There are many things in life that our out of our control and the opinions of Planning Officers are one of them! Planning Law changes regularly and although the elements of the discussions remain the same, Local Policy, being in a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty can make the simplest of extensions a trying process.
My architectural style is traditional with a contemporary twist and whilst, as an architect, we would all like to be able to weald our creative genius and create modern masterpieces, there needs to be an understanding of how far to take the creativity and how to get the best for the client using the constraints of the planning system.
For this reason, I have been fortunate to have had an incredibly high rate of planning application successes and can count the refusals on one hand. Understanding the client’s requirements at the start is key and then guiding them through the options available to them with the Planning Departments likes and dislikes on board. The application will be dealt with a single planning officer and under Delegated Powers on the whole, which means that they use the Policy documents to establish whether it fits the criteria and in turn are allowed to make the decision, which is then signed off by the department manager.
From experience, the best approach is to start with sketches which provide 3 levels of development; the ‘all singing, all dancing’, the better than envisaged and the Ideal. Nobody wants to think they have to settle for something less than extraordinary and therefore, knowing that the extreme case may not get through first time, we then have some tools for discussion with the planning officer in order to set our seed for development.
If the ‘all singing, all dancing’ option is for you, then we break it down into manageable planning pieces and work towards a larger vision over time with a series of planning applications, each dealt with under it’s own merits; slow and steady wins the race.
At the end of the day, I am here to turn your thoughts of bigger and better into a reality.