A professional town & country planning service, saving you time and money
Brick corner Building plot Door lintel Flats with balconies Green field Plot sign Ponies Roof finial Sheep Solar panels

Our services

Established in 2001, Plan Research is an independent consultancy offering advice and support from chartered professionals on all aspects of town and country planning in England, including:

  • Planning applications
  • Enforcement issues
  • Pre-application advice
  • Certificates of lawfulness
  • Appeals against refusal of planning permission
  • Conservation areas and listed building consents
  • Design and Access statements
  • Green travel plans
  • Community planning and neighbourhood engagement
  • Planning appraisals

Music education annex in the garden of a detached house

16th July 2019 — A Plan Research client has obtained permission for a substantial replacement chalet in her garden, which will include a piano room and a lounge with bi-fold doors overlooking a terrace. The site owner is a well-known composer and music teacher who will use this annex to work from home, while minimising noise disturbance to neighbours. With the running costs of commercial property, working from home is a very popular option for all kinds of professionals, but domestic properties are often not well-suited to specialised uses. A purpose-built garden annex with modern standards of insulation could be the answer, but will usually require planning permission and appropriate vehicle access.

Side extension and conservatory on a bungalow with mature trees

11th June 2019 — Plan Research clients have obtained permission for a proposed single storey extension on a residential bungalow. Even though a conservatory salesman might assure you that planning permission won't be required, the law on permitted development and residential extensions is complex. It's a wise move to review your home upgrading plans with a Chartered Town Planner to ensure that potential enforcement action is avoided in future, especially when mature trees could be affected by the development.

Glamping and education centre on a rural forestry site

28th May 2019 — Plan Research clients have obtained permission for the change of use of land to tourism and education, including the siting of seven glamping pods, a campsite, an outdoor classroom, showers, toilets, storage, temporary wardens accommodation and alterations to vehicular access. This large rural site contains a mixture of ancient woodland and more recent forestry plantation on former agricultural land. The approved scheme adds considerable economic, community and wildlife value, and also enables the site owners to live on the land while they establish their tourism and education business.

Alterations to an approved equestrian stable block, and a new garage

15th May 2019 — A Plan Research client has obtained permission for variation of a planning condition to allow amendments to approved stables and a new car parking garage at the same rural property. The previously approved plans would have created too large a stable block and have it facing the wrong direction, so a new application was pursued to create a more practical solution. As circumstances change, sometimes it is appropriate to revisit granted permissions and update them, rather than build an out-of-date design.

Removal of conditions restricting occupancy and sale of dwellings

1st May 2019 — Plan Research has succeeded in the removal of conditions which restricted the occupancy of its clients' buildings on a rural site. One condition required the occupier of a dwelling to work in a particular business on the same site, while another condition prevented a converted barn from being sold separately from the business.

Prior approval for change of use of agricultural building to dwelling

12th March 2019 — A Plan Research client has obtained prior approval for a proposed change of use from an agricultural building to a dwelling, under Class Q of Part 3 of Schedule 2 of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) Order 2015. This legislation enables farmers and other agricultural land owners to convert certain types of buildings into housing without applying for full planning permission.

Replacing a modern barn with new build holiday accommodation

4th March 2019 — Plan Research clients have obtained planning permission for the demolition of a redundant steel barn, and the construction of a two storey block of six units of holiday accommodation with parking. This scheme on a rural tourism site will help support local employment, as well as increasing the quality of tourism provision in the area.

Revising design in a conservation area after refusal at appeal

20th December 2018 — Our clients have obtained planning permission for demolition of an extension, and new side and rear extensions in a conservation area after the refusal at appeal of an earlier scheme for demolition and rebuilding of the house. We worked with a designer to devise a new scheme which would meet with planning approval.

New build house on a plot outside the settlement boundary

7th November 2018 — Plan Research clients are completing their house on a plot outside the village development envelope. We successfully argued that their infill plot was an ideal location for a scheme which would help deliver the local authority's target for rural housing.

