, bringing developments into line with conditions set out by enforcement notices, and offering guidance regarding development opportunities. Planning consultants also tend to offer research conduction services regarding policy, development feasibility studies, and environmental impact assessments. Alongside this, they should be able to provide master plans and source certificates of lawfulness.

      The involvement of a consultant in a project of any size can assist greatly in all aspects of planning. The highly experienced town planning consultants at Norton Taylor Nunn bring their commercial expertise to every project they undertake. Contact us today to further discuss your project and aspirations.

      What is the difference between architects and planning consultants?2020-10-10T08:54:20+00:00

      Architects are accredited professionals specialising in the design of buildings and developments, with a focus on technical drawings and plans. They are required to work with regard to public safety, and often oversee projects. The work of an architect can generally be split into the categories of design, documentation, and construction.

      Planning consultants are qualified experts in property development and management, with specific knowledge in the field of planning permission. Though the role of a planning consultant can vary greatly, their work generally consists of advising, planning, and consulting within the fields of planning applications, planning appeals, planning enforcement, planning objections, housing economics, and property development.

      Why do we do town planning?2020-10-10T08:55:05+00:00

      Town planning, also commonly referred to as urban planning, is the process of effective land resource management. This process allows for the effective control of both new and existing developments, alongside allowing for strategy preparation to ensure the management of future requirements. Town planning regulation is subject to frequent change and is often molded in response to local needs.

      The field is mainly concerned with the effective planning of settlements and communities, as the name suggests, though factors affecting conservation, financial, educational, transportation, and public health are also taken into consideration. Regulation of land development and use in accordance with these factors is generally thought to lead to sustainable, controlled growth, positive economic development, improved infrastructure, and an overall increase in quality of life.

      What is needed for a planning application?2020-10-10T08:56:54+00:00

      The vast majority of planning applications require the submission of the standard application form, a location plan, a site or block plan, an ownership certificate, an agricultural holdings certificate, and a correct application fee at minimum. A design and access statement may be required. In addition to this, at a local level, applicants may be required to submit further information specific to the area – this often varies in accordance with development type.  Local requirements may be found on the LPA’s website.

      In addition to the submission of documentation, an application fee must be paid. This fee is also dependent on the type of development proposed but may be calculated using the Planning Portal’s fee calculator.

      Can I apply for planning permission myself?2020-10-10T09:07:42+00:00

      Anyone can submit planning applications for development, irrespective of the property owner, so long as the owner, or part-owner, leaseholder, agricultural tenant, or other parties financially involved with the property is informed of any proposed changes. In addition to this, all planning applications must be submitted with a certificate relating to or proving land ownership, or, that the legal owner of the property has been notified of the proposed changes.

      Though applications may be made by an individual, it is advisable to appoint a planning consultant, or similar agent to assist with composition and submission, in order to ensure the process is as smooth and fast as possible.

      Is it hard to get planning permission?2020-10-10T09:04:48+00:00

      A collection of surveys conducted between 2017 and 2019 indicate that between 27 and 34% of recent applicants for planning permission in the UK found the process difficult. One survey, conducted by Everest, revealed 32% of applicants waited three months for approval, whilst a quarter of applicants faced with denial had applied in excess of three times.

      In spite of these figures, historical government data shows a significant increase in the number of approved planning applications in recent years, jumping from an approval rate of 82 to 88%.

      The ease of obtaining planning permission is hugely dependent on the quality of application, alongside the area for which the development is proposed. The best way to ensure the success of your planning application is to consult an experienced planning consultant, who will assist in the development and submission of an effective, comprehensive application.

      How much does a planning application cost?2020-10-10T09:11:55+00:00

      Planning application fees vary according to local authority, and further according to the size and nature of the proposed development.  For example, in England, submitting an application for a new house build, or a conversion currently costs £462, with outline applications charged £462 per 0.1 hectares.  It is important to note that in many cases, an additional £20 processing charge applies to those submitting documents online via the Planning Portal.

      Planning consultants tasked with composing or submitting a planning application often aim to charge a fixed fee, in order to allow the client to complete their project within a set budget.

      What is planning permission required for?2020-10-10T09:13:30+00:00

      You will most likely require planning permission in order to legally proceed with a development in the UK. The main types of development for which planning application must be submitted and approved include new builds, major alterations to existing buildings, and changes of use. If work is started without planning permission, an enforcement notice will be issued to the owner of the property, followed by potential fines, or prosecution.

      Planning permission is often an essential prerequisite to developments of any kind – it is highly advisable to check if it is required prior to undertaking work of any kind, or starting building. Involving a planning consultant with your development project can assist in the effective composition and submission of all documents required for planning permission, getting things moving within a shorter timeframe.

      Can I start building without planning permission?2020-10-10T09:14:02+00:00

      Building without planning permission is not necessarily a breach of UK regulation – however, in many instances, it is – especially in the case of significant development. Planning control breaches may result in the necessitation of the submission of a retrospective application to the local council or planning authority. If this submission is not accepted or is connected to a previously refused application for the property in question, an enforcement notice may be issued.  In extreme cases, this note may stipulate that the entire structure is dismantled.

