Planning Consultancy – Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is a Planning Consultancy?

A: Planning Consultancy is a service that is provided to answer your solicitors’ queries about a property in relation to planning documents, relevant planning conditions and comments required on third party certificates. It includes researching Local Planning Authority files and visiting the property to compare the research. Responses to your solicitors planning queries are provided to you and your solicitor as a PDF report.

Q: What questions will the Planning Consultancy Service respond to?

A: Solicitors have many different planning queries during conveyancing.  The service will provide responses to the questions that your solicitor provides us before the service commences. Solicitor queries can include one or more of the following:

  • 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?

Q: Who provides the Planning Consultancy Service?

A: The planning review, visit and report is undertaken and provided by one of our qualified engineers.

Q: Why is a property visit required?

A: Before an appropriate response to a question can be provided the documentation must first be reviewed, researched and understood and then secondly related to the actual property. Only then can an appropriate response be provided. This visual walk-through enables the engineer to provide informed comments in the report on issues such as:

  • 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 before the inspection)
  • Flood planes

Q: Can my solicitor communicate directly with the engineer?

A: Yes, we prefer to communicate directly with your solicitor as this helps avoid any confusion or misinterpretation of a solicitors queries or requirements about planning. The benefits of this to you and your solicitor are:

  • Professional responses that can be relied on and are backed up by relevant third-party liability insurance.
  • 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

Q: If my solicitor has subsequent planning questions will I have to book another service?

A: The Planning Consultancy is a once-off fee.  Subsequent planning queries related to the same property from your solicitor will be responded to at no extra cost.  Local Planning Office fees will be charged separately if they occur.  We will advise you if any fees become due.


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