We pride ourselves on our understanding of places and our 25-year history of helping clients with their town planning needs.
The preparation and submission of planning applications is our bread and butter – the total applications submitted by the company must number in the thousands. We can advise clients on what supporting information will be required in order to give the application the best possible chance of being approved and arrange and organise reports and assessments from other consultants where necessary. We devise the most appropriate approach to development projects, ultimately serving the client’s aims whilst understanding the importance of improving the built and natural environment.
We also undertake planning appeals for our clients in situations where a Local Planning Authority has refused to grant planning permission (as well as call-in appeals, enforcement appeals and other related appeals). Appeals follow precise procedures set out in regulations and the Planning Inspectorate also issue best-practice guidance. Therefore a professional and expedient approach to the appeal process is vital to give a scheme the best chance of being allowed by an Inspector. The majority of appeals are dealt with by written representations or by informal hearings.
However some schemes will require the more complex procedure afforded by the Public Inquiry. CDN’s staff have experience of serving as both expert witness and advocate in planning appeals. Although usually instructed by appellants, we also are able to appear on behalf of local authorities or rule six parties – giving us an understanding of the process from all sides of the fence.
Some sites have little chance of being given planning permission at the current time. Therefore a strategic approach is required, often including development plan representations (e.g. Local Development Plans, Local Plans, Neighbourhood Plans, Core Strategies) to shape the future development plan for an area. This is related to strategic planning and site promotion, whereby the aim is to get land allocated in a development plan for a particular land-use. The development plan system may appear to be in a state of flux (with different Authorities at different stages of preparing their plans), but CDN can help clients navigate through the potential minefield of consultations, examinations and round table sessions.
Not all clients have existing plans for their land and need initial advice on whether there is potential to develop a site. We are happy to provide site appraisals and feasibility studies to suit the client’s needs. Such appraisals can also be used to recommend a course of action or strategy in order to maximise a site’s potential – and ultimately its value.
Our town planning work needs to understand the market forces, as well as the local context and the plans, politics and attitudes of the Local Planning Authority. Ultimately, CDN Planning are committed to delivering sustainable development whilst fulfilling the objectives of the client.
Some projects, especially major urban developments, will require planning obligations (e.g. S106 Agreements) or Community Infrastructure Levy contributions. We have wide experience of the systems and procedures behind planning obligations and can negotiate on behalf of our clients to successfully gain planning permission whilst not prejudicing the viability of a development.
Increasingly, community engagement is essential to good planning. CDN can devise effective communication strategies that suit a particular project, from small-scale discussions with neighbours to public exhibitions and large-spread stakeholder discussions.
Although the majority of our instructions are on behalf of applicants, we are also able to advise and help third parties where they are affected by a development proposal. Moreover, CDN have a track record of delivering services for local authorities, including development management roles, planning appeal services or development plan evidence base studies.