Larger side and rear extensions on a terraced house

8th October 2018 — Our client has obtained planning permission for a domestic side and rear extension considerably larger than the one the local authority was minded to approve, together with new roof lights, after negotiation with neighbours.

Upgrading a house with a dormer and solar panels in an AONB

27th September 2018 — Plan Research clients have secured planning permission for refurbishments to their home in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, including a dormer window, solar panels, car port and garden buildings, despite an earlier refusal for a similar scheme.

Lawful Development Certificate for a residential houseboat

23rd August 2018 — Our clients have secured a Lawful Development Certificate for the use of a houseboat for permanent residential purposes in Bembridge Harbour. With house prices continuing to rise, living on the water is becoming an increasingly popular option!

Demolition of school foyer and replacement entrance

1st June 2018 — A Plan Research client has obtained planning permission for the demolition of a school foyer and its replacement with an enclosed entrance hall, which will be far more energy efficient.

Temporary vehicle access for a building site

31st May 2018 — Our client has obtained planning permission for the formation of a new vehicular access after a great deal of negotiation with the local authority. The existing access was simply not suitable for bringing large construction vehicles onto the site during the complete refurbishment of a large villa, converting it from a care home back to its original use as a private residence.

Residential boarding house for an independent school

9th May 2018 — A Plan Research client has secured planning permission for a major development including the construction of a school boarding house, netball courts and associated landscaping works despite a sustained campaign against the scheme from local objectors and a previous design having been refused permission.

Freshwater, Isle of Wight adopts Neighbourhood Plan

21st March 2018 — Plan Research assisted Freshwater Parish Council in the preparation of its Neighbourhood Plan, which was adopted as Planning Policy on the 12th March. Plan Research wrote the policies within the plan, following consultation with the community on the things that they most valued about their Parish, including the preservation of open spaces. The Chair of the Parish Council said "Your skills and background were a great help to the team and a real factor in the plan being accepted by the Isle of Wight Council."

Chapel alterations, dormer and entrance porch in a conservation area

4th December 2017 — Our client has obtained planning permission for chapel alterations, a dormer roof and porch next to a listed building in a conservation area.

Oak framed garage and outbuilding completed in AONB

2nd November 2017 — Plan Research clients have built an oak framed garage and outbuilding which we obtained planning permission for on land with Heritage Coast and Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty designations.

Construction under way for vintage vehicle storage barn

25th October 2017 — Our client is completing the storage barn that we obtained permission for, in order to house his vintage tractor and steam vehicle collection.

Retrospective permission for swimming pool and storage

24th October 2017 — Plan Research obtained retrospective permission for a swimming pool and storage outbuilding constructed by our client for his family.

Redevelopment of former holiday camp as high-quality homes

18th October 2017 — Our client has won approval for the demolition of an office block and 37 units in a former holiday camp, and now has permission for redevelopment of the site for 25 high-quality residential units.

Conversion of Grade II listed office buildings to residential use

30th June 2017 — Plan Research obtained planning permission for internal alterations and change of use from offices to three dwellinghouses in a historic block of Grade II listed buildings within a conservation area.

Approval for new build house outside development envelope

14th April 2015 — Another Plan Research planning application success! This time it's for a new build house in the countryside, near Ventnor on the Isle of Wight. Our client can now move this caravan and start building the house of their dreams.

Planning the Jimi Hendrix Memorial Garden at a listed building

Here's a video about a planning case that made national news, successfully resolved with our expert advice! A statue can require planning permission when located in the garden of a listed building.

Winning a planning appeal against a “Garden Grabbing” refusal

Martha James MRTPI discusses a successful appeal against refusal of planning permission. The local authority had tried to prevent the construction of a house on an ancient building footprint on the basis that it represented “garden grabbing”. The Planning Inspectorate overturned the refusal after Plan Research helped with an appeal.