Knowledge and intelligence are essential components of effective planning
Town planning encompasses a broad area of expertise that requires keen negotiation skills alongside analytical writing and confidence in delivery. Claremont Planning strives to deliver a planning service that provides these requirements alongside ongoing professional advice and evidential reports. Claremont Planning is directly experienced in all areas of the planning system, whilst also keenly monitoring the clattering role of planning at both local and central government levels.
Claremont Planning strives to provide professional input when necessary, whilst delivering best value and seeking to resolve planning issues effectively. Establishing a robust planning strategy at the outset of a scheme and leading a consultant team to a favourable outcome is the end goal for Claremont Planning so that success is achieved for our clients as well as us.
- Site Appraisals
- Pre-application Advice
- Planning Applications
- Design and Access Statements
- Public Consultation and Committee Briefings
- Discharge of Planning Conditions
- Planning Appeals
- Expert Witness
- Strategic Planning Promotion
- Local Plan Representations
- Neighbourhood Plans
- EIA Screening, Scoping and Preparation
The promotion of strategic housing land under the National Planning Policy Framework requires a sound evidence base both in terms of the objectively assessed need for housing and the economic impact of development.
- Site promotion may be though either an application (and potential appeal) or the pursuit of an allocation in a Local Plan.
- Successful promotion requires a sound evidence base both in terms of the objectively assessed need for housing, the likely supply of housing (five year land supply) and also the beneficial economic impact of development.
- Whether supporting a proposed allocation or promoting an alternative allocation in an emerging plan it is essential that the case is supported by a robust assessment of the level of the Objectively Assessed Housing Need for the plan period. The Framework requires that the overall level of need is assessed prior to any policy decisions regarding the impact of meeting that need in full. The Strategic Planning Research Unit is experienced at critically examining the evidence base for local plans and testing the assumptions prior to producing their own independent Objective Assessment of Housing Need.
This assessment is supported by an analysis of the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment and the predicted Housing Trajectory where again our experience of promoting strategic sites and as representatives of the industry in SHLAA workshops means that the supply side calculation is based upon realistic assumptions.
Claremont Planning is able to provide experience of presenting their findings to local authorities informally and at Local Plan Examinations, whilst utilising an evidence base to argue for the appropriate level of housing within a district and its distribution. Related to this is the ability to provide the necessary evidence to demonstrate sustained benefits, particularly in respect of Economic and Social Impacts.
Planning applications take many forms and scale. In some cases an outline application may be made to establish the principle of a development; in other cases a change of use or full application would be more appropriate. Listed building or conservation area consent may be needed and there are specific requirements for some types of development, such as advertisements.
Claremont Planning will provide sound advice and a strategy for progressing a scheme at the first instance, providing initial guidance on how to proceed, outlining the necessary procedures and documentation that are required to ensure validation as well as to sufficiently justify the development proposed and succeed in achieving a planning consent.
Most Local Planning Authorities welcome formal pre-application proposals and this can lead to the timelier processing of an application and greater certainty of its outcome. The pre-application requirements, the charges levied and how pre-application responses are conducted, vary significantly from authority to authority. Claremont Planning can provide advice upon the pre-application requirements, prepare the submission, attend meetings and interpret the advice given.
Claremont Planning can advise on what documents it will be necessary to submit with any given application in order to ensure that it is validated, based upon the schedules published by the relevant Local Planning Authority. The appropriate submission of an application will involve the collation of the identified documents and confirmation of registration.
In most cases an application of any sort will require to be accompanied by a Design and Access Statement and a Planning Statement to set out the design and policy basis for the proposal. Claremont Planning prides itself in preparing detailed Design & Access Statements alongside scheme designers that serve to market a development and address the requirements of a Local Planning Authority. The critical component of an application submission, the Planning Statement, is considered to be a vital means of addressing any policy conflict and demonstrate policy compliance – to fully document and properly explain a proposal in its intended context.
Where specialist evidence is required to support a proposal Claremont Planning can provide the necessary documentation and where necessary procure appropriate technical documentation when necessary.
In all cases Claremont Planning will seek to obtain the most cost effective solution for our clients and will manage the commissioning and delivery of outputs to ensure that they properly meet the expectations of the project.
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is the process of assessing environmental impacts. It is applicable to a range of planning projects as well as a variety of development schemes that fall outside the planning system and are approved by other statutory bodies.
Planning projects for which EIA may be required are divided into two schedules relating to prescribed infrastructure projects, for example nuclear power stations, which will always require EIA, and other schemes that will only require EIA if significant environmental effects are likely to arise as a consequence of the development.
Claremont Planning can advise on all aspects concerning EIA development that could have the potential to require preparation of an Environmental Statement. Claremont Planning can provide professional advice on the necessity of such a rigorous assessment and when it may be appropriate to screen a proposed development with the Local Planning Authority. A Screening opinion request can be prepared referring to the appropriate and reasonable environmental impacts to ensure that it can be avoided when not necessary.
Although a Screening Request is often sought to demonstrate that an EIA is not necessary, there are also incidences where a speedy submission is required that provides an Environmental Statement at the outset. Claremont is able to provide the necessary advice upon what level of information and subject chapters will be necessary to prepare an acceptable Environmental Statement and avoid unnecessary delays.
