Development Site Review and Appraisal

This service is very useful if you wish to understand the development potential of your property, but you are not sure whether now is the right time to develop or not. It is also helpful if you know what your development aims are, but are not sure what exact type of development you are seeking, and would like to explore viable development options.

This service consists of three main stages:

A – Basic Parameters

B – Planning Review

C – Conclusions

Below is a discussion of what is involved in each stage.

Basic Parameters

This stage consists of a scoping exercise to understand your development aspirations and the broad potential of your property. It begins with an initial discussion with you about your development objectives. As a customer focused consultancy, we are here as much to listen as we are to advise and serve you, so the starting point is for us to know what you are seeking.

Once we understand the broad scope of what you are seeking, the next step is the site review. This involves understanding your property in a broad sense, and usually involves visiting the property. It also involves reviewing photos, drawings, Google® StreetView® imagery, aerial photography, etc. of your property, if available.

Following the site review, we carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis of your site. This is where we establish the broad development potential of your property, taking into account its unique benefits and limitations.

The conclusion to the Basic Parameters stage is a post site review discussion with you. Here, we report to you our findings, let you consider your site's broad development potential, and listen to your feedback on these findings.


Planning Review


This stage consists of a full review of all the relevant planning related issues that could affect your property in regard to your development aims. It begins with a review of relevant planning policy and guidance, at the national, regional (if the property is in London) and local levels. Besides reviewing relevant planning policy and guidance documents, geographical constraints are also considered at this point also, through the review of your property in relation to the local proposals map, so as to put the planning policy and guidance into context.

The next step is to consider the planning history of your property and other relevant properties in the area (such as neighbouring buildings), and the specific constraints that this entails. Previous planning history can be a very useful indication of what is likely to be acceptable or not at your property, and the planning history of neighbouring properties can represent an opportunity or constraint for your development ambitions, so this is a key step in dealing with potential problems and taking advantage of these opportunities before getting to the design stage.

The last step to this stage is an informal discussion with the Local Planning Authority (LPA), other Council departments and/or other relevant organisation/s. This final step is subject to the LPA and other relevant bodies being willing to talk, as many LPA's no longer provide a "duty planning" service. The LPA and other relevant bodies may also charge a fee for such discussions, which is not included in our costs.

Fortunately, with most schemes it is not needed or overly helpful because 1) our expertise, knowledge and experience is more useful than informal advice from the LPA 2) following the previous steps above, the appropriate advice has in effect already been provided by the LPA 3) with simpler schemes such informal advice is not necessarily very helpful, as LPA planning officers do not know the context of your property 4) with more complex schemes, the LPA will normally insist on using their formal pre-application service.

Notwithstanding the above, where it is available we will seek informal discussions on your behalf. Please note that the LPA and other bodies will expect to discuss a well-formed proposal, rather than development aims (as they only provide advice on specific schemes), so a clear idea of what you are seeking will be needed for this step.



The final stage for our Development Site Appraisal service is where we draw out conclusions for your property, the scheme is agreed and the project is organised for the next stage (if applicable).

The first step here is a post-analysis site review. This is not necessarily always needed, especially with simpler proposals and/or if the site had previously been visited, but with larger, more complex properties, and grander, more elaborate development aims, it can be a useful step in order to help bring together all the relevant issues. This would involve us visiting your site and re-reviewing photos, drawings, Google® StreetView® imagery, aerial photography, etc. of your property, if available, and considering this information in the context of the results of the Planning Review stage (see above). This site review can be conducted with you being there also and can be combined with the post planning review discussion (see below) if you wish.


The next step is the post planning review discussion. This involves us either:

1.  meeting you at your property and going around the site with you

2. meeting you elsewhere (such as your favourite cafe, coffee shop, etc.)

3. calling you at a time which is convenient to you.


This discussion involves us analysing the various factors that affect your development aims, and realistic development options for you which will maximise the potential of your site. The conclusion of this process is an agreement on the broad outline of your proposal.

The next step is finalising the design of your proposal (or proposals if you wish to submit more than one proposal). Building on what was agreed in the discussion, we will develop a report setting out a variety of design options, with our recommended design/s to you. Our recommendations are based on all of the previous research and discussions prior to this step, and fully utilise our experience, knowledge and expertise to provide you with a proposal that stands the greatest chance of getting permission, whilst achieving your development aims to the fullest extent possible. You can then choose the final design you want, or submit an alternative design if you prefer.

Once you have advised us of your final design, we will organise the project for the next service, which is the development of accurate planning proposal drawings and other documents following a detailed planning survey of your property. For more information on this service, please click HERE.

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