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Visitors receive handshake from IITA staff during a visit to IITA Ibadan

When starting your project, it is important to try have a pre-application consultation for your planning permission submissions. I talked about it in my previous blog post as a way to try save time and cost early before you get a professional involved. This process will help you validate your building project idea before submitting your planning application.

At the pre-planning application consultation, you can meet with the planning officer who have reviewed 100s of planning applications . These meetings are informative, and many councils are open to hosting them. You just need to find your local planning website and see if they offer one.

Not all councils provide this, the ones that offers pre-application consultations, you will need to fill in a simple form before meeting. Others have officers available at certain times for callers. The planning portal for your local council will explain their pre-application consultation procedure, setting out the situations where a fee might be payable. This article is going to help explain and run through some of the things you need to consider when going through the pre-application consultation for your planning permission.

Try to get a face-to-face meeting

To ensure your application has a higher change of approval from the outset, have a meeting with the planning officer to showcase your proposed plans. This would help greatly as you can adjust and modify as necessary from the conversation you have with them. This is a lot faster than email or phone conversations.

Make sure you come in knowing what you want for your planning application

One of the major purposes of pre-application consultation with a planning officer is to inform you about any problems with your scheme that might be able to be fixed beforehand. This is different from finding out their ideal plan for your site, which can happen if you have not come in with any ideas.

Don’t go to a meeting without knowing what you want. The eyes of the planning officer might close up behind his or her’s vision of what should be done.

Bring your sketches

Again, as mentioned before in my other blog posts come in with some sketches of your proposal.

Take your sketch scheme or provide the basis for the discussion in advance. It can be better to leave out personal details to prevent “personal information from being used against you later.” Be brief, so you’re not taking up too much of the meeting time.

Focus on one application at a time

If you are applying for a building permit and want to build two houses instead of one, the officer may think your application has a stronger chance of granting when it’s only to build one.

In your correspondence with the council, ask for the application’s content requirements and if they need any specialist reports. Do this before the meeting and make sure you bring in as much information and questions as possible.

You can get required documents from their respective council, on the council’s website or at the planning department. You can search online for your local council’s planning department.

You can use a copy of the Development Control list to show an officer which items are necessary, what level of detail are appropriate to your proposal, and who they will need to consult with. Learn if financial contributions are needed and how the council handles it. Be sure you confirm how much money is being contributed regarding your proposal.

Also finally ask what other costs or processes you may need to go through to approve your planning permit. These can include ecology survey, structural surveys, or detailed measured surveys.

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