Town Planning and Development Consultancy
What we do
We provide planning advice across a wide range of development types, over a considerable geographic area, for a range of clients in the public and private sectors. This includes residential and commercial developers, retailers, private landowners, local authorities, charities and smaller private clients.
Large Scale Residential
Our present portfolio of work includes consultancy advice as part of a larger development team in connection with large scale proposals for a new sustainable settlement at Marks Tey, near Colchester, linked with a large scale neighbourhood extension to Braintree by an improved section of the A120 between the two. The proposals have been in preparation for some time and we expect to move into the preparation stage of more detailed proposals in the near future. The development will comprise some 11,000 houses and employment space that will generate around 10,000 new jobs. It will include the planning of a number of new neighbourhoods in each of the development areas and include new community facilities and services, shops, schools and open recreation space. Every opportunity will be taken to ensure that the new communities are created is as sustainable manner as possible.
Longer Term Site Promotion
We also have a significant range of work in promoting longer term development proposals through the development plan process, as a result of which we have found the dramatic recent changes in the planning system an invigorating challenge. Activity in this sector has increased considerably in the life of the present government as the wide ranging changes have been introduced, including the revocation of Regional Spatial Strategies, the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the recent changes in approach resulting from the increased weight given to the latter.
We are heavily involved in all forms of work associated with the Local Development Framework process, including Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments, Strategic Housing Market Assessments, Core Strategy (and now Local Plan) Examinations and other DPDs and SPDs. There is also a continuing portfolio of work in site development appraisals for a range of development including residential and commercial, and some of this early assessment leads to longer term promotion of appropriate opportunities.
The very recent substantial changes to the permitted development rules has also led to the opening up of opportunities that did not previously exist, and we have been busy looking at existing clients' portfolios to see whether the changes can be used to advantage, as well as advising new clients in the same way.
Planning Appeals, LDCs and Enforcement
We presently also have a heavy workload of planning application and appeal work, particularly in respect of small to medium scale residential schemes, from one house to sixty, and have larger applications in preparation for developments of up to 250 units. We also have a range of work on a more diverse range of development types including changes of use of land and buildings, and are involved also in applications for Lawful Development Certificates, and in a range of enforcement matters. Our activity in these sectors also involves appeal work, including attendance at public inquiries and informal hearings as expert witness, as well as preparation of appeals by written representations.
There is a good deal of activity in the residential market at present and we are involved in a number of proposals of varying sizes more