Town Planning : Services

Positive engagement with the planning system with a strong commercial focus is fundamental to our approach. Challenging unjustified constraints or costs is often necessary and, on occasions, recourse to a planning appeal is the only option. Our extremely high success rate reflects our expertise in preparing evidence as well as giving balanced advice on when to appeal.

Feasibility Studies

Feasibility studies are the first step in any project. Only when a development is measured against the relevant planning policy framework, and considered in context with market conditions, can it start to take shape as a viable proposal and be progressed with a degree of confidence to a planning application.

The Vincent and Gorbing Town Planning Team have vast experience in carrying out preliminary planning appraisals to determine project viability, including early identification of key planning and environmental risks and the scope of technical work required to support a successful planning application. Taking a staged approach, we support early pre-application discussions with Local Authorities to avoid abortive costs and ensure successful outcomes.

Planning Applications

We offer a comprehensive Planning Application service which involves assembling all necessary paperwork, statements, plans and drawings, procuring necessary technical studies/reports from relevant experts to support the submission and on-going management until the application has been determined.

We assess each individual project and then advise in obtaining both Planning permission and any interconnected consents for which approval may be required. Our main priority is to satisfy the Council’s application criteria and see the application through to a successful outcome.

Planning Appeals

Sometimes a planning application may be deemed unacceptable by a Local Planning Authority despite our best endeavours. If this happens or the LPA fails to decide the application within the statutory timeframe, there is an opportunity to appeal to the Secretary of State.

We advise on the merits of appealing and on the best route to pursue (Written Representations, Informal Hearing or Public Inquiry).

We regularly prepare appeal statements and appear at hearings and inquiries. We can instruct the country’s leading planning barristers if legal representation is required.

Master Plans

For large scale residential, commercial or mixed-use scheme, we can create master plans to guide future development. We believe that every project should be perceived as part of a wider place-making exercise and that developing a master plan should be a creative, problem-solving exercise.

Our master planners combine information gathering and strategic analysis with creativity in order to shape key developments. We work closely with developers to bring together multiple uses which unlock the potential of sites and enable phased investment into the future.

Local Plans

Planning authorities are required to prepare local plans and review them on a regular basis, undertaking consultation throughout the process. To have the best prospect of success, landowners and developers must make representations to the planning authority at the right time (usually at an early stage).

The Vincent and Gorbing team is constantly in touch with the review process in a large number of local authority areas. We are therefore perfectly placed to assist landowners and developers in providing strategic advice, monitoring the progress of plans and making the appropriate representations. Local plans are the subject of examination by independent government inspectors and we regularly appear at such examinations.

Environmental Impact Assessment

If a proposed development is likely to have significant effects on the environment, it may well need to be subject of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as part of the planning process. If so, the applicant is required to produce an Environmental Statement (ES) to accompany the planning application.

Vincent and Gorbing is highly experienced in seeking screening and scoping opinions which determine whether EIA is required and the environmental effects that need to be assessed. We assemble and lead professional teams necessary for undertaking EIA or, if someone else is preparing it, provide the necessary town planning input.

Site Searches

We can search for sites and appraise them for house builders, retailers, commercial developers and local authorities. Sites are identified to meet client’s requirements, including land assembly options, sequential assessments and assessments of potential future development of strategic land holdings.

We can work with client’s property advisers to establish land ownership and investigate infrastructure and environmental constraints, and provide early advice on the prospects of obtaining planning permission.

Planning Appeals

Sometimes a planning application may be deemed unacceptable by a Local Planning Authority despite best endeavours. There is an opportunity to appeal against such decisions where the final decision rests with the Planning Inspectorate or where the LPA has failed to determine an application within the statutory timeframe.

We advise on the merits of making an appeal and on the type of appeal (Written Representation, Hearing, Inquiry), negotiate the withdrawal of Local Planning Authority objections based on a revised re-submission, prepare Appeal Statements and can appear at hearings and inquiries as an expert witness.