      Employing a planning consultant can assist greatly in avoiding regulation breaches with regard to planning permission. Norton Taylor Nunn’s team of highly trained specialists are proud to provide consultation and advisory services relating to planning permission. Contact us today to further discuss your development.

      What percentage of planning appeals are successful?2020-10-10T09:14:29+00:00

      The records of the Planning Inspectorate (the board responsible for appeal applications) indicate that approximately one-third of planning appeals are successful, with this rate remaining relatively consistent over a significant period of time. This translates to approximately 33.33% – which is not an incredibly encouraging figure for those faced with rejection.

      If you are concerned with the success of your planning application or have already faced rejection, employing a planning consultant is the best course of action. As professionals in the field of planning legislation, planning consultants are able to guide developers through the process of application and application alterations. 

      Who deals with planning appeals?2020-10-10T09:15:09+00:00

      Planning appeals, once processed by a local planning authority (LPA) are most often referred to the Planning Inspectorate. Applicants may proceed with a refusal by appealing to the Secretary of State via the Inspectorate, which manages planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, and specialist planning related casework within the borders of England and Wales.

      Norton Taylor Nunn’s planning appeal consultants are able to take care of all aspects of an appeal, from the preparation of an appeal statement evidencing strong reasons for approval, to robustly challenging the opinion of the council in writing or consultation.

      How do I appeal a planning application refused?2020-10-10T09:15:50+00:00

      The appeal process, when conducted by a planning consultant, generally begins with an application review and audit. The decision notice will be thoroughly analysed, in order to establish initial weak points within the refusal. When combined with a more thorough highlighting the application’s strengths, this should increase the chances of a successful application.

      Planning consultants may also provide a supporting planning statement, which addresses key issues, and sets out planning grounds in favour of the application.

      Following this, a proposal indicating the likelihood of a successful reapplication will be proposed, and listed alongside cost.  These steps may be undertaken by an individual, but are generally much more effective with professional input.

      What does appeal dismissed mean in planning?2020-10-10T09:17:18+00:00

      The dismissal of a planning application appeal generally indicates that the application may not be taken any further. The most effective way forward from this point is most often a re-evaluation of the original submission, and appeal. This re-evaluation is most often conducted as the first step of the creation of an edited application, designed to appeal to any weaknesses noted in the rejection or dismissal note.

      Involving a planning consultant on a previously dismissed development project can be an excellent way to get things back up and running. Norton Taylor Nunn’s team of specialist planning appeal consultants use their expertise to ensure the majority of appeals brought to us are approved.

      What happens if you ignore a planning enforcement notice?2020-10-10T09:18:06+00:00

      An enforcement notice is a legal document issued to property owners in the case of a planning control breach. Enforcement notices outline the steps which must be undertaken in order to resolve this breach within a specified timeframe. These steps may include the deconstruction or alteration of a building, the reinstation of a demolished building, or the ceasing of activity on the property.

      If the notice is not appealed within the specified time period, it will take effect, and the person in control of development on the property will be required to undertake all steps specified. Further ignoration of an enforcement notice is considered a failure to comply, and a criminal offence.

      What is the 10-year rule in planning permission?2020-10-10T09:20:26+00:00

      The 10-year rule is most often used to refer to a legal loophole in UK planning regulation.  If the land has been developed unlawfully, the best course of action is to submit a retrospective application – if this course is not followed, an enforcement notice may be issued listing drastic alterations that must be made to the property by law. Alternatively, if no enforcement is taken within four years of development completion, it is granted immunity from enforcement action. This loophole also exists in a 10-year form when dealing with a change of use in the property.

      These loopholes are extremely risky ways of avoiding planning regulation – Norton Taylor Nunn strongly advises against the use of such methods.

      What is a breach of planning control?2020-10-10T09:22:32+00:00

      A breach of planning control, or a planning breach, is defined by law as the starting or continuation of a development without the correct planning permission or failing to comply with conditions or limitations listed in permissions. Developments out with the limits of Permitted Development Rights are also considered a breach of planning control.

      Those guilty of serious planning control breaches may be subject to fines, or prosecution.

      What happens if planning conditions are not met?2020-10-10T09:23:39+00:00

      Planning conditions must be met as a legal requirement. Local Planning Authorities are generally authorised to conduct inspections of the property in order to ensure the development’s compliance to conditions within the planning permission.

      Failure to comply with and conditions or stipulations outlined within the planning permission may lead to the issue of an enforcement notice, or to invalidation of the original permission. Following this, failure to comply with the steps set out in the enforcement notice may result in prosecution.  

