Planning Permission


Planning By Design is a national consultancy, with chartered town planners and chartered architects across the UK to help our clients locally. Whether you want to find out whether you need planning permission or need pre-planning advice, a feasibility study or require help with an application, our expert planning consultants are here to help. We can provide everything you need to secure planning permission, starting with a free no obligation consultation to discuss your project brief and answer your initial questions. To view some of our historical planning applications please visit our Portfolio.

Pre-Planning Advice

Need help or advice regarding planning permission for your project? Our town planners can conduct a planning appraisal to establish whether you need planning permission, the requirements for an application, costs and the likelihood of success, to give you the answers you need in a day. Potentially avoiding the need for a pre-application with your local authority, saving you time, money and hassle.

town Planners

Our team of RTPI accredited town planners have a wealth of experience in all planning permission matters. Many of our town planners have worked as planning officers and enforcement officers within numerous local planning authorities, as well as the private sector. We work with every local planning authority in the UK and know many of the planning officers, so we have a deep understanding of the planning system from both the applicant and local authority perspective.

Householder Planning Applications

Applying for planning permission is daunting and confusing for most homeowners. Our town planners work closely with our in-house architects, we can manage the entire application process from start to finish saving you time, money and stress. Whether you are considering an extension, loft conversion, garage conversion or a new build house, we will give you the best chance of securing approval.

Commercial Planning Applications

Whether you are considering a change of use or a major planning application for hundreds of new dwellings, our town planners will help you effectively navigate the UK planning system. Large-scale developments by their nature are more complex and costly so, it’s important to seek professional pre-application advice to determine the feasibility, costs and likelihood of success before you commit. If your development is feasible, we will help you achieve your goals.

Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas

It is a criminal offence to carry out any works to a listed building without first securing listed building consent and in many cases planning permission too. Listed buildings are often located within conservation areas. In accordance with the protection of sites of historic and cultural importance, planning policies are usually much stricter. These areas are much more likely to have had permitted development rights removed and planning applications can be much more complex and difficult to get approved. Historic England are a non-executive government body responsible for looking after buildings, towns, villages and other places of significant heritage importance in the UK.


Planning statements are a fundamental and vitally important part of every planning application. Our town planners are experts in writing strong planning statements, design and access statements, and heritage statements, to support your application. While planning permission can never be guaranteed, a strong supporting statement accompanying your architect drawings will give you the best chance of securing planning permission.


Many people assume incorrectly that there is only one type of planning application. However, there are many, each suited to different projects, circumstance and all are assessed differently. Our town planners can identify, prepare and submit the application type that will give you the best chance of securing planning approval for your project.


If you have received objections to your application or wish to object to a development in your local area, our town planners can write strong objection or rebuttal letters. It is important to note that emotive objections typically carry no weight in the local authorities assessment. Whereas objections that are for technical reasons based on planning policies are much more likely to carry weight and affect the outcome of an application.


If you have had planning permission granted for your development it is important to note that the council have approved the exact design that was submitted. Changes to the design can be made following approval, however additional consent may be required depending on the extent of the proposed changes. Building something that does not match the approved design can risk retrospective planning issues or enforcement.


Some planning conditions are normal for all approvals, for example most have 3 years to begin work and then a further 2 years to complete the build. However your local authority can impose any number of additional conditions of the approval, which must be met. To prove you had adhered to the conditions an application to discharge conditions may need to be submitted. If you feel any conditions are unreasonable and wish to have them changed or removed, this may be possible via an application to vary or remove conditions. Failure to comply with any conditions imposed could risk an enforcement notice.


If you have received a planning enforcement notice for breach of planning control, you should seek professional advice from a town planner urgently. They will be able to advise whether they agree there has been a breach and in which case what the options are going forward. Unfortunately, around 15-20% of the applications we do are retrospective, usually following enforcement action! 99% of enforcement notices are for developments that people were sure would be Permitted Development and therefore wouldn’t need any permission but unfortunately got it wrong. It's important to bear in mind there is a big difference between knowing whether planning permission is required and whether it is likely to be approved, or not. If retrospective approval can't be secured, you would need to demolish whatever you built and restore the property to its original state or use.


If you have had planning permission refused don't worry, all is not lost! First, it is important to understand that the national statistic for appeals won is 1 in 3. This literally means that when refusing an application councils have made a mistake at least 33% of the time! Furthermore, most people who DIY or use only an architect are often refused unnecessarily. To have the best chance of success a town planner is required to ensure the design meets the required planning policies and also write strong supporting evidence to clearly demonstrate how it complies with the required policies and therefore why it should be approved. It might be the council has made a mistake or a revised design or additional supporting evidence is required. The good news is that our architects and town planners can help with whatever you need. 

Planning Appraisals

A planning appraisal will give you all the answers you need including whether your project could be permitted development or needs planning permission and the likelihood of success if planning permission is required.

This will enable you to make an informed decision about whether you want to move forward with the project. We hope that your project will be feasible but in the event that it is not, we will give you frank and honest advice not to proceed, which could save you a lot of time, money and stress.

Assuming your planning appraisal is positive we can quote for everything you might need including architectural drawings and the appropriate planning application.

Not only do some of the UK’s top planning consultants and architects work at Planning By Design but we also offer unbeatable pricing, which are backed by our price match guarantee.

If you instruct us to act on your behalf, our architects will work with you to prepare all the necessary architectural drawings and our planners will prepare all the necessary supporting evidence to submit with your planning application.

We will manage the entire process from start to finish, keeping you updated regularly at every step of the way.

Our Planning Services Include


  • Basement
  • Balcony/Terrace
  • Conservatory
  • Conversion to Flats
  • Change of Use
  • Decking
  • Dropped Kerb
  • Extension
  • Garage Conversion
  • Hardstanding
  • House in Multiple Occupation (HMO)
  • Loft Conversion
  • New Build House or Flats
  • Outbuilding
  • Porch
  • Solar
  • Walls, Fences & Gates
  • Windows and Doors

Planning ApplicationS

  • Pre-Planning Application
  • Lawful Development Certificate
  • Prior Approval
  • Householder Planning Application
  • Planning Appeal
  • Enforcement Appeal
  • Full Planning Permission
  • Outline Planning Permission
  • Planning Planning Permission
  • Reserved Matters
  • Retrospective Planning Application
  • Listed Building Consent
  • Advertisement Consent
  • Non-Material Amendment
  • Material Amendment
  • Discharge Conditions 
  • Vary/Remove Conditions
  • Demolition Consent

Example Dropped Kerb planning application

Need help or advice with planning permission?

Contact us now for a free no obligation consultation to discuss your project.