Examples of our work

A Plan Research client obtained change of lawful use for these luxury beach huts

Planning applications

Do you require assistance in preparing your application for planning permission? Have you been refused planning permission and want to appeal against the decision? Has the local authority issued an enforcement notice, and you need to resolve the issue to your satisfaction? Or are you a local authority that requires assistance in preparing statements for public inquiries or appeals? We can help you.

A local authority faced losing an enforcement appeal case when the owners of the building produced a builder's receipt showing that the alterations had taken place more than four years previously. The local authority had relied for evidence on an undated photograph taken by a neighbour only three years before.

We proved the receipt was a forgery by researching the date on which the builder's domain name was registered on the Internet, a domain name that was printed on the headed notepaper of the receipt. After confronting the appellants with this evidence, they withdrew their case and complied with the enforcement notice.

Planning appraisals

If you are thinking of buying property, why not reduce your risk of a costly mistake with our expert advice? If you are thinking of selling your house, commercial building or land, you can improve your chances of a sale at the right price. Plan Research can provide an appraisal detailing town planning options that could apply to your property. Our appraisals include the planning history of the site, suggestions for projects that do not require planning permission, and recommendations for options that would require planning permission or a certificate of lawfulness.

Planning enforcement consultancy

A fresh pair of eyes can often bring a solution to a problem that previously seemed intractable. We have wide-ranging experience of finding solutions to enforcement 'problem' cases, including:

  • Advertising hoardings
  • Houses in Multiple Occupation
  • Car repair premises
  • Shop front alterations
  • Alterations in conservation areas

A house previously in single occupancy was converted into six separate flats without planning permission. An enforcement notice had been issued, but the owner of the building had not complied with it. Following a site inspection and witness statement by Martha James MRTPI, the Magistrate's Court fined the owner of the building a record £10,000 plus costs. The property was then converted back to a single family dwelling house.

Planning policy research

We can offer policy reports that are independently researched, presented to a high standard, and delivered on time and on budget. Do you require information leaflets written for councillors, the public or colleagues? We have experience of producing material for a wide range of audiences, including:

  • Local authority members and officers
  • Members of the public
  • Land owners
  • Teachers and their pupils

A local authority suffered an ongoing problem of applications to convert rural barns into houses, without clear policy guidance. We wrote a consultation paper on the re-use of agricultural buildings, which was distributed to around 200 organisations and received over 50 detailed responses. The local authority has now revised the relevant sections of its Local Plan.

Planning outreach

Members of the public are often hostile to local authorities - especially the planning service, which often has bad press coverage. Plan Research could be a valuable bridge between the two. We can help you with planning outreach and training for local groups, including:

  • Neighbourhood Plans
  • Town Plans and Parish Plans
  • Village Design Statements
  • The National Planning Policy Framework
  • The General Permitted Development Order
  • Planning for Real exercises
  • The Localism Bill

The Local Government Act states that councils must ensure that they "actively involve and engage the community in local decisions". A local council found that community groups were misunderstanding both how to produce Village Design Statements, and their purpose. We created a training manual, and went into the community to deliver the training to several Village Design Statement groups.

To contact Plan Research, please phone our local rate number 0845 508 3085.