The planning system plays a central role in delivering developments across the UK, successfully negotiating the town planning process is key in many of our projects. The Wardell Armstrong planning team can provide planning advice at all stages of the development process from initial site identification and feasibility assessments through to gaining planning consent and project implementation.

The planning team have a proven track record of successfully delivering planning permission for a wide variety of projects, including residential and commercial property, energy, minerals and waste schemes.

Our planning team is spread across all of our regional offices providing locally based, commercially astute and pragmatic town planning advice designed to ensure our clients’ needs are delivered in a cost-effective manner.

Working closely with the wider team of other in-house Wardell Armstrong technical specialists (such as ecologists, ground engineers, archaeologists and landscape architects) the planning team provides a central point of contact to ensure that a clear consistent and joined up service is provided.

Deciding whether or not to pursue a change to a site’s existing planning status can be a protracted and potentially costly process. Whilst the uplift in value will almost always mitigate the time and financial costs, understanding the likelihood of gaining planning consent at the earliest possible stage is crucial.

Our planning team can provide a wide range of initial pre-planning appraisals that will identify any major development constraints and provide commentary on the potential feasibility of the scheme from a planning perspective. We frequently provide planning strategies for clients identifying all the stages that the project will need to pass through to gain planning consent and how each of these phases should be approached in order to stand the best chance of gaining the desired planning permission.

The production of planning applications is a central function of what the Wardell Armstrong planning team do. A technically sound and commercially robust planning application is one of the most important factors for ensuring that a proposal progresses smoothly through the planning process and any unnecessary delays are avoided.

The planning team provide the project over sight, ensuring that the justifications and benefits of the development are prominent. Working closely with other specialist consultants, the planning team can co-ordinate their input and ensure that a consistent application is delivered that clearly explains any impacts and highlights any mitigation if and where required.

Legal agreements are often attached to planning consents and can contain numerous obligations, many of which can have significant financial implications. The scale and timing of these obligations can often be subject to detailed agreement between the applicant and the local planning authority.

The Wardell Armstrong planning team can lead the negotiations on these requirements, ensuring that the most practical and commercial advantageous planning permission is secured.

Following a refusal or non-determination of a planning application, applicants are faced with the difficult decision of deciding whether or not to pursue a planning appeal. The Wardell Armstrong planning team have a successful track record of undertaking a number of planning appeals, ranging from written representations, to hearings through the full planning inquiries and providing expert witness evidence.

The planning team can provide advice on whether or not to pursue an appeal, as well as outline a case for appeal, provide expert witness statements and relevant evidence as well as agreeing statements of common ground. The planning team can liaise directly with a chosen legal team and work to ensure that all of the key matters are robustly addressed, and documents are provided in accordance with the strict appeal timetables.

The planning system in the UK is a primarily a plan led process and gaining an allocated land use within a local plan can be a cost-effective route to changing a site’s accepted land use. During the preparation of the plan, local planning authorities will seek representations from interested parties including landowners, developers and local residents.

As part of this process, those with an interest in a site can promote their preferred use. Wardell Armstrong can oversee and manage the local plan promotion, from assessing the likely timetable for submissions through to adoption. With access to a wide network of multidisciplinary colleagues, the planning team can prepare a comprehensive promotion package that can demonstrate the site’s suitability and deliverability and provide confidence to the local planning authority that the project is needed and is viable.

The Wardell Armstrong team can also make similar representations to local planning authority brownfield registers and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments (SHLAA) which can be seen as a pre-curser for promoting development through the local plan process.

Alongside the identification of larger scale allocations, the development plan also contains policies that can encourage and restrict certain types of development across the local plan area.

The Wardell Armstrong Planning team can assess the implications of the draft policies as they emerge and then formulate representations to support a preferred development and use. Representations can also be made to promote smaller scale schemes through the local plan process as well as potentially objecting to larger schemes which may sterilise or prevent development on nearby or adjacent sites.

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