Town and Country Planning Consultants - For all your Planning Permission Needs

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Planning Advice

Prior to submitting a planning application TC Town Planning can provide professional advice on the likelihood of obtaining permission and what mitigation and/or surveys/assessments may need to accompany an application to obtain approval. This advice may prove invaluable on whether an application may prove successful or not.

A Site Feasibility Study can be completed outlining any hazards/constraints associated with your land and how it will be assessed against the prevailing planning policy, extant area plan and any other material considerations. Please refer to Site Feasibility Studies section. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Planning Policy

All development proposals are assessed against planning policy to establish if the proposal is considered acceptable in principle and what other environmental issues need to be considered for example integration of the project, design and scale and access standards to list a few for planning permission to be granted. Planning policy can prove ambiguous, vague and at times conflicting; however TC Town Planning has a wide understanding of the reading of policy that will prove beneficial for the client. Initial discussions with TC Town Planning on how to optimise the development potential of a particular site will ensure a strategic and probable approach is adopted. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Planning Appeals

An appeal can be submitted to the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) for a number of circumstances, e.g. refusal of planning permission; a non-determination of a planning application; to challenge a condition attached to a planning permission; and against an enforcement notice. Only the applicant or alleged offender can submit an application to appeal the foregoing, however if a person has an interest in the case, i.e. third part objector, they may also be given the opportunity to submit their views to the PAC.

TC Town Planning has represented a number of appellants and objectors at various planning and enforcement appeals. This process requires robust and comprehensive submissions and it is vital that all relevant supporting information is compiled to accompany a Statement of Case for an appeal. Deadlines for appeals must be met so it is essential that pertinent information in support of the appeal is included to ensure that your appeal or representation has the best possible chance of success.

TC Town Planning can oversee this process and represent the client at site and informal hearings.

Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Enforcement Cases

Enforcement issues can be complex, convoluted and lengthy. TC Town Planning has significant knowledge and understanding of enforcement procedures as Theresa Cassidy previously worked as an enforcement officer for the relevant planning authority.  There are a number of avenues to investigate when dealing with enforcement cases including the legislation and what may or may not prove to be lawful development, extant planning history and any other material considerations. Upon receipt of a warning letter it is advised that the alleged offender negotiates with the local planning authority to try to resolve the issue and avoid the issue of an Enforcement Notice. However, if a notice is served the alleged offender has the right to appeal the notice to the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) before the date the notice takes effect (please note there is no right to appeal a Breach of Condition Notice). There are a number of grounds to appeal against an Enforcement Notice which need to be considered in detail. This may not always result in securing planning permission initially, but other grounds of appeal could be engaged to establish the best possible outcome for the client at that time.  TC Town Planning can oversee negotiations with the local planning authority and/or any enforcement appeal instilling confidence that the interests of the client are being dealt with appropriately. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Site Feasibility Studies

TC Town Planning offers a Site Feasibility Study from the outset of a new development proposal. It is essential to conduct a feasibility study for all development proposals as this will establish if any hazards/constraints attached to the site for example if the land is within a Flood Plain, is within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), is a Listed Building or accesses onto a Protected Route. Identifying a constraint or hazard will highlight the development potential of a site in the first instance. If a site is restricted it may rule out its development potential and thereby save the client substantial costs rather than submitting an application and paying the relevant fees only to discover no development opportunity exists.

Feasibility Studies also establish what planning policy and other material considerations are attached to a site and if any further mitigation such as for example a Noise Impact Assessment, a Habitats Regulations Assessment, Traffic Survey etc may be required to demonstrate that a proposal will not result in any demonstrable harm to the natural and built environment and/or residential amenity. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Design Statements

In certain cases it may be necessary to provide Design Concept & Access Statements to the relevant planning authority to help describe how a proposal will be developed and how the attributes of a site have evolved the design. A Design Concept Statement may be necessary for an outline application for a single dwelling where there are concerns regarding existing amenity values and landscaping or outline for a large scale mixed use development scheme to show how the site will sit against surrounding properties. These are a useful tool to provide to the local planning authority in the interest of expediting an application. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Built Heritage

Built Heritage provides an identity for an area and community. It is a catalogue of human activity, evolution and architectural merit and provides a sense of place. There are many archaeological and heritage features darted throughout the landscape and the protection of such features ensures historical events and folklore are conserved and passed on to future generations. Heritage plays a large part in the attraction of an area and therefore is a tool in generating tourism. Discussions with the relevant agency will establish the design considerations to be implemented i.e. window finishes for a Listed Building or buffers to be incorporated into a particular design where a proposal may be near a site of archaeological protection. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)

