jno

Do consultant reports expire?

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I understand that full planning permission is valid for 3 years. But what about the various consultant reports that support a successful planning application? Do these have a sell-by-date?

I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the web and was hoping someone might be able to offer some clarification.

 

My reason for asking is that I wanted to recycle some of the consultant reports that I had commissioned as part of a successful planning permission application made back in spring 2017 for 4 detached dwellings in a plot that now sits adjacent to my garden. The current plan is to seek planning permission again for an additional single dwelling within the remaining space within my garden/grounds.

 

For reference, I attach a rough outline of the plot for which the original consultant reports relate to, as well as the prospective new plot. As you can see, they’re right next to each other, so to my mind, some aspects of existing consultant reports could be shared? From memory, the reports made were flood risk, ecological, archaeological, geotechnical, perhaps one or two other typical reports that I could dig out.

 

Might be worth redoing some reports, such as the geotechnical to be sure were not building on made ground. But I’m certain the prospective site is of lower flood risk and it seems mad to spend another 1-2k on a new report that presents practically the same geographic assessment.

 

My first post on BuildHub. Any ideas/comments much appreciated. I’ll share the eventual outcome in case it’s of use to others.

 

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I think as you suggest it will depend a bit on the type of report. Flood risk assessments are often development specific so an assessment for another development would need to consider risk both to and from that development. If it's an area of extremely low risk I'd imagine you'll be fine with your existing report as there will be an obvious answer.

 

There may have been changes to estimated flood levels (if applicable) since the original report and also things like climate change allowances. However, if I were in your shoes I'd just use the original one anyway, the worst you'll end up with is being told it needs updated.

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The original reports you commissioned will only relate to and should only be used for the site they were prepared for much in the same way a set of plans prepared by an architect for a certain site should only be used by the client for the site they were prepared for and not used again and again.

 

Although some aspects of the original reports may have relevance for the new site I would be wary of recycling them not only because a few years have passed since they were prepared and the information contained within them may have changed but also because the original consultants may not be too pleased that you have recycled the work they prepared for a particular site only for it to be used again without their consent on a totally different site a few years later. This is similar to asking and paying an architect for a set of plans for a house for one site and then running down to your local copy shop, running off another set and submitting an application for a totally different site.

 

You may wish to ask the consultants if you can use their reports for your new site.

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Should be easy and relatively inexpensive for he consultants to decide if the reports are still valid, and if they can extrapolate to the enlarged area. 

Then they can write a simple statement to the effect and all are happy.

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Thanks for the ideas.


Perhaps I was being a bit hopeful to recycle all that many of the original reports ;)

 

@saveasteadingGood idea to mention existing reports for adjacent plot and at least enquire as to a discounted cost for a new report.

 

I found two local council websites referring to the acceptable age of ecology surveys. One suggesting no more than one year, the other up to three years.

 

Fair enough to redo an eco-report, as they actually get their boots dirty and inspect the plot in detail. But the Flood Risk Assessment I had commissioned last was entirely desk based, using exclusively public datasets. And the FRA was also the most expensive! So I guess I’m a bit sour about potentially having to redo that one! I’ll do as you say @jamieled and try to wing it with existing FRA. 
 

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25 minutes ago, jno said:

Flood Risk Assessment I had commissioned last was entirely desk based,

The fundamentals of the report will still be there. they can look to see if the flood maps have changed...if not then a simplel letter to say so. if so, then is probably still easy to review. worth a word with them anyway.

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They do expire - usually after 2 years in my experience, but

 

a - Planning may not notice the date.

b - The consultant may update it at a minimal fee. Ask.

c - An existing report is useful research for a new one. Check.

d - Sometimes the data can be reused or purchased - often for eg traffic surveys or ground testing etc.

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Thanks for the ideas @Ferdinand

Point (c) for sure. The old reports are a great starting point for my pre-app / outline planning stage. I can back-up what's necessary then with some recomissioned reports.

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