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Modal Highway Consultants Ltd

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Who's On Your Planning Team?

Have you got your eye on a piece of land you'd like to develop? Maybe you've actually purchased that piece of land because you know it would provide the ideal location for your dream house. Perhaps you have found a slightly bigger plot of land that you can build more than one house on and you fancy becoming a developer. Whatever, your position, this article will provide you with some basic advice to help you with your project and avoid some pitfalls.

Doing The Research

Prior to employing any property specialists it is essential to do some basic research of your own. The world wide web offers access for you to check if your land has previously had a planning application. Local planning authorities will allow access to their “Planning Portal” which lists Planning Applications, copies of reports and drawings on the planning file and details of any decisions made. Don't worry if you discover that your site has had a refusal. It is always a good idea to closely examine the reasons for refusal as quite often they can be overcome with some technical expertise. A Consultant Town Planner, Highways Consultant (such as Modal Group) or Architect could advise you or point you in the right direction of someone who could help.
In addition to checking out the planning history of your site, also look at similar sized sites in the locality as this will give you an idea of what the Local Planning Authority are looking for in an application and what other issues there may be locally. Additionally, if planning was approved, you'd be informed of the planning conditions that are likely to be applied.

It is at this stage that, we'd advise that you engage an Architect, Town Planner and a Highways Consultant. I can understand that this may seem rather excessive, but there may be issues which all three Consultants would need to address; and the earlier that they do, the less likely that the scheme will be delayed at a later stage or during the Planning Application process itself.

Who Should You Ask To Be In Your Planning Team?

1. The Consultant Town Planner is often the natural choice to co-ordinate the team's effort in preparing a Planning Application. He will need to consider local planning policy, prepare an argument for the “need” of the proposals, and he will also carry out a more detailed investigation into the planning history as well as considering the planning decisions made for similar sites. More importantly, the Consultant Town Planner should have an early meeting with the Council Planners, finding out what their requirements are and what the local issues may be. They can then pull together all the relevant planning reports, write and submit the Planning Application, as well as negotiate its passage through the Council in order to obtain a successful result.

2. The Architect will often take the role of the Town Planner and may attempt to be a highways expert. The architect will not only design the dwellings inside and outside, but they will also need to take in to account how the buildings sit in the site, their visual amenity and how they affect neighboring properties. The architect will also advise on how the building design and specification can save energy costs, both in construction and building use thereafter. If there is no town planner involved, which is often the case on the smaller scale development sites, then the Architect will quite often lead the development team and co-ordinate the production of any specialist reports that need to be submitted with the Planning Application as well as prepare and submit the Planning Application itself and take responsibility for negotiating with the Council Planners in order to get their recommendation for approval.

3. The Highways Consultant or Transport Planning Consultant will quite often face the toughest task. This is to persuade the Local Highway Authority that the development proposals can be accessed safely, that the internal highway layout and design follow the appropriate design guides and Manual for Streets. In addition, that the impact of the proposals on the wider highway network is minimal, Traffic Surveys may be required, and that accessibility by car, on-foot, cycle and public transport is achievable.

To find out more about our services visit Transport Planning. Alternatively, for an informal chat about your project call Petros on 015398 86015 or contact us via the website at Traffic Consultants.