What are the Benefits of Reviewing a Sites Planning History?

Planning Consultant - Chris Scott
Hi, I’m Chris,
I hold an MA in Planning and work as a Planning Consultant

Even if you’re not ready to submit a planning application for your proposals, a planning history review can be of value. Some of my clients just want to explore what type and scale of development could be possible. A site assessment and planning history review can be useful to evaluate what has previously been approved or refused on a site.

Planning Permission Search Tips
Searching through a local planning authorities website for previous planning applications (approvals and refusals) can provide some very useful information for future planning applications.

There are many benefits of conducting a planning application search for the planning history of a property. For instance, it can give you an indication of how the local authority is likely to respond to any future applications. Say for instance there have been several previous applications which have been refused for a similar development. Your next submission will be expected to have addressed the previous reasons for refusal. This could include changing the design in terms of the materials used or the scale of the proposal.

Previous Planning Approvals and Conditions

Most (but not all) planning permissions come with conditions attached. For instance, “The development must proceed in accordance with the submitted plans …“. However, there will often be more specific planning conditions. They may state the development can only be used for a specific purpose. Furthermore, they may have changed the use class of the property. This can have implications for future applications and may need to be taken into consideration.

Conditions Removing Permitted Development Rights

It has become increasingly common for local authorities to remove permitted development rights with conditions. So for instance, let’s say you get an extension to your property approved. The local authority is likely as part of that approval to remove your permitted development rights for any further extensions. However, the condition might be worded to remove all the permitted development rights attached to that property. So, for instance, a new shed in the back garden would then require planning permission. Therefore, it’s always important to review planning conditions associated with planning approval thoroughly.

If permitted development (PD) rights have not been removed they can prove to be a valuable asset. This could be either directly, or by using PD rights as the ‘fall back’ position to justify a proposal.

Changes in Local and National Planning Policy

Upon reviewing the planning history of a property a previous planning refusal may appear worse news than it really is. It’s always important to view decisions on planning applications in their own context. Between then and now there may have been changes to either national or local planning policy which increases the chances of a similar application receiving approval.

The National Planning Policy Framework is the current national policy document. With regards to local policy, each local authority produces its own local plans and supplementary planning documents around design etc.

Changes to other ‘Material’ Considerations

When a local authority makes a decision on a planning application it does so taking into account all of the ‘material’ considerations presented to them. A material consideration is anything that is relevant to making the decision in question. For instance, local and national planning policy is a material consideration. Material considerations can also include a whole host of other factors. So when I review the planning history of a site I do so in the context of considering the material considerations that currently exist. Another example of a material consideration is if permitted development rights for the property still exist.

Planning History Review Report

If you would be interested in a planning history review of your property please use the contact form to get in touch. First I will conduct a quick check to see what information I can find on the site and if any relevant planning history exists. I will then provide a fixed fee quotation to present you with a planning history report. The report will be prepared within the context of the development ideas you have for the site. If you later decide to use my services to submit a planning application for the development I will provide a discount for any planning history review I have previously carried out.

Thanks for reading and please get in touch 🙂