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How best to answer the question “Do I need planning permission”

by on July 30, 2009

As a strand of Killian Pretty we are researching the many and varied ways this question is currently being addressed paricularly in an automated manner.
From the former ‘Parsol Expert system’ overseen by PAS, to semi-automated systems provided by some I.T suppliers and all stops inbetween.
One view is that the question is too complex and multi-faceted to ever get a definitive answer from an automated system without enormous expense, another is that 80% certain is probably close enough in most small scale projects.
I’d be glad to hear your views on how you think the question could be best answered for citizens, bearing in mind many LPA’s are now refusing to give informal advice without an LDC or similar.
I look forward to hearing from you.

From → Killian Pretty

  1. Tom Allbrighton permalink

    An automated system is all well and good but given the question is often asked by householders or individuals, a simple face-to-face answer is much more appropriate.

    • PortalDirector permalink

      Hi Tom,
      I agree but the problem appears to be many LPA’s are now refusing to give informal advice.
      See the thread on LDC’s for more evidence.

  2. Dave Biddlecombe permalink

    Good Morning,
    I have recently been involved in submitting a planning application for a conservatory and garden shed, both elements fall inside the recent guidlines and normally do not require permission. The property invloved is in what the LPA deem to be high density and have therefore withheld the right to construct wihout full planning permission. The submission is free, however this is not strictly true as it costs to have site plans and layout plans drawn up, and this is not inexpensive. It is also important to note high density areas, in the main, are not populated by the richer section of our communities and I wonder if a simpler system could not be thought of in order put these folks on an even playing field with the rest of us. I’d be happy to be involved should you require. Regards Dave Biddlecombe

  3. Hi, interesting this, it’s reassuring to learn that 80% certainty is par for knowing the answer – the 20% is presumably down to judgement by the LPA (or even individual officer) which it is not possible to foresee.

    The move by LPAs to charge for advice AND require all the info that would be needed for an application before giving an opinion, which even then they may not stick to, is completely useless. When advising clients we have to just cross our fingers on that unknown 20%. Sadly the days are gone when an architect could describe/sketch the situation, get some sort of guidance and then, above all, trust in the reply. Regards

  4. I have been answering this question for the past 25 years. I have tried flowcharts, hyperlinks, programming etc.

    The question is too complex and even if you did find the holy grail the Government, courts or some planner will change it tomorrow.

    simple answer. Ask and Architect or someone else who really knows and keeps up to date.

    Even then the answer will be only 95% correct.

  5. Chris Goodman permalink

    As Planning Departments are funded by local taxpayers and Planning Officers should be quite competent at ther job, LPAs should always be ready to give informal advice based on their current policy interpretations to local private taxpayers.
    It is incumbent on LPAs to provide value for money to their paymasters, the public, and to provide assistance to members of the public who need a little advice and explanation to see their way through the professional planning maze.
    My personal experience of my local Planning Department has not been pleasant, being unhelpful by producing the minimum information without explanation, particularly so when seeking information on a controversial local authority project.

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