Scott Planning Services
My name is Christopher Scott, I hold a Master of Arts in Planning Built Environments. You can learn more about me on the About page. I offer a range of planning services to assist with small scale and householder planning related projects. Acting as a planning consultant (also known as an agent) on my client’s behalf. My role is to prepare and manage planning applications from start to finish. I actively consult with the Local Authority to address potential issues and provide problem-solving solutions. I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation on projects so please get in touch.
Making Efficient Use of Permitted Development Rights
For most small scale and domestic (householder) projects, there are generally at least some relevant Permitted Development (PD) rights. Therefore, part of my service is to review proposals along with an architect to see how PD rights can be most effectively used. Where appropriate my services may also include applying to the Local Authority for a Lawful Development Certificate. For some projects in the early stages, a Site Assessment including a Planning History Review may be of interest.
Actively Consulting with the Local Authority
A key part of my service acting as an agent on my client’s behalf is to actively consult with the Local Planning Authority. I aim to address any issues early on and provide solutions where possible. There are normally 8 weeks between submission and determination. During this period I’m in active discussions with the case officer in an attempt to steer the project towards approval.
My services include acting as an agent on the following:
- Householder Applications
- Full Applications
- Retrospective Applications
- Outline Applications
- Reserved Matters Applications
- Variation/Discharge of Conditions
- Lawful Development Certificates
- Prior Notification Submissions
Sourcing an Architect and Additional Consultants
In some cases, clients may have already appointed an architect for a project. If not, I can assist with sourcing a quotation for the floor plans and elevations required. Certain planning applications may require additional reports, for instance from a Structural Engineer, Ecologist or Arboriculturalist. Other projects may require a Coal Mining Risk Assessment or Flood Risk Assessment. I can assist my clients by sourcing quotations for the required reports.
Do You Really Need A Planning Consultant?
You may still be questioning whether you need a Planning Consultant for your project and whether my services will be of value to your proposal. Therefore, I’ve provided a response to such questions in the FAQ section below.
What does a Planning Consultant provide over just using an Architect?
Obviously, an architect or drawing technician is an essential part of the planning application process. They are required to produce the scaled elevations, floor and roof plans for the proposal. However, in general, most architects only have a general understanding of Local and National Planning Policy. Simply because their time and expertise are in producing the required drawings. Architects generally don’t have the time to keep up with the sometimes small changes in the planning system. Some of these small changes can have a big impact on a proposal.
The planning history of a site and its location (potentially in the Green Belt etc) can be significant to the proposal. This is where the skills of a Planning Consultant come in. I thoroughly review the Site, Proposal, Planning History, and relevant Local and National Planning Policy. This research can help to aid the design to hopefully avoid potential issues before the application is submitted.
There is generally an 8-week determination period for the application. During that time period, the Local Authority will receive feedback on the proposal from their statutory consultees (Transport, Ecology etc). Issues with the proposal may have been raised by the statutory consultee. Alternatively, the case officer may have reservations about approving the scheme. My role as a planning consultant is to frequently monitor the application. Furthermore, to review the statutory consultee responses and discuss any issues they raise with the case officer on my client’s behalf.
Will using a Planning Consultant add a Significant Additional Cost to the Project?
If the appointed architect is also directed to submit, monitor and negotiate the planning application, those costs will be factored into their fee. Those costs will either be stated separately or included in the cost of the drawings for the proposal. Therefore, using a planning consultant does not necessarily increase the costs to the project significantly, if at all. My assistance to thoroughly research the site/proposal from a policy perspective can help to steer the direction of the design. Potentially making the difference between the project being refused or approved.
Hourly Rate or Fixed Fee?
Many people prefer a fixed fee over work based on hourly rates. Therefore, where possible I provide a fixed fee for working on an application.
What Areas of the UK do you Cover?
I provide advice on residential and small scale projects across the UK. However, for on-site visits and attending planning committee meetings when required, I can visit within 30 miles of ST13 8QS. Therefore, my onsite services cover the following local authorities:
- Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
- Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
- Cheshire East Council
- Stafford Borough Council
- East Staffordshire Borough Council
- Derbyshire Dales District Council
- High Peak Borough Council
- Peak District National Park.
What are the Additional Benefits of using a Planning Consultant?
For instance, I work with my clients and their architect to design a proposal in line with local/national policy. In some cases, I may come across a local planning approval or appeal decision which may be useful to help to justify approval of a proposal.
My role is to review and consider feedback from the Local Authority on the application. I then provide advice to the client/architect on whether to amend the application or not. In either case, I continue to negotiate the proposal with the Local Planning Authority.
Free 30 Minute Consultation
If you have a project which you need assistance with, please enter your details into the form below. I will then contact you to arrange a free 30-minute phone call. We will discuss your project regarding what permissions may be required and the potential planning challenges.