The Pre-Planning Process
The pre-planning process involves engagement with the relevant local authority prior to submitting a planning application, often at the early stages of the design process. This step offers great value as part of the overall planning permission process.
A general overview of this process involves the following:
1. Research and site analysis:
It is important to research the relevant planning policies, guidelines, and legislation that apply to the proposed development project. This includes reviewing the local development plan, zoning regulations, building codes, and any other relevant regulations (local needs requirements, etc.)
2. Preliminary designs:
The preparation process also involves developing preliminary designs and plans for the proposed development. These take into account the client brief and budget. This can include site layout plans, building elevations, and other design details such as daylight & shadow studies that will be further developed and then included in the planning application.
3. Consultation with planning authority:
Pre-planning meeting with the local planning authority to discuss the proposed development in more detail in relation to the feasibility. It helps to identify any potential issues or concerns that may need to be addressed in the planning application. This can be in the form of a phone call/zoom call or in some cases a sit-down meeting.
4. Surveys and assessments:
It is usually necessary to conduct relevant site surveys and assessments, such as topographical or measured surveys. Geotechnical, ecological surveys, archaeological, traffic analysis surveys, etc. may also be required depending on the nature and location of the proposed development . These surveys can help to identify any potential constraints or opportunities for the development. The requirement for these various assessments and associated reports are usually advised as part of the pre-planning consultation.
Overall, the pre-planning process helps to ensure that a proposed development projects are potentially feasible re development/zoning principle, comply with relevant planning guidelines/regulations, and are likely to be supported by the local planning authority. Although the guidance issued by the local authority at pre-planning stage is non-binding, it generally indicates the likely outcome of the proposed application. We also find that it is of great benefit to introduce a project to the local authority so that they are familiar with it and when an application is made it is not served cold!