Terms of business

RTPI Code: The practice operates in accordance with the Royal Town Planning Institute Code of Professional Conduct. This provides, inter alia, that:

“Before commencing work on any commission members shall ensure that their terms of engagement have been given and confirmed in writing to their clients and shall satisfy themselves that these terms have been accepted.” and that:

“Members shall notify their clients in writing before undertaking work or incurring fees or expenses additional to those previously agreed and shall satisfy themselves that the necessary instructions have been received.”

1.0 General Conditions

1.1 All engagements accepted by Plan Research are subject to the following terms of business except where changes are expressly agreed in writing.

1.2 We will observe the byelaws, regulations and ethical guidelines of the Royal Town Planning Institute and accept instructions to act for you on the basis that we will act in accordance with those guidelines. Copies of the RTPI’s Code of Professional Conduct are available from the RTPI’s website https://www.rtpi.org.uk

1.3 All fees and charges submitted by other specialists sub-contracted by prior agreement with the client shall be the responsibility of and payable by the client.

1.4 Every care will be taken when carrying out client instructions. No responsibility is accepted for errors or matters beyond our reasonable control.

1.5 The practice shall not sub-contract any part of the commission without first receiving approval in writing from the client with a clear understanding of responsibilities.

2.0 Client Monies

We may, from time to time, hold money on your behalf. Such money will be held in trust in a bank account.

3.0 Fees

3.1 Our fees are usually calculated on the basis of the time spent on your affairs by the principals and staff, and on the level of skill and responsibility involved.

3.2 The agreed fee rate will cover any of the following –

  • Meetings with you (and others when necessary) in connection with the commission;
  • Research, examination and consideration of relevant information including, as necessary, background history and associated documents and materials, planning legislation, planning policy documents and other relevant policy documents, case law and practice guidance and commentaries;
  • Site visits, and visits to the locality where necessary for the proper undertaking of the commission;
  • Preparing and working on notes, papers, forms, reports and documentation necessary for the proper undertaking of the commission;
  • All necessary correspondence (including e-mails), telephone communications and consultations required in connection with the commission;
  • Provision of general advice to the Client in connection with the commission.

3.3 The following costs are normally added by prior client agreement to fee accounts as disbursements:

  • photocopying and the printing of plans
  • photography
  • maps
  • publications (local plans/development plan documents/planning applications)
  • faxes and telephone calls
  • pre-application fees charged by a local authority
  • postal and delivery charges
  • mileage and other travel expenses reasonably incurred (charged at 45 pence per mile)

3.4 Invoices will be submitted on a monthly basis or as otherwise agreed with you and must be paid in full within 14 days of the date of each invoice. We reserve the right to charge interest on any amounts owing at 5% annually above Santander UK base rate, and to claim compensation on invoices not paid within this credit period, in accordance with the Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002 (as amended or replaced from time to time). In addition, all costs incurred on the collection of overdue sums (including, but not limited to, collection of agents’ fees), will be charged to and payable by you. We reserve the right to suspend work on projects where accounts are outstanding after 42 days, other than by prior agreement.

3.5 All copyright on materials produced, including reports, plans and drawings, remains with the practice until all accounts related thereto have been settled.

3.6 Alternative fee arrangements are subject to negotiation and agreement with the client prior to the commencement of work. Depending on the nature and scope of the work involved, some commissions may be charged on the basis of a fixed, all-inclusive price.

3.7 If it is necessary to carry out additional work outside of the agreed brief then this work will involve additional fees. We will provide an estimate of such fees before commencing additional work.

3.8 Where any statutory fees are due to be paid to local authorities or other bodies in respect of any applications, appeals etc, such fees shall be the responsibility of the client and Plan Research shall have no liability whatsoever in respect of such fees.

3.9 Any delay in receiving information, changes in the Client’s instruction or any matter outside our control which leads to additional work may result in an additional fee.

3.10 Where it has been agreed between Plan Research and the client that another consultant or consultants (such as an architect, traffic expert or tree specialist) should be sub-contracted by or on behalf of the client, the client shall have full responsibility for the payment of any fees, expenses or charges due to the said consultant(s) for work carried out for or on behalf of the client.

4.0 Limitation of liability

We will endeavour to provide professional services with care and skill. However we will not be held responsible for any losses arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect or incomplete information, or a failure of you or others to supply any appropriate information or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us or relevant authorities.

5.0 Law

This contract is subject to the law of England.

6.0 Complaints

Any concerns over the level of service received will be dealt with in the first instance by the principal of the practice, Martha James MRTPI.