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How To Obtain Planning Permission In Rochester

The UK has some quite complex procedures for obtaining planning permission, partly due to the complexity of the law around planning and partly due to the subjectivity of many councils' approaches.

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 that's not the end of the story. Rochester is older and wealthier than most of the other towns which make up the Medway conurbation, and so it can be a bit more difficult to get planning permission for certain kinds of development if you're not familiar with the council.

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.

Rochester comes in for special mention in the development framework, so it deserves its own section in our guide.

Your Local Development Framework


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

Rochester is a historic city, and as such represents a landmark in itself. This could make planning applications more difficult, and developments should be considered carefully.

  • Developing for business on land near Rochester Airfield, where BAe Systems are located, is in great demand, especially software engineering and manufacturing.
  • Priority is going to be given to site development in town centres (such as Rochester town centre) and redevelopments in dense urban areas. However, these will be carefully monitored and managed by the council.
  • Rochester Riverside has seen high population growth, along with much in the way of housing development as the river-side area is being redeveloped for regeneration.
  • Rochester Cathedral and Rochester Castle are very important landmarks. Given Medway's emphasis on improving the area's public image and sensitivity to the past, if your planning application relates to areas around Rochester Cathedral or Rochester Castle you may need additional help to make your case.
  • Some development for new health services is being considered around Rochester Riverside.
  • Although development for cultural and evening/late-night entertainment is encouraged throughout Medway, in Rochester you might have to address concerns about tensions with residents living on the edge of the town centre. Development in the town centre should also respect Rochester town centre's historical character.
  • Outside the centre, residential areas have limited access to products and services, risking social isolation. The Borstal area in particular is singled out as needing additional services and facilities. If your development adds services and facilities in Borstal, you should draw attention to this.
  • Delce Road, Maidstone Road, Marley Way, Borstal and Rochester Riverside will all be promoted as neighbourhood centres.

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

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 Rochester already but it didn't go as planned, you can come to us for guidance and advice.

If you're from Chatham or Gillingham rather than Rochester, check out our guide to obtaining planning application in the Medway conurbation.

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