If you need planning permission...
Some larger renewable energy projects require planning permission before building work can start. The planning system in the UK is in a constant state of flux and regular changes to national and local policies can make a difference to whether an application is accepted or not by the Local Planning Authority.
Through our approved suppliers, we can guide you through this planning minefield and tell you whether you will need permission at an early stage. Our professionally qualified planning and environmental consultants will do the groundwork and make the application on your behalf according to the requirements of the project.
Government policy is currently emphasising the role of local decision-making. Engaging with local politicians and communities before a planning application is submitted can help avoid objections and costly delays. We believe that treating statutory bodies and other key stakeholders, as an integral part of the planning application process is essential for maximising success.
It is also important that planning applications balance renewable energy with sometimes competing social, economic and environmental considerations. Depending on the specific nature of the site and the scheme, these considerations can include:
- protecting and enhancing our cultural heritage;
- minimising visual impact and safeguarding landscape character;
- protecting ecological habitats;
- benefits to the local economy;
- safeguarding the amenity of local residents;
- ensuring efficient drainage and avoiding an increase in flood risks elsewhere;
- protecting higher quality agricultural land;
- minimising odour and contamination of water, air and ground;
- proximity to fuel source or grid connection; and
- minimising any associated traffic impacts during operation or construction phases.
Our approach to successful planning applications involves reducing risk and efficient cost and programme management. It is often structured around:
- gaining a thorough understanding of the site circumstances and its history;
- meeting with planning officers to agree what is required to ‘validate’ the application;
- understanding what are the key adopted and emerging national and local planning policies and whether there are ‘material considerations’ that could justify a departure from policy;
- listening carefully to neighbours and other stakeholders to reduce objections later down the line;
- exercising sound project management and to keep talking;
- ensuring we have the right skills and techniques on the job and bringing in specialists, if required; and
- seeking to avoid a large number of pre-commencement conditions, particularly if the project intends to programme building works soon after permission is granted.
We offer all our clients a transparent and professional planning consultancy service as an integrated part of the project, using specialist and expertise where needed to get planning approval.