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How To Obtain Planning Permission In Chatham

Despite the ease with which you can apply for planning permission in the UK, it can be quite difficult to actually successfully obtain planning permission in the UK, partly due to the complexity of the law around planning and partly due to the specific goals and requirements of your particular council.

For that reason, we've put together this series of guides for negotiating the issues around planning permission, and offer important services around planning applications in case these guides don't cover your biggest questions.

Your Local Planning Permission

Your local authority is Medway Council, but Chatham has its own unique challenges and opportunities in terms of development.

Chatham is the centre of Medway in a lot of ways, which is part of the reason KSLaw's offices are on Chatham High Street. This also makes it an important part of Medway's plans for regeneration and economic development.

Medway also want to improve Chatham's tourism potential, so that it can be a close second in the region to Rochester's historic appeal.

Medway's plan is to make Chatham into a centre of regional significance, building on the momentum from the skills residents have gained from local universities, colleges and schools.

To make a planning application, you just need to write out a form. This form is standardised, and you can get hold of it here.

Chatham comes in for special mention in the development framework, which is why it deserves its own section in our guide.

Your Local Development Framework

The Medway Council local development framework makes several observations that are interesting to anyone seeking planning permission in Chatham.

Chatham town centre is linked with Rochester Riverside, so our article on Rochester might also be useful.

  • Investment in Chatham is prioritised, as it is thought that the image of Chatham reflects on the entirety of Medway, having a knock-on effect on the tourism to other areas in Medway.
  • The Chatham Historic Dockyard is a site of special interest to the council, so development near the dockyard might have to be especially sensitive to issues of image.
  • New cultural venues are encouraged in Chatham town centre, as are residential buildings, to help develop more of a night life. To attract tourism, Medway want to develop Chatham town centre and encourage development related to hotels in Chatham.
  • Chatham universities are going to be the centre for new creative industries.
  • Office-based employment opportunities are specifically mentioned as a target for 2028, implying that office development might be welcomed.
  • Because Chatham is viewed as the centre of the Medway conurbation, 50,000 square metres of retail space is required to attract new retail businesses and retail development.
  • Chatham centre has a lot of younger residents, and the population is growing quickly – but it's still the least populated town centre in the area.
  • There is a significant need to create a business district and encourage economic growth in the area, to legitimise the area as a centre for business.
  • Chatham is very important to the overall image of the area, so concerns about sensitivity and heritage might be heightened in and around Chatham.

The full Local Development Framework goes into even more detail, but these are the main significant parts for Chatham.

The Hidden Factors

There are factors in your planning application which are totally hidden from you – not because of any malice or lack of thought, but because planning application is a complex area, and because it's possible that your council has left confusing, misleading or contradictory passages in some of their documents.

If that's the case, you might be able to challenge decisions made by the council or support your planning application better.

This is what we're really good at.

We take the areas of ambiguity in the council's approach to planning permission, and we help to resolve them so that your planning application can go through.

If that's what you're interested in, don't hesitate to get in touch!

What Next?

If you found it difficult to apply through the specific local council planning portals, you can try applying through the generic online planning portal.

If you've made a planning application in Chatham already but it didn't go as planned, you can come to us for guidance and advice.

If you're in a nearby area such as Rochester or Gillingham, check out our guide to obtaining planning permission in Medway.

Or if you've got any more questions, ask away in the comments section and we'll do our best to answer them!