Planning Consultancy – Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Planning Consultancy?

The Planning Consultancy includes answering your solicitors queries in relation to planning documents, relevant planning conditions and commenting on third party certificates for the property in question. It also includes researching Local Planning Authority files, visiting the property in order to compare what has been built. A PDF report is provided to you and your solicitor relating to your solicitors planning queries.

What is included in a Planning Consultancy?

The service includes four important elements:

1: Planning File Review

This includes a review by a qualified surveyor / engineer of the planning documents and other third party certificates to provide answers to your solicitors queries. Queries can include some of the following areas below, depending on what your solicitors concerns are.

  • The reference numbers and status of any planning permission applications for the property
  • Are there any conditions of planning for the property and do they include any notable restrictions?
  • How is the property zoned?
  • Are there any planning restrictions on the property such as designations for a special area of conservation, special protection area, or National Heritage?
  • Are there any Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPO’s) attached to the property?
  • Are there any enforcement notices attached to the property?
  • Are there any proposals for road widening in the area?
  • Are there any dangerous structures, derelict site notices, or national monuments on the property?
  • Is there any flood risk for the property?
  • Is the property a listed or protected structure?
  • Are there any tree protection orders attached to the property?
  • Have roads / water services been taken into charge?
  • What is the probability for potential radon presence in the area?

2: Property Visit

This must take place to enable the engineer can compare the inspected planning files with the property. This visual walk-through enables our engineer to comment in the report on the following planning related issues:

  • Undocumented changes or alterations to the property
  • Undocumented changes to the driveway and parking areas
  • Property access
  • Visual evidence of over-sailing or encroachment of the property’s boundaries
  • Visual evidence of rights of way / way-leaves
  • Boundary identity (if maps are provided prior to the inspection)
  • Flood planes

3: Planning Consultancy

The provision of this service is unique and valuable. Solicitors nearly always have queries during conveyancing that require responses, qualifications or confirmations from an engineer. Sometimes a question is very simple and bears no additional responsibility or liability and can be answered from information gathered during a Pre-Purchase Building Survey.  However, questions more often than not are related to planning documentation and certification which is excluded from Pre-Purchase Structural Surveys. 

Before an appropriate response to a question can be provided the documentation must firstly be reviewed, researched and understood and secondly related to the viewed property and planning information previously researched. Only then can an appropriate response be provided. Responding to your solicitors planning queries is included in this part of service and allows for your solicitor to communicate directly with the engineer for all property related planning queries. The benefits of this are:

  • Professional responses that can be relied on and are backed up by relevant third-party liability insurance
  • All-inclusive service – no hidden additional fees*
  • Communication between two professionals who properly understand what is required to avoid any ambiguities and miscommunications
  • Time-efficient to support a well-organised conveyancing process

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