      What are valid planning objections?2020-10-10T09:27:55+00:00

      Objections on the grounds of invalidity are common in planning applications. Comments citing this reason only as their reason for objection are not generally taken into account by local planning authorities. Valid reasons for objection include;

      • The proposed development is not compliance with national, regional, or local planning policy
      • The proposed development is not in keeping stylistically with other buildings or features in the area
      • The proposed development will have a negative impact on surrounding properties (e.g. infringement on privacy or loss of daylight)
      • The proposed use for development is not suitable for the surrounding area
      • The proposed development will cause issues with traffic flow
      • Similar proposed developments have already been rejected repeatedly
      • The development has been proposed within a restricted area, such as a green belt
      • The type of housing proposed is not in line with current local housing needs
      How many objections does it take to stop planning?2020-10-10T09:28:28+00:00

      There is no set threshold for the number of applications required to reject a planning application. Local planning authorities tend to value the quality of objections over quantity, meaning the reasons for rejection within comments on the application or letters must be valid and hold significant weight. Badly constructed petitions will not be considered.

      It is thought that the submission of between 5 and 10 quality objections will result in a committee meeting. Procedure and policy will vary between local planning authorities.

      On what grounds can planning be rejected?2020-10-10T09:29:44+00:00

      Planning applications can be rejected for a vast variety of reasons – reasons which should be listed within a decision letter sent to the applicant upon rejection. These reasons may include common issues, such as an issue with the style of the building, design flaws, inappropriate layout, infringement on the privacy of neighbours, light-blocking, road safety, or conservation.

      Developments not in keeping with a local council’s current housing needs may also be rejected. Other reasons include the selection of sites out with town planning boundaries, the materials proposed for use, or the size of the plot.

      Though some of the above issues are easily resolved by way of amendments, those stuck in a rut with planning rejection should consider seeking advice from a planning consultant.

      Are planning objections anonymous?2020-10-10T09:30:11+00:00

      The anonymity of planning rejections is entirely dependent on the individual policies of local planning authorities. Generally, all comments submitted to an LPA must contain a valid name and address in order to be considered, however, objectors may request the withdrawal of their details for all records uploaded or distributed for public inspection.

      Can neighbours stop permitted development?2020-10-10T09:30:43+00:00

      Property under permitted development does not require planning permission, meaning the public, and neighbours, typically cannot object to the development. If there is concern over neighbours objecting to the development regardless of this, peace of mind may be bought with a certificate of lawful development.

      With this being said, if there are any legal flaws or issues with the property, such as a violation of the ‘right to light’ law, neighbours are within their rights to object to the development.

      What is strategic land use planning?2020-10-10T09:34:27+00:00

      Strategic land development planning is the process of the assessment of land, with the intention of identifying future land uses, and potential for development.  Strategic land use planning helps forecast and control a variety of factors affecting a location, including housing demand, and the need for services to meet subsequent growth caused by any development. Strategic land planning balances controlled growth with sensitive factors such as sustainability and community needs.

      Strategic land development planning is part of a wide network of local planning authorities, and town development plans, ensuring consistency and helping the UK as a whole function efficiently and effectively.

      What does a land developer do?2020-10-10T09:35:52+00:00

      Land developers are generally required to oversee property acquisitions, alongside the subsequent planning and construction process. The real estate organisations to which land developers belong may specialise in one particular area of development, broadly defined as commercial and residential. These categories may be narrowed down to residential, retail, office, and industrial developments.

      When overseeing developments, land developers generally take into account property value, the current state of the economy, zoning restrictions, and the suitability of land. Those specialising in other areas may assist in portfolio development or market analysis. Land developers may work to subdivide land in order to better suit the development project or to maximise potential profit.

      How do you source land for development?2020-10-10T09:37:51+00:00

      The first step in sourcing land for development is conducting extensive research regarding the type of development to be undertaken, and the most suitable type of land for purchase in accordance with this. Any other relevant investigations should also be completed. Following this, interest should be registered with all relevant parties, including land agents, brokers, planning consultants, and real estate agents.

      Property sections of publications such as both local and national newspapers and magazines should be frequently checked, alongside property sales websites. Setting email notifications for property uploads may assist with keeping track of properties new to the market online.

      Land purchasing opportunities may also be found at specialist auctions, which may be accessed through both private inquiries, and government authorities. 

      What is strategic land?2020-10-10T09:40:48+00:00

      Land may be considered strategic for two primary reasons;

      • The location of the land may form an access route upon development, subsequently opening up a larger area of land for potential development.
      • The land may be within the boundaries of an existing developed area, meaning it will tend to gain value regardless of how much is invested in it, and that it may be developed over a short, medium, or long term. Brownfield sites are an excellent example of this.  

      The value of strategic land lies in the way it is processed through the planning application system, or through development, and subsequent sale. As mentioned above, the land may also be held as an investment.

      How do you find development opportunities?2020-10-10T09:42:35+00:00

      Development opportunities can be found through numerous sources of information. Following the conduction of preliminary research relating to all aspects of the development, a prospective developer should register interest with all relevant parties through which land or property may be obtained. This can include land agents, brokers, planning consultants, and real estate agents.  In addition to this, forms of publication through which property can be advertised should be checked on a regular basis, alongside online listings, for which notifications can be set.