TC Town Planning can conduct the screening and scoping exercises involved for an EIA and oversee the information that may be needed for an Environmental Statement (ES). Knowledge of the relevant legislation attached to this process is key in establishing if a development proposal falls within the parameters of these regulations. Not all development proposals may fall within a category of the regulations, however the cumulative implications of a proposal and the location may then dictate that an Environmental Statement is necessary for the purposes of determining the application. Environmental issues are major concerns within regional and European directives and hefty repercussions can ensue if they are not properly adhered to. Judicial Reviews have been taken against planning decisions where the environmental screening and scoping process for an ES have not been conducted appropriately or assessed fully against the prevailing planning policy. This can lead to substantial delays and may stymie a developments’ potential by a number of years. It is critical to ensure that all factors relating to the environment are considered appropriately for any proposal whether it commands an ES or not; e.g. traffic, noise, odour, ecology, hydrology, geology, visual and landscape impact, drainage etc. If your proposal may require an ES, in the interest of expediency it is vital that consultations and discussions with the relevant government agencies and local planning authority or Department are commenced immediately. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Lawful Development

Certificates of Lawful Development – Proposed or Existing, can be submitted to the local planning authority where it is considered that the development may benefit from Permitted Development or has become immune from any enforcement action. By submitting an application the development may be regulated by the planning authority and a certificate issued for your record. This form may prove invaluable if a property is to be sold and documentation is required for legal reasons. TC Town Planning has overseen a number of successful small scale and large scale Certificates of Lawful Development Proposed and Existing. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Renewable Energy

This is fast becoming an established indigenous industry for NI due to the natural resources available which prove enticing and feasible for development companies. Some small scale renewable energy development may not require planning permission and may be lawful, e.g. small scale solar installations.

TC Town Planning has been successful in obtaining planning permission for a number of renewable energy projects especially wind and thus understands the many issues attached to these types of developments. Planning Policy Statement 18 – Renewable Energy requires that a number of factors are taken into consideration when determining such applications and mostly these types of applications require a number of surveys and assessments. TC Town Planning has worked closely with development companies and single developers in the past and can direct clients to finance options. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Planning Permission

The Planning System, by its very nature, is bureaucratic, complicated and can potentially be very costly in terms of time and money to the experienced developer and the general public. Town and Country Planning Consultants are experienced in all planning matters and their role in assessing a proposals chance of success can prove invaluable.

TC Town Planning’s professional expertise, advice and guidance can inform the developer on the potential likelihood of obtaining planning permission. Knowledge of the wide range of policy, primary and subordinate legislation, supplementary guidance, planning appeal decisions, precedence and case law along with any other material considerations is fundamental when advising if a development opportunity will prove successful or not.

TC Town Planning engage regularly with Architects, Developers, Renewable Energy Companies, Private Land Owners, Farmers, Local Councils, Political Representatives, Acoustic Engineers, Ecologists and many others who can be integral to the success of a planning proposal. TC Town Planning can prepare and monitor an application from start to conclusion removing the need for the client to burden themselves with the intricacies of planning procedure and process.  Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Innovation & Design

TC Town Planning liaises with architects, surveyors and designers on achieving a layout and configuration that will satisfy prevailing planning policy and supplementary guidance and thereby meet the needs of the local planning authority. A design led approach on configuring a site will return a proposal that has considered surrounding features of interest, orientation in terms of natural resources i.e. light and integration, local vernacular, privacy and amenity and boundary treatment. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Ecology & Conservation

TC Town Planning engages regularly with ecologists and can contribute to ecological statements that may be required as part of a development proposal. Many flora and fauna species are protected and habitat assessments may also be conducted by TC Town Planning as a requirement for the planning process. Integrating best practice methods in terms of enhancing and protecting biodiversity should be integral to any design proposal and the academic knowledge acquired by TC Town Planning in this field will prove beneficial. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Local Development Plans

New local development plans are currently being prepared by a number of various councils. It is important to keep informed of the various stages a development plan is at so that an opportunity to make representation is not missed especially if land is located at the edge of existing settlement limits. TC Town Planning can act on your behalf and submit a robust and comprehensive report in an effort to include your land(s) within settlement limits and/or zoned land. Local development plans will only be reviewed periodically so it is highly critical that your submission is detailed and in accordance with the issues identified through the plan process to meet demographic, social and economic needs. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.



TC Town Planning can represent any single developer, objector, building contractor, developer, business, environmental group, community group, concerned resident etc at any stage during a planning application process or at planning appeal stage. Representation at emerging development plans and public enquiries can also be completed by TC Town Plan. Contact TC Town Planning to discuss further.


Theresa Cassidy, BSc (Hons), MSc Ecology & Conservation