Following a refusal of planning consent, there are a number of options available to you. These consist of:
1) appealing against the decision
2) amending the proposal and resubmitting
3) going for a completely different proposal.
The appropriateness of each option to your scheme will depend on a large number of factors, too many to list here, but it is important to consider each option before committing to one of the options, as there are time, financial and stress implications for each.
Vitality Planning and Design offers each of these options to you, and ultimately the decision as to which option you go for is yours, but we will advise you honestly on which we consider is the best option for you. We can advise you for free on these options for you on an informal basis (click HERE for more information on this), but for a realistic and detailed assessment of your options, a development site planning appraisal would be required (click HERE for more information on this).
This is because in our appraisal we would need to review:
- The proposed and existing plans and elevations - Other submission documents (such as design and access statements, heritage statements, etc) - Photos of the development site - The Planning Officer's report - The decision notice - The planning constraints of the site - Possibly other sources of information (such as aerial photography, email chains, local Authority specialist's comments, neighbour's and other third party comments, committee minutes, etc.) where relevant.
Following an appraisal, we will provide you with a report within a gauranteed timeframe (click HERE for more information on this), where we set out our professional opinion regarding the different options referred to above, with our recommendations. If you wish, you can then follow this up as you consider appropriate with us.
Below are some comments regarding the three primary options following a refusal. Please note that this is simply a general guide for your benefit, and is no substitute for the in-depth analysis and consideration of your options that we offer with our development site planning appraisal, but we hope it is of some help to you. Please feel free to call us for further clarification on your options also.
Appealing against a refusal
We have seen first-hand the frustrations and delays that can result from what can be a burdensome, confusing, slow and bureaucratic process, which then ends in a refusal. Sometimes it can seem like Local Authorities simply wish to frustrate legitimate development aspirations. Given this, it is tempting to choose an appeal as a way of "getting back" at a seemingly incompetent Local Authority, especially after all the hard work that has gone into a project seems to have been ignored.
We would advise against choosing to appeal on such grounds. In planning, cool heads tend to prevail, and making a rash decision to go for appeal could end up making more problems. One must bear in mind that for an appeal, all of the reasons for refusal must be demonstrated to be flawed. So, even if most of the reasons for refusal are spurious, the appeal will still fail if only one reason for refusal still stands.
Appeal inspectors generally attach little weight to perceived maladministration by Local Planning Authorities. The focus of appeals are on the specific planning merits of the proposals. Similar developments in the area are also unlikely to be given significant weight at appeal also, and do not set precedents, so this does not give one as strong an argument as one would assume. It should be noted also that a planning appeal can be a very time-consuming process, so patience can be key if you think this is the option for you.
The Local Planning Authority is likely to strongly defend their decision at appeal, possibly with additional evidence and appeal statements, also. Appeal inspectors are also within their rights to find additional reasons for refusal. These additional problems can make development at a site more difficult than would have been the case had an appeal not been made.
Notwithstanding the above, numerous dubious decisions are made by Local Planning Authorities, and in these circumstances an appeal may well be the best option. Furthermore, where the Local Planning Authority has behaved unreasonably, an appeal for costs can be made also. In these circumstances, Vitality Planning and Design offers a robust and thorough appeals service, where our knowledge and experience can give your proposal a vital advantage, through our use of evidence based appeal statements, grounded in planning policy and guidance. For more information on our appeals service, please click HERE.
Amending the proposal and resubmitting
Quite often an easier, cheaper, quicker and less stressful option can be to make some minor adjustments to the proposal, and resubmit. Such minor adjustments can be beneficial for the development also, and help maintain better relations with the neighbours, the end result being a win-win for all relevant parties.
In particular innovative design techniques can be used to resolve seemingly intractable problems with your proposal. Here, our experience and expertise can be greatly advantageous to you, as you are likely to obtain a superior development to that which you would have obtained should you choose a less knowledgeable agent, or choose to apply independently.
Amending a proposal does not gaurantee that a proposal will be granted permission. However, should a scheme not be granted, then a subsequent case for appeal is much stronger, with an improved likelihood of winning, following making reasonable alterations to a scheme.
If this option is of interest to you, please call us and we can discuss possible options for amending your scheme.
A completely different proposal
It may well be the case that the proposal that has been put forward is fundamentally flawed. In such instances, we will advise you that radical changes are needed.
This is more common for sites which are highly constrained, such as properties within Conservation Areas or which are affected by protected trees. In such circumstances, it is important to be realistic about how much development potential there is at the site. However, it is also a good idea to consider all the different development options that are available; this is where a development site planning appraisal can be very helpful.
We can offer you a complete planning service regarding proposals, from beginning to finish. Our insights for your property are likely to result in development options that you and/or your previous agent may not have considered, and quite possibly a superior development. In such circumstances, a refusal for a poor scheme has been beneficial, as it has helped steer the development towards something which is better for all involved.
Occasionally a development site's potential may have been completely exhausted, or the site is so highly constrained that there is no viable development that is likely to be acceptable. In such circumstances, we will advise you of this.