      Strategic land may also be found for sale at actions catering to developers, or land auctions, both of which may be accessed through both private inquiries, and government authorities. 

      How do you view planning applications online?2021-06-23T11:22:50+00:00

      Most planning applications are submitted online and for this reason, they can also be viewed online. This applies to any application and decisions made since 1973. You may even be able to download plans, maps, decision notices, consultation responses and comments if the application was made in 2010 or later.

      In order to view a live application, you can visit the Government website, accessible via https://www.gov.uk/search-register-planning-decisions, and enter the postcode used in the planning permission. This should take you to the correct borough council’s website, from where you can navigate to the planning permission page/tab and follow their search filters to find your planning permission in the database.

      How much do planning applications cost?2021-06-23T11:23:31+00:00

      Planning fees in England are set nationally by the government and are detailed in the Town and Country Planning (Fees for Applications, Deemed Applications, Requests and Site Visits) (England) Regulations 2012, as amended. Over the years there have been changes and increases introduced to this document in terms of pricing.

      In general, the cost of submitting a planning application varies across the UK and based on the type of application. Currently, a full application for a single dwelling in England costs £462, while an extension application costs £206 (based on figures in June 2021).

      When it comes to building new dwellings, the costs increase with the number of dwellings you are applying for. When considering submitting a planning application, it is recommended that you seek advice beforehand.
      Depending on where you seek help from and how many consultations you go for, you should consider a cost of anywhere between £100 and £400 (based on figures in June 2021).

      What types of planning applications are there in the UK?2021-06-23T11:24:23+00:00

      There are several different types of planning applications that you can submit. Here are some of the most popular types of planning applications, most of which can be submitted online:

      • Householder planning consent for alterations or extensions of your house.
      • Full planning consent to carry out certain changes of use, or operations to land or buildings.
      • Outline planning consent when you’d like the council to consider the principle of a proposal before preparing detailed drawings for matters such as siting, design, external appearance, means of access and landscaping, which will eventually require granted reserved matters application.
      • Reserved matters to get approval of any matters not considered under an outline planning application, once the detail of a proposal is available. This requires a granted outline planning permission before consideration of reserved matters.
      • Non-material amendment following a grant of planning permission for further amendments on an approved planning application.
      • Application for removal or variation of planning conditions.
      • Listed building and conservation area consent to alter a listed building or demolish buildings, walls or other means of enclosure in a conservation area.
      • Notice of intention for agricultural or forestry development.
      • Advertisement consent for certain types of advertisements.
      • Lawfulness development certificate for developments that do not have the necessary planning permission.

      What is a planning application?2021-06-23T11:24:59+00:00

      Planning applications must be submitted to your Local Planning Authority (LPA) to receive planning permission for any construction or demolition work you wish to do on your property or land you own. Some works are exempt, but most serious works will require planning permission, so you should always check beforehand.

      Once the application is made, the planning department of your local authority will either grant permission (possibly subject to certain conditions) or reject your application. If you have any queries about the application process or regarding the decision you received, you should contact your local authority directly.

      Most planning applications can be submitted online and the majority of them are subject to a fee, which varies depending on the type of application you are making and the scope of the project you are preparing the plans for.

      Do all planning applications go to a committee?2021-06-23T11:25:48+00:00

      No, applications only go to a committee if there are major objections, especially when the applicant (or their partner) works at the Council they’re going through, or they are a Councillor. In every borough, there are at least two Councillors who can call-in an application to go to a committee.

      Sometimes the call-in might have been made because of concerns with the application that can be resolved by changing a plan or adding conditions to approvals. However, if the application is called in and is already recommended for refusal, the Councillor may automatically agree with the recommendation and may not even pass the application to the committee.

      How many planning appeals are successful?2021-06-23T11:26:21+00:00

      There is no national average in terms of successful planning appeals as it varies greatly across the different boroughs and Local Planning Authorities (LPAs). However, the percentage of success rate could fall somewhere between 10%-30% based on previous records. This rate has tended to remain fairly constant through the years.

      Appealing should always be the last resort when your planning permission is not granted or if certain conditions have been put on your application, which you are not happy about. Speaking to your local planning authority should be your first step.

      Sometimes, amending your application with some changes to your proposals wins you the acceptance of your application. With quite a low rate of successful appeals, appellants should make sure they feel be confident at the time they make their appeal that they are able to make their full case. A planning consultant may help with the smooth running of your project and guide you on any appeal processes that may arise.

      Where are planning appeals heard?2021-06-23T11:27:01+00:00

      Planning appeal hearings are arranged by the Local Planning Authority (LPA) who is responsible for arranging venues. Hearings are usually held in LPA offices, village halls, or community centres, but during the pandemic, they have taken place online. Hearings are formatted as a round-the-table discussion led by the planning inspector.

