How do I choose an agent?

Some planning applications require only limited technical drawings or none at all. These may include application for change of use and application to vary planning conditions. Although technical design advice may not be required, technical expertise may be just as essential in order to make the planning case for an approval. We advise that in such circumstances you employ the assistance of a qualified planner.

Larger developments will require the skills of a professional planner as well as an architect. Many larger Architectural or Planning firms will employ both sets of professionals.

Good agents will…

  1. Advise you whether a planning application is needed.
     
  2. Advise you on how best to meet your needs in a way that is likely to achieve a successful outcome in respect of a planning application.
     
  3. Advise you if a proposal is unlikely to get a successful outcome.
     
  4. Arrange for pre-application discussions with a planning officer where there is uncertainty as to the likelihood of a proposal being acceptable.
     
  5. Prepare the plans and all supporting documentation and forms (or make arrangements with a specialist where such documentations requires specialist expertise).
     
  6. Submit your application and organise payment of the relevant planning fee.
     
  7. Possess appropriate qualifications and membership of the relevant professional body.
     
  8. Be fully insured.

Your considerations should include…

  1. What qualifications does the agent have and what professional bodies do they belong to? Is evidence of such membership available? (Please see section on the meanings of qualifications).
     
  2. Can friends or family recommend an agent to you?
     
  3. Does the agent have a portfolio of previous work for you to look at?

Finally…

Always get everything in writing.