What Should You Look out for When Choosing Your Planning Consultant?
1. Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
A reliable way of identifying a professional and experienced planning consultant is by looking for a chartered planner. This status is awarded by the Royal Town Planning Institute to those who fulfil a strict set of criteria and abide by the highest professional and ethical standards.
Chartered town planners typically have a degree in planning along with extensive experience. They must also provide evidence of Continued Professional Development (CPD) to demonstrate ongoing growth. This is particularly essential within planning since the regulations and processes are constantly evolving, making it critical that they keep up to date with current policies.
2. Local Knowledge
As with all areas of property, local knowledge is key to finding the most effective route to realising your vision. In regards to planning, this local knowledge applies equally to planning policies and authorities, as it does to the local area and communities.
Complex cases especially will benefit from local knowledge. Factors like local housing shortages and town development schemes can become key to securing permission in otherwise questionable locations, so make sure your planning consultant is well-acquainted with your area.
3. Communication Skills
A good consultant will not only be good at communicating their ideas, but also listening and asking questions, so they can understand the other person’s perspective. Any ideas they do offer should be clearly communicated in a way that’s easy to understand.
This is an essential skill when it comes to negotiating and putting forward your case. When meeting with your consultant, pay attention to how much time they spend talking compared to listening, and how clearly you understand what they say. If you have any questions, your consultant should be more than happy to take the time to explain.
4. Problem-solving Skills
Planning is a complex process with intricate rules that often require interpretation. Planning consultants must therefore be able to look at the full picture, drawing on their knowledge of both local and national planning regulations to navigate potential objections.
The world of property is expansive and includes not just buildings but also the environment, infrastructure and heritage. As such, you should look for a consultant with a proven track record of handling similar cases to your own. That way, you can have confidence that they will provide the specialist knowledge needed to guide your application towards success.
5. People Skills
When seeking planning permission, this involves more than paperwork. Your planning consultant will also be responsible for negotiating with the local authorities, planning committees and the community. Your consultant should be confident and able to build positive relationships. If you get a good impression, then it’s likely that others will too.
Find Your Planning Consultant
At Halls, we have a team of experienced consultants ready to guide you through the world of planning. By taking the time needed to understand you and your project, we offer honest advice that lets you know your current position and any potential hurdles ahead. Drawing on our intricate knowledge of local and national planning regulations, we will then help you find the path that maximises both the value of your property and your chances of success. Contact us for more information.