      The planning appeal process is intended to be an informal process and allows for all parties to respond to any questions that the inspector might have, and to let everyone make their case known. Third parties, such as local residents, councillors, and amenity groups may also attend and take part in the discussion. The majority of hearings will take no longer than a day and usually conclude with a site visit.

      How do I submit a planning appeal?2021-06-23T11:27:41+00:00

      Normally submitting a planning appeal happens by post or online. During the pandemic, the planning appeals could only be done online using the government website. The online appeals go to the Planning Inspectorate. If you want to appeal more than one decision you must make a separate appeal for each.

      After appealing online, you will need to send a copy of your appeal with all the supporting documents to your local planning authority. You will receive further instructions from the Planning Inspectorate.

      You’ll need to submit copies of:

      • Your original application.
      • The site ownership certificate.
      • The local planning authority’s decision notice – if they did not make a decision, submit a copy of the letter acknowledging your application.
      • All plans, drawings, and documents you sent to the local planning authority.

      You’ll also need to submit:

      • A map of the surrounding area
      • Any other documents that directly support your appeal, for example, your full statement of the case

      You can upload these documents when you appeal.

      My planning permission has been refused, what’s next?2021-06-23T11:28:16+00:00

      In the unfortunate event of your planning permission being refused, you may be able to submit another application with modified plans free of charge, as long as it’s 12 months of the decision of your original application. If you believe the authority’s decision was unreasonable you may want to appeal.

      Appeals are intended as a last resort, and they take several months to decide. It may be quicker to discuss with the authority whether changes to your proposal would make it more acceptable or, in cases of non-determination, when your application might be decided if you choose not to appeal.

      The deadline for submitting an appeal is six months from the date of the application decision letter or in the case of non-determination, six months from the date the decision should have been made.

      How many times can you appeal a planning decision?2021-06-23T11:28:43+00:00

      Refused applications can be appealed within 6 months of the decision, or 3 months for householder appeals. Appealing is a complicated process taking several months, which is why appealing repeatedly is never advisable. Reapplying with amended plans that factor in planning officer feedback is an easier route to getting planning permission.

      Oftentimes, developers find themselves applying over and over again and amending the plans according to the feedback received each time to eventually find themselves getting an acceptance from their local planning authority (LPA). However, if this approach doesn’t work and/or if you feel the refusal is unreasonable – or if the LPA has taken longer than the required 8 or 13 weeks to issue the decision (unless a longer time frame has been previously agreed) – then you can appeal to the Secretary of State.

      Does an enforcement notice expire?2021-06-23T11:29:25+00:00

      The Local Planning Authority (LPA) will make decisions on a case-by-case basis as to what is the appropriate action that needs to be taken when a breach of planning control has been identified. This will be dependent on a variety of factors including the type of development the breach involves.

      Depending on the route that the LPA chooses to take, there are different periods within which the person receiving the enforcement notice should take action. Some types of notices need to be acted upon within 21 or 22 days, whilst others will expire only after day 28. The notice sent by the LPA will clearly state the reasons for the notice and the timeframes within which appropriate action should be taken, as well as the consequences of inaction within the specified period.

      You should NEVER ignore an enforcement notice.

      What is planning enforcement?2021-06-23T11:30:01+00:00

      Planning enforcement is the investigation that happens when an alleged breach of planning control occurs, and where a planning control breach is identified. Planning law breaches include not obtaining planning permission, not carrying out works in accordance with permission, planning condition non-compliance or changing the use of sites without permission.

      Planning enforcement aims to resolve these using the most appropriate action. A planning enforcement officer is there to guide planning applications, breaches of planning law, retrospective planning applications and enforcement action. A breach of planning control is not usually a criminal offence, however, carrying out unauthorised works to a listed building, the unauthorised display of advertisements or damage to a protected tree may involve a criminal offence.

      What is a planning enforcement officer?2021-06-23T11:30:31+00:00

      A planning enforcement officer is someone responsible for investigating complaints regarding planning legislation breaches, obtaining evidence, and preparing advice to resolve the problem. They investigate by visiting the site when necessary, attempt to resolve breaches via discussion and negotiation, or when required, produce a written recommendation or take formal action.

      The planning enforcement officer will also be involved in any planning applications or appeals that may emerge from the enforcement action. When first notified of the potential breach, the officer has the right to enter the development site at a reasonable hour without a warrant to check if there has been a breach of planning. Obstructing their entrance is seen as a criminal offence.

      What can a planning enforcement officer do?2021-06-23T11:31:01+00:00

      Local planning authorities have discretionary power to investigate and enforce any potential breaches of planning control. Planning enforcement is usually carried out by an enforcement officer, whose role may include:

      • Providing guidance about planning applications, breaches of planning law, retrospective planning applications and enforcement action.
      • Investigating complaints to determine whether planning permission for works that have begun or are completed is required.
      • Making site visits. Enforcement officers have a legal right of entry to investigate alleged breaches of planning law. If entry is refused, a warrant may be obtained.
      • Assessing developments that are in breach of planning law to determine the harm done and the possible remedies.
      • Entering into negotiations with the parties.
      • Taking enforcement action.
      • Checking compliance with enforcement action.
      • Instigating prosecutions for non-compliance with enforcement action.

