The collaborative approach, having a conversation.
In The Book of the Samurai it is said that one should not settle into a set of opinions. Part of arriving at a way forward with a Local Authority lies in the importance of an initial discussion and exploration of the issues concerning an applicant’s agenda for development.
All too often the Local Authority Planning Officers have proposals thrust upon them where they feel they can only react to what is laid before them. One is all too familiar with the “...what do you want, the answer is no” discussion.
Success of a proposal lies in soliciting the Officer’s opinion and shaking out issues which can be readily addressed early on before they become insurmountable obstables.
Recently, when advising on a Listed Building which had a long history of negative responses from the Local Authority we obtained an agreement on a strategy to take the project forward. This was accomplished after giving the Officers time to reflect on what the applicant was looking to achieve and on what might constitute an acceptable form of development.
In the end it was agreed that an application could be submitted and approval was obtained. This approval doubled the size of the existing Listed cottage and its previous additions.
A similar approach was taken on a new replacement dwelling where a large country house was sought to replace the locally Listed building to be demolished. The application overran the statutory 8 week determination date but the officer felt confident enough in the design approach to work with the applicant to come to an agreement for approval. This success just proves the adage that “it’s good to talk.”