What Can I do With This Property? - Using the council's planning search page

December 6, 2017

So for our newer ladies and gents here are some more thoughts.....

 

The most common question...
'What can I do with this property?'

 

You know how find your Gold Mine area, right?
You know how to value a plot or a building for its new intended use?
You know your HMO rules or whatever your strategy is?
Heck, you even know how to find JV's and present a deal to your funders.

 

So why don't you know what the planning officer will allow you to do?

You have all the basic developer building blocks and yet the most important part you probably leave to a pre-app (I hope not, see my post on this subject) or you ask an architect or planning consultant for advice.

 

Fact is, you should have a fair idea yourself before you start spending money on their fees.
In the same way, you know your area and your strategy you need to know your planning department and their rules and policies.

 

The trouble is, It's a bloody minefield of legaleez jargon that consultants like me make our living on, and we won't be giving up that trick anytime soon.
But the truth is, my life would certainly be made simpler if the same old question wasn't always asked.

 

If you know your exit (because you know not only what the financial numbers are but also that your development has a fair chance of approval) you will be light years ahead of your competition - and I can cut to the chase and get the proper work done!

 

You will be pleased to know that there's a shortcut to making a basic appraisal of your project that's free and fairly quick with practice.

 

You need to know how to search for planning applications in your chosen council. It's a goldmine of information and a source of deals that present themselves months before they hit Rightmove

 

1. Have the postal address and postcode.
You can check what the local authority is by going to www.planningportal.co.uk and entering your site’s postcode in the box.

 

2. Councils pride themselves in making their websites unnavigable
So go to Google and enter the name of the council and 'planning application search'
The first result normally takes you to their search page. Use the advanced search option.

 

3. You can search by keyword, address, postcode, applicant, agent, date, parish and lots more.
You want to search for similar stuff as you want to develop in your area.

You can use the wildcard “%”
Say you want to build flats in postcode AB1 5XY

In keyword description use, for example, %development%flats%
In postcode put AB1%

And up pops a list of applications that fit your criteria.

Be creative in your searches. E.g. HMO keyword search %multiple%
Or change of use office to resi try %B1%C3%

You get the picture...

Click the link and open 'documents'
Then see if the application was refused or approved. Then look at the decision notice and the officer's comments/assessment

This will tell you exactly what is right or wrong with the application and therefore you can compare yours.

You'll get the referred policies and how they are applied which you can use later or give to your planning consultant/architect.
If you can't see any relevant applications ask yourself why.
 Chances are it's not allowed or refine your search.
 Apply a bit of common sense, and practice

 

4. You can also look up weekly and monthly lists of new and decided applications.
New applications are projects that you can offer on even before they come to market. Decided applications if refused are a chance to fix the problem and offer below market value.
If approved, deal package them or buy them!

 

If you want more detail and hacks and tips to get your application approved then visit my Facebook page - thanks!

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CJS Planning Services, Norwich
01362 690 779
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