Big Tree Planning

Planning Services

Planning permission is required for most forms of development, including any material change of use of land or buildings. Planning permission is also required in some cases for residential alterations or extensions and ancillary buildings, such as garages.

We can provide advice on the redevelopment potential of land or buildings prior to planning permission being sought, which can significantly reduce long-term expense whilst maximising value of the property.

We have extensive experience of all aspects of the planning process. Below are some of the things we can help with. Click on each one to find out more.

  • Planning Applications

    Planning permission is required for almost any form of development or change of use. To obtain permission, a planning application must be submitted to the Local Planning Authority, which can be a complex process. Big Tree Planning can act as agent to prepare and submit planning applications, and to liaise directly with the Authority.

    We provide advice on whether to apply for full or outline permission (where some matters are ‘reserved’ for consideration in another application after outline consent is granted), the likelihood of success of any application, and the uses or development options suitable in order to maximise the value of each site.

    We have experience in all types of development including large and small scale residential, retail, commercial, industrial, leisure and tourism schemes.

  • Planning Appeals

    We can maximise your chance of success at the application stage, however, in certain cases a refusal of permission is unavoidable for various reasons. It is possible then to appeal that decision through the Planning Inspectorate, an independent governmental organisation, with no ties to any local authority. An Inspector is appointed to consider the case, with evidence provided from the appellant and the local authority, before deciding if the authority’s decision to refuse permission was correct.

    Appeals can be made by the written method, by informal hearing or by a Public Inquiry. The costs and benefits of the three methods vary, and Big Tree Planning can advise the best method of appeal prior to submission. Once the type of appeal process is chosen, Big Tree Planning will submit the appeal by completing all the necessary forms, supporting documents and giving you the advice you need. We will put the strongest case forward to the Planning Inspectorate and can act as expert witness at Public Inquiries if required.

  • Clearance of Reserved Matters

    After having secured outline permission, it is then necessary to clear the matters that were reserved at the outline application stage. Such matters can include detailed design, access and parking arrangements amongst others. Outline planning permission cannot be implemented legally until all reserved matters have been agreed with the Local Planning Authority.

  • Variation of Conditions

    Almost all planning permissions have one or a number of conditions attached to them, which may restrict the development. We can seek to vary or remove these conditions by means of an application or an appeal.

  • Certificates of Lawful Use or Development (CLUODs)

    If an use or development has been in existence for a certain number of years (4 for dwellings and 10 for all other uses) it is possible to apply for a Certificate of Lawful Use or Development. Big Tree Planning can provide justification and evidence of the use and apply for a CLUOD.

  • Employment land reports

    Big Tree Planning has experience of producing Marketing and Viability reports on a variety of sites, and reports to justify the release of employment sites for other uses.

  • Housing land availability reports

    Big Tree Planning can produce Housing Land Availability Reports for presentation in support of planning applications or appeals for residential developments.

  • Retail impacts assessments

    Big Tree Planning will provide retail impact assessments for a wide range of retail proposals.

  • Sequential Tests

    For many uses, including residential and office development, the sequential approach to site selection favours allocated sites or those within the town/city centre. Where a site is located outside of the town centre or city centre boundary and is unallocated within the development plan or supplementary guidance, there is a requirement to demonstrate the suitability of the site to accommodate development.

    Big Tree Planning can carry out Sequential Tests for all types of development, including residential schemes, office proposals and hotel developments. As part of our services, Big Tree Planning will scope the sites for consideration with the Local Planning Authority and will compile testing criteria based on policy guidance. Big Tree Planning will carry out site visits in addition to desk based studies of sites available for development. Finally, Big Tree Planning will produce a Sequential Test Report to be submitted to the Local Planning Authority in support of a planning application or appeal.

  • Section 106 / 278 agreements

    Section 106 agreements are legal agreements made between developers or landowners and Local Authorities, and are usually activated through the approval of planning permission.

    Section 278 legal agreements are made between a developer or landowners and the local highways authority in order to provide a contribution towards improvements to surrounding road networks that are necessary for the development to which a planning application relates to be successfully carried out and brought in to operation.

    Big Tree Planning can provide information and assistance in the production of Section 106 agreements and Section 278 agreements.

  • Section 38/104 agreements

    A section 38 agreement relates to the provision of onsite roads for access. It is a legal agreement between the Local Authority and the developer for the provision of a roadway upon the developers land. Contributions are made by the developer for the completion of the roadway and its eventual adoption as a public highway.

    Section 104 agreements relate to the provision of sewers.

  • Sale of land

    Big Tree Planning can assist in the sale of land, with or without planning permission, by providing planning reports and due diligence. We also have a wide client base in all sectors and have close working relationships with land agents and developers, which can assist in ensuring mutually beneficial sales.

  • Site finding

    We can undertake site finding exercises for specific uses on a local, regional or national scale.

  • Options and conditional contracts

    We can provide expert planning advice necessary for option agreements and conditional contracts.

  • Local Development Framework (LDF) representations

    Big Tree Planning is experienced in making representations to Local Planning Authorities as part of the consultation process for the production of policy documents in emerging development plans. We can make comments to documents and emerging policy on behalf of landowners and other land holding companies.

  • Urban Capacity Study representations

    Urban Capacity Studies are an assessment of the capacity of urban areas to accommodate new development. Big Tree Planning can highlight sites for inclusion within these studies.

  • Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment representations

    Big Tree Planning can prepare and submit representations to Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments as part of the consultation process, to include sites within the document.

  • Due Diligence Reports

    Big Tree Planning can produce Due Diligence Reports on behalf of clients to assess the viability of particular sites through research of planning history, planning policy and other matters regarding the site.

  • Design and Access Statements

    It is now a requirement for Design and Access Statements to be submitted as an accompaniment to most planning applications. These documents contain details of use, design, layout, scale and appearance in addition to details of access to the application site.

    Big Tree Planning will produce Design and Access Statements to accompany planning applications and will carry out site visits and research in order to produce a justification of the design and layout of a development.

  • Urban Design

    The Big Tree Planning team has expertise of Urban Design matters, and can provide a range of planning-based design services to assist architects and clients.

  • Prior notification

    Although permission is not usually required to demolish structures, unless they are statutorily Listed or within a Conservation Area, the local authority must, in most cases, be notified of any demolition prior to it being carried out. We can ensure this is done correctly and at the right time in the project timetable.

  • Enforcement Notices

    When a development or change of use has taken place without permission, the local planning authority has the right to issue an Enforcement Notice, which may require the use of the land to stop and / or any buildings or structures that do not have planning permission to be removed. Failure to comply with the Notice can result in a fine of up to £20,000. In certain cases, an unlimited fine can be imposed, and can lead to imprisonment.

    It is possible to appeal the enforcement notice, which can be done by Big Tree Planning. Alternatively, a retrospective planning application can be submitted for the use or development.

  • Stop Notices

    In exceptional circumstances a Stop Notice may be served for unlawful use or development, which requires activities are ceased immediately. Failure to do so can result in an unlimited fine and possible imprisonment.

  • Listed Building Consent

    Consent is required for almost all works to Listed Buildings, both internally and externally. We can negotiate with the Local Authority’s Conservation Officer and submit these applications.

  • Conservation Area Consent

    Conservation Areas remove certain permitted development rights, and the majority of alterations to buildings must first attain consent. We have a vast experience of conservation issues.

  • Advertisement Consent

    Most commercial advertisements require consent, which is achieved via a process similar to that of a planning application, although different rules are used. We have experience of all types of advertisements.

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Big Tree Planning Ltd, Churchill House, 12 Mosley Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 1DE
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