Sign in to follow this  
PolicySucks

Pre-App Site Meeting

Recommended Posts

Hi All, 

 

We have the planning officer from the local planning authority coming to meet us at our site tomorrow, any tips or things to avoid saying etc would be useful. 

 

Hoping none of the grumpy neighbouring property owners spot us and come out all guns blazing !

 

Kind Regards

 

Ollie

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

depends on what you want to do - are you looking to do something controversial or completely different to the surrounding area or is the plot not in a settlement zone etc?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The plot is outside of a settlement zone but only just, I'm hoping they will apply the Braintree DC definition of settlement as they have done elsewhere in the borough..... this being the case it will rely on visual impact etc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider adding a few features to your requirements that you wouldn't mind removing if you need to negotiate with the planners....... 2 turrets when you would be happy with just one. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Usually the best approach is to be completely honest about your intentions, if you are building a modest family home for a young family, give them that bit of the story about settling in the area etc - if you're planning an architectural masterpiece, push that side of things.

It's good if you can get a decent rapport with the planning officer and understand what their worries are, what you might need to convince them on in terms of the local plan - sometimes if you get a planner who likes you, they will ask you for the bullets to fire to justify a departure from policy but if they think you are arrogant or not being open about your intentions they can sometimes throw obstacles in your way.

Also, beware the planner who is as nice as pie on site, then writes to you with a completely contradictory opinion from the safety of their own office!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was very open about our intentions for our plot when I met the planning officer.  I was anticipating some difficulty as we knew that we wanted a very contemporary house when there is nothing comparable in the area and he deals with many of the conservation type projects.  It turned out that he had no problem with modern buildings and preferred them to stylized pastiche designs and we had zero objections or alterations to our submitted plans.  We even put a pond into the PP request due to its size, as well as greenhouses on the agricultural part of the land.  No problem with any of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Write down your questions before or you will miss one out.

 

80-20 listen-talk.

 

Record it discreetly.

 

Have a notepad, and use it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you know the name of the official coming to meet you?

 

I  ask because if you do, and you can read some of his or her decisions online before tomorrow, it means you have time to get a feel for all sorts of things in advance of the meeting. And if you can mention (provided it's relevant) one or more of the decisions he or she has made, then that will, at the very least, cause an inner smile. And so oil the wheel a bit.

 

The micropolitics of the meeting are critical. Professional, polite, attentive, listening. Find out as much as you can about the planner before tomorrow. Do not be afraid of silence.

 

Every Planner is used to  Mr and Mrs Grumpy. Its normal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 80-20 listen / speak rule is key. When we had ours the architect told me to keep quiet and let him do the talking which was sensible as we were paying him after all. In the end I only spoke about things that where beyond the architects scope or where he didn't have the answer. IE were we intending to live there (yes), what were are our plans for the footpath (offered to clear and resurface), would we be happy to have obscured glass in any East facing glazing (along the footpath so no problem). 

Edited by MikeSharp01

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will be very interested in how this plays out as I have a pre-app meeting in the next few weeks.

One tip thought don't let on that your online handle is policy sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So we had the Planning officer out last Friday for a site meeting. She was possibly the hardest person ever to talk to, she wasn't interested in chit chat, didn't ask me any questions really, forgot to bring any of the paperwork with her. She did mention she was off on holiday that afternoon and you could tell, she was looking at her watch every 30 seconds. 

 

I tried my best but don't think she was at all interested in our site, she made a handful of notes that she kept very close to her chest. I asked her if she thought there would be any major issues, to which she simply replied "Settlement Boundary". I mentioned the Braintree DC case which she seemed to have never heard of until I explained it and then she knew all about it (I suspect she didn't know of it as she wrote it down) she went on to say she doesn't think it would apply here bla bla. I then showed her a handful of other cases in similar locations in the same borough where it had applied - she said she would look at them. 

 

It's really made me lose enthusiasm for the whole project to be honest :( 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don’t give up! She went away knowing that you had done some research and wasn’t going to be put off by her pessimistic view. You really have to be resilient as there will be several knock backs and disappointments I’m sure. Keep your eye on the end goal and work towards it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Might be worth speaking to a local planning consultant and get them to be the agent for your application...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this