London’s diverse heritage assets contribute to its status as a World Class City. Designated assets currently include 4 World Heritage Sites, over 1,000 conservation areas, almost 19,000 listed buildings, over 150 registered parks and gardens, more than 150 scheduled monuments and 1 battlefield!
These heritage assets range from the Georgian squares of Bloomsbury to Kew Gardens and the Royal Parks, and include ancient places of work like the Inns of Court, distinctive residential areas like Hampstead Garden Suburb and vibrant town centres and shopping areas like the West End. This sheer variety is an important element of London’s vibrant economic success, world class status and unique character.
Success is the result of hard work, learning from failure and persistence”— Colin Powell
The Planning Departments of the London Boroughs play a critical role in preserving that heritage. Hence applications for planning permission probably receive a higher degree of scrutiny than provincial applications for similar developments. Notwithstanding, it would be wrong to presume that the difficulties in securing planning consent are purely down to concerns relating to preservation and town planning issues. Because that is actually only part of the picture.
Another important factor as to why planning is such a challenge is because the planning process at local authority level, can be open to political influence from Council Members – and awarding consents for developments has rarely got anybody elected. If it’s not a crowd pleaser, then it ain’t a vote winner.
It is important to clarify that an application for a comparatively straightforward extension, will require only a proportion of the documents we’ve listed below. Regardless of this, support documents still need to be robust and comprehensive.
So, what does a planning application actually involve? What do you have to provide in order to start? We’ve taken the Basements Supplementary Planning Document as an example below. A basement development application now requires over a dozen different documents! These include but are not limited to:
At Dick Whittington Design & Build, we’ve spent years helping clients navigate planning applications and the building regulations. Our innovative design and build approach means you get a turnkey service that includes everything from creating conceptual drawings and plans, to applying for and securing planning consent through to construction and delivery of your finished project.
In terms of the planning application process, it means that we act on your behalf to manage the all-important activity of getting your chosen design through the planning stage, providing all the necessary plans and justifications required by your local authority. This attention to detail increases the chances that a design will be approved. Likewise, throughout the process, our design team will provide creative input to any required changes and amendments to ensure your vision remains at the heart of the final, approved design.
There is no easy path to securing planning consents. It’s a matter of knowing planning regulations inside-out and tenaciously extinguishing the hundreds of potential opportunities for a refusal.
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