An EIA is reported in the form of an Environmental Statement (ES), the format and contents of which are prescribed by regulations. Claremont Planning offers long standing expertise in the preparation and submission of Environmental Statements, ensuring the preparation of an Environmental Statement is undertaken in a timely and effective manner.
For advice on all matters relating to the screening, scoping and project management of Environmental Impact Assessments please contact Claremont Planning.
Discharge of Conditions
Claremont Planning can provide advise and an assessment of the implications of Planning Conditions, including where necessary the requirements for amending a consent.
Similarly the process of assessing the reasonableness of proposed planning conditions will be undertaken ahead of a planning decision being issued, through co-ordination with the Local Planning Authority.
The respect achieved from fellow planning professionals allows Claremont Planning to participate in the negotiation of such consents to ensure the resulting decision is lawful and reasonable.
Where the granting of permission for an outline application reserves layout, scale, appearance, access or landscaping for subsequent determination, a Reserved Matters Application will need to be made in order to obtain approval of the details.
Claremont Planning can manage the preparation and submission of Reserved Matters including the commissioning of design work, access details and landscaping from the client's in-house or preferred team or from reliable third party consultants. In all cases Claremont Planning will seek to obtain the most cost effective solution for our clients and will manage the commissioning and delivery of outputs to ensure that they properly meet the expectations of the project.
Section 73 - Variation or Removal of Planning Conditions
Minor Material Amendments under section 73 can be used to vary or remove planning conditions associated with a planning permission. The process is used when a revision is deemed material and cannot therefore be dealt with by a non-material amendment application. It can be used, for example, to vary the wording or remove a planning condition that is no longer relevant or has been issued not in accordance with the statutory tests.
Where an application under section 73 is granted a new planning permission is issued, sitting alongside the original permission, which remains intact and un-amended. Therefore either permission can be implemented. The new decision notice should also repeat any relevant conditions and section 106 legal agreement or deed of variation pertinent to the original planning permission, unless they have already been discharged. However, section 73 applications cannot be used to vary the time limit for implementation.
Claremont Planning can advise on strategies for removing and varying planning conditions, tailor section 73 applications and negotiate over the final wording of planning conditions to help maximise the value of planning permissions.
In the event that a planning application is refused, the aggrieved applicant has the right to appeal to the Secretary of State. The Government's advice is that the appeal system should not be used as a bargaining tactic but as a last resort, with appellants being ready to proceed with their appeal as soon as it is made. Planning appeals vary dependent on the matters in contention with differing procedural requirements for different forms of appeal, such as advertisements, listed building or enforcement cases.
Claremont Planning is experienced in assessing and advising clients on the likelihood of success at appeal, and of maximising the chances of success.
Planning Obligations S106/CIL Advice
Planning Obligations (under s106 of the Planning Acts) are intended to make acceptable development which might otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. Obligations may take the form of an Agreement between the parties or a Unilateral Undertaking entered into by the applicant alone. Their main use is where works outside the site boundary will be needed or a financial contribution is required.
In all cases Claremont Planning can advise on the extent to which an Obligation may be requested, and whether such requests are reasonable, and will prepare and submit Heads of Terms as part of the application process. Claremont Planning is also able to brief the applicant's legal advisors in the drafting of a suitable Agreement or Undertaking.
A number of Local Planning Authorities have introduced a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in place of s106 Agreements. Claremont Planning can advise on the implications of CIL – including limitations on the number of pooled contributions – in relation to viability issues and to the Local Authority's affordable homes objectives and will seek, wherever possible, to negotiate a solution which maximises development value.
The Coalition Government's planning policy on housing, which is set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (March 2012) seeks to ensure that the availability of land is not a constraint on the delivery of housing. A more responsive approach to the delivery of housing is sought which requires local authorities to:
- use their evidence base to ensure that their Local Plan meets the full, objectively assessed needs for market and affordable housing in the housing market area;
- identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites;
- provide an additional buffer of 5% to ensure choice and competition in the market for land or 20% where there is a record of persistent under delivery
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) identifies the importance of establishing a 5 year supply of deliverable housing sites against housing requirements, including a 5% buffer, or where persistent underperformance is identified, a 20% buffer (paragraph 47). It also identifies that housing applications should be considered in the context of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Claremont Planning seeks to recognise the potential that housing land under-supply offers in respect of prioritising development, whilst the preparation of new Local Plans and Green Belt Reviews provides the potential for site promotions and allocations. To aid this understanding, Claremont Planning seeks to provide housing land supply assessments and keep clients informed of the national policy position as well as the supply position of key authorities in the Midlands and Southern Regions of England. This knowledge is considered to be vital in realising the potential for development opportunities and advising our clients accordingly on future prospects.
What We Do
Claremont Planning specialises in development planning, providing advice on the most effective way of realising consents, the delivery of projects and how to maximise site potential.
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Town planning encompasses a broad area of expertise that requires keen negotiation skills alongside analytical writing and confidence in delivery.
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Projects & Experience
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