Planning lawyers


Planning lawyers are UK-qualified property law solicitors who specialise in planning permission applications and appeals. The need for planning law solicitors stems from the complex manner in which planning law operates.

What do planning lawyers do?

The Town and Country Planning Acts (1947 and 1990) created a legal framework which provided local councils with the authority to grant or reject planning applications.

You will need to make an application to your local planning authority if you are planning any building work, including:

  • Extensions to a property
  • New housing
  • Demolition of existing housing

Planning lawyers can inform you of the law before you make your application and can help with preparation of the application. They will advise you on which application form you need to send in and how many copies of the form need to be sent.

They will often discuss proposals with the council before any application is made and amend proposals in accordance with what the council want. It is possible in certain circumstances to make an outline application to the planning authority and planning lawyers can advise on whether this is appropriate in your circumstances.

Planning lawyers do not simply file planning permission applications however. Many people require help challenging successful planning applications that are causing some sort of problem or unrest. This can be for a variety of reasons ranging from:

  • Objections to large or ugly buildings
  • Worries about blocking of sunlight or air
  • Worries about noise or pollution
  • Worries about the purpose of the building

What is planning permission?

A planning permission gives a property developer the ability to redesign any part of a building, or indeed knock a building down completely and construct a different building (depending on the specifics of the permission). However, if a property developer does not have planning permission the work cannot continue.

Each council may have different criteria for accepting planning applications, and each street may be under different restrictions. Planning law solicitors are needed because a delayed or rejected planning application could cost the developer a considerable amount of money.

Proceeding without granted planning permission could end in a financial disaster. If you are in charge of a current building site, and you are considering advancing the work without first receiving planning permission, you are strongly urged to carefully consider your actions.

If the planning application is rejected and your build violates the existing permission, you may have to demolish your recent build and start over. You will then have to bear the costs associated with such a delay, as well as the costs of work and materials you spent in the first place.

For more information on planning permission, see our page on planning law.

Do you need the services of a planning lawyer to help you with a planning permission matter? Contact Law works with a number of specialists in this area who can help you to file the relevant paperwork and advise on the likelihood of a successful application. Please call us on 0800 1777 162 or complete the web-form above.

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