      What constitutes a breach of planning permission?2021-06-23T11:31:30+00:00

      A breach of planning permission is defined in section 171A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as the carrying out of development without the required planning permission or failing to comply with any condition or limitation subject to which planning permission has been granted. This is an offence.

      Another example of a breach of planning permission involves changing the use of a site or buildings without obtaining permission where permission is needed.

      Depending on what type of planning permission has been breached, there are different types of enforcement actions that the officer can apply – from planning contravention notice, through planning enforcement order to stop notice and temporary stop notice.

      How do you view planning objections?2021-06-23T11:32:00+00:00

      When you’ve applied for planning permission and suspect there may be objections, you can view the planning objections submitted online. Simply navigate to the website of your Local Planning Authority (LPA) and find their planning application page. You should be able to navigate the page and search for your application.

      You will need to input the application number to pull up the case. Once you’ve found the application you are after, you should be able to view all the associated comments and objections. Anyone is allowed to make an objection that may or may not be deemed valid by the planning authority.

      How do you oppose a planning application?2021-06-23T11:32:29+00:00

      Objecting to planning applications can be done online. Your Local Planning Authority (LPA) gives access to viewing all planning applications that are submitted to anyone interested via their website. Objections to planning permission are visible on the LPA database, but you can request that your name and address are withheld.

      However, if there is a chance that new development is going to be worked on in your local area and the planning officer that is assigned to the case deems it necessary to inform you because they believe that the new development may affect you, they will send a letter to your home directly presenting the proposed plans. Not all reasons that you may put forward will be considered as the grounds for the planning permission to be rejected – you need to make sure you are proposing a valid reason for the refusal.

      Will planning permission be granted if my neighbours object?2021-06-23T11:33:12+00:00

      An objection from your neighbour is not necessarily a reason to reject your application. Your neighbour would need to present solid and valid reasons as to why the proposed plans should not go ahead.

      The following are the grounds on which planning permission is most likely to be refused (although this list is not intended to be definitive) :

      • Adverse effect on the residential amenity of neighbours, by reason of (among other factors) noise, disturbance, overlooking, loss of privacy, overshadowing, etc. This does not include noise or disturbance arising from the actual execution of the works, which will not be taken into account, except possibly concerning conditions that may be imposed on the planning permission, dealing with hours and methods of working, etc. during the development.
      • Unacceptably high density/over-development of the site, especially if it involves loss of garden land or the open aspect of the neighbourhood (so-called ‘garden grabbing’)
      • Visual impact of the development
      • Effect of the development on the character of the neighbourhood
      • Design (including bulk and massing, detailing and materials, if these form part of the application)
      • The proposed development is overbearing, out-of-scale or out of character in terms of its appearance compared with existing development in the vicinity
      • The loss of existing views from neighbouring properties would adversely affect the residential amenity of neighbouring owners
      • If in a Conservation Area, adverse effect of the development on the character and appearance of the Conservation Area
      • If near a Listed Building, adverse effect of the development on the setting of the Listed Building.
      • The development would adversely affect highway safety or the convenience of road users, but only if there is technical evidence to back up such a claim.

      What is amenity in planning terms?2021-06-23T11:33:38+00:00

      In planning terms, ‘amenity’ often refers to the quality or character of an area and elements that contribute to the overall enjoyment of an area. Residential amenity considers elements that are particularly relevant to the living conditions of a dwelling. Amenity is important to consider when making planning permission applications.

      When planning permission is rejected on the grounds of loss of amenity, it means the proposed development will harm the amenity of another property, through the noise, overlooking, overshadowing, smells, light pollution, loss of daylight, loss of privacy, dust, vibration or late night activities. The planning authorities must support sustainable development. For this reason, when a proposed development poses a risk of loss of amenity of any type, the application is likely to be rejected.

      What is overbearing planning?2021-06-23T11:34:35+00:00

      Overbearing planning is a term used to describe the impact a development will have on its surroundings, particularly a neighbouring property, in terms scale, massing and dominating effect. Overbearing planning is often a reason for rejection of planning applications since it is subjective and can also be overturned at appeal.

      Whether a proposed building or extension is considered to be overbearing will be assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into account several factors. Some of the reasons why a development might be deemed overbearing include:

      • The physical ‘presence’ of a building.
      • Its scale and mass.
      • An oppressive feeling as a result of the development.
      • An intrusive feeling as a result of the development.

      What is a Strategic Development Zone?2021-06-23T11:35:05+00:00

      A Strategic Development Zone refers to an area of land that is proposed to contain developments of economic or social significance to the state and the local community. For example, proposing the development of 10,000 residential units with associated transport and community infrastructure would be considered a Strategic Development Zone.

      Some of the characteristics that sites that are considered to be Strategic Development Zones share, include sustainable development, high accessibility by public transport as well a focus on environmentally-friendly solutions. Strategic Development Zones do not always have to be new developments – plans can be submitted for the regeneration of certain estates or neighbourhoods as long as they aim to improve the economic and social situation in the area.

      What is land development engineering?2021-06-23T11:35:40+00:00

      Land development engineering refers to a specific branch of engineering that deals with planning residential, commercial, industrial or mixed-use developments. Land development engineers will determine the feasibility of a development project and access to the land to ensure it can support the planned development, and any associated supporting infrastructure required.

      The main idea behind land development engineering is to make improvements to a piece of land. The practice of land development is seen as essential for communities as the land development projects can generate more jobs, unite community members through the use of public spaces such as parks, and maintain or increase home values. Land development engineering is a highly specialised discipline as the engineers have to follow a myriad of stringent regulations and rules before any work can begin.

      What is land development tax?2021-06-23T11:36:14+00:00

      Selling land that has been developed to raise its value is subject to taxation. A straightforward land or property sale would normally incur a Capital Gains Tax (CGT) charge. Gain is calculated as sale price, less purchase cost, and any qualifying expenditure, and less incidental costs of purchase or sale.

      If the asset is held by an individual, the gain will then normally be taxable at 20% to the extent that it falls within the basic rate income tax threshold (between £12,571 and £50,270). The higher 28% CGT rate which applies to disposals of residential property will not apply to a disposal of bare land, even if it already has planning permission for residential property to be built, but would apply if what you are selling is already residential property.

      What does land development mean?2021-06-23T11:36:41+00:00

      Land development is the process of altering a landscape so it can meet the residential, commercial, or industrial needs of a specific area or community. It requires collaboration between multidisciplinary fields to plan and design to meet development goals, while also working with the environment, surrounding communities, and pre-existing structures.

      Like many other components of civil engineering, the land development process involves strict rules and regulations and requires the acquisition of government approvals before the physical development can begin.

      On a smaller scale, land development can also refer to individual investors who may be in possession of a piece of land which they can choose to prepare for the development of property by applying for planning permission and once obtained, sell the piece of land, along with the pre-approved plans for development works.

      Why can development be necessary?2021-06-23T11:37:11+00:00

      Sometimes strategic land development is necessary. There is a shortage of homes in the UK and the government is increasing efforts to develop more affordable housing. To achieve this, plots of land need to be bought and prepared for development to ensure the development is accessible and meets planning requirements.

      This may mean there may need to be roads built to connect the plot of land with public roads, water pipes may need to be laid or electricity posts added so that the future homes can be fully functional. Oftentimes the development requires work such as levelling out the surface, removing trees and preparing the soil for foundations. Strategic land engineers would survey the site and establish what needs to be done in order to prepare the land for development.

      What is the housing market in economics?2021-06-23T11:37:39+00:00

      In UK economics, the housing market refers to the national supply and demand for houses. Key metrics of the housing market are average house prices and their trends. The UK housing market refers to all housing, including privately owned homes, privately rented and local authority rented accommodation, and managed properties.

      A change in house prices affects the value of household wealth, creating a positive or negative wealth effect. A positive wealth effect means that, following a rise in house prices, the ratio of the market value of the property to the debt on that property (i.e. mortgage) rises, creating an increase in equity. This can trigger housing equity withdrawal and can be a significant boost to consumer spending.

      How often does the real estate market change?2021-06-23T11:38:08+00:00

      The real estate market is continually affected by many different variables which make house prices go up and down. You can see minor shifts in prices each month, however, the large, significant changes in the housing market caused by natural fluctuations in the market sometimes show only after 3-6 months.

      Depending on the factor that is pushing the price up or down, the speed of response of the housing market will vary. For example, when the first lockdown restrictions were introduced in the UK back in March 2020, the housing market was fast to reflect that change, dropping by two percentage points in April – such a sharp dip from 2.7 to 0.7 has not been experienced in a few years prior. On the other side of these lockdown restrictions, as things began to open up slowly, the housing market experienced an upsurge. After the initial increase to 2.0 in July 2020, the house prices shot up to 7.6 percent between July 2020 and November 2020.

      How does the real estate market work?2021-06-23T11:38:52+00:00

      The real estate market refers to the assets made up of properties and the land that they sit on. In the United Kingdom, the real estate market includes buying and selling real estate, renting or leasing real estate, or performing real estate activities on either a contract or fee basis.

      The real estate market can be divided into residential and commercial and is a major part of the UK economy. Just like any asset, the housing market is also affected by supply and demand fluctuations. The law of supply and demand dictates the equilibrium price of a property. A low supply of housing inventory may drive prices up, which is what tends to result in bidding wars. A specific property may be in demand by multiple parties who all try to outbid each other by increasing their purchase price offer.

      The bidding war ends when the seller accepts one of the offers, which then also removes a unit from the available supply. When there is a high demand for properties in a particular city or state combined with a lack of supply of quality properties, the prices of houses tend to rise.

      On the other hand, when a weak economy and an oversupply of properties lead to low or no demand for housing, the prices of houses tend to fall.

      How much did the housing market crash in 2008?2021-06-23T11:39:21+00:00

      The global financial crisis in 2008 saw financial markets lose up to 30% of their value over a short time period. This period also ranks amongst the worst in the global real estate market, with the UK housing market crashing almost 20%. It was the largest annual drop on record.

      There were some variations in the different regions and parts of the UK. While Northern Ireland recorded a 34% drop in prices, the Scottish market dropped by just 8%. In England the largest fall was in East Anglia, where prices were down by 16.6%, followed by London and the south-east where prices dropped by more than 15%. The smallest drop was in the north of the country, where prices were down 11% year-on-year.

      How does the housing market affect the economy?2021-06-23T11:39:48+00:00

      The variability of the housing market has a direct impact on the economy. When the prices of houses rise, this encourages spending as people’s assets are worth more. With increased spending, more money is being pumped into the economy leading to economic growth. This refers to the positive wealth effect.

      The positive wealth effect also suggests that in such scenarios these homeowners are able to release some equity by borrowing more against the increased value of their property.

      On the flip side, when house prices are falling, the economy is showing us a negative wealth effect. When house prices fall, people tend to cut their spending as consumer confidence is affected negatively. As a result, the economic growth shrinks and may eventually lead to a recession. Falling house prices cause more people to be trapped in negative equity (a situation where your house is worth less than an outstanding mortgage). This causes a fall in spending and precludes any opportunity for equity withdrawal. Additionally, falling house prices have a negative impact on the construction of new houses.

      Is pre-application planning advice worth it?2021-08-16T07:28:05+00:00

      Pre-application planning advice can prove to be an invaluable service for anyone looking to submit a planning application to their local planning authority. By seeking pre-application planning advice, you can ensure that you are using the correct planning form and submitting the correct drawings. Your town planning consultant will be able to give you an informal view of the likelihood of achieving your planning permission or steer you towards an alternative route that may achieve the desired results. Similarly, when seeking pre-application planning permission, some people discover that their project falls under ‘permitted development’ and that they don’t need to submit a planning application at all. Therefore, seeking pre-application planning advice is definitely worth it as it could potentially save you time and money.

      How do you get planning advice?2021-08-16T07:28:45+00:00

      Planning advice can be obtained either directly from your local planning authority, or an experienced town planning consultant. Your LPA will always provide useful planning advice notes on their website which you can use to do your research. Based on that, you can submit a request for pre-application advice to your local planning authority. However, it may take several weeks to receive a response.

      If you choose to seek advice from a town planning consultant, you will be able to communicate with them straight away and receive all the planning advice you need to make your next move. Having a professional look at your plans early on can help you to save money and time as it will ensure you are following all the latest rules and regulations relevant to your circumstances, before applying.

      Can I obtain planning advice prior to submission of a planning application?2021-08-16T07:29:38+00:00

      Yes, you can obtain planning advice prior to the submission of a planning application. This is typically called pre-application advice and it can be obtained either directly from your local planning authority or an independent town planning consultant. Since planning laws and regulations can be confusing and complex, it is advisable to seek pre-application planning advice to make sure the application that you submit has got the highest chances of being accepted.

      Working with a town planning consultant allows you to amend your application early on and optimise it according to professional advice, which ultimately increases the likelihood of it being accepted the first time around.

      How long does pre-application advice take?2021-08-16T07:30:46+00:00

      There is no statutory timeframe for pre-application advice. The amount of time it takes to hear back after seeking pre-application advice depends on the LPA you are seeking the advice from. Some local planning authority branches commit to responding to you within 28 days, others allow a longer timeframe. To feel secure in the pre-application advice process, it may help to have a town planning consultant by your side.

      Having an expert offer you pre-application assistance means that you can receive all the planning advice you need, get your planning appraisal and feasibility study completed with a professional, and receive your pre-application statement. Once all of these are done correctly, your planning consultant will help you with the pre-application submission and will remain by your side to help during discussions with the LPA.

      What is a planning advice note?2021-08-16T07:31:38+00:00

      Planning advice notes offer technical advice and information on certain policy areas. Your local planning authority will regularly publish Planning Advice Notes (PANs) to provide more information on good practices to help those applying for planning permissions. Planning Advice Notes are often categorised by different types of developments they refer to and get updated regularly. They are a great source of information, especially if you choose to submit a request for pre-application advice from your LPA without the help of a town planning consultant.

      To find out more relevant information about the type of planning permission you need, head to your local planning authority’s website and find their Planning Advice Notes page.

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