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Why Might Your Planning Permission Result Vary Between Different Areas?
Clearly, each planning permission case is different. Unique environmental and structural concerns apply to each house, on top of which you often have to pay close attention to your neighbours' properties to determine their easement rights or rights to light.
Even if your circumstances appear to be exactly the same, though, there is another confounding factor. Planning permission cases will change in nature from place to place based on your local authority's approach, and as such the results for what seems to be the same case might differ greatly from council to council.
Two councils might feel like two different countries.
Local authorities may reject a planning application if it doesn't match their vision for the area they are responsible for.
This vision will depend on their long-term plans for the rejuvenation and regeneration of important areas, and the overall layout and needs of the area.
For example, a deprived area may be more likely to welcome a change of use from residential to business, and less likely to welcome a change of use from business to residential, due to the implications for employment.
Meanwhile, an area of significant historic interest with many listed houses may welcome smaller, lower, less obtrusive development instead of large modern projects.
The authority will have other influences on its decision – for instance, they may receive or request information from authorities with responsibilities for nearby roads.
The Local Development Framework
Almost all applications will be accepted or rejected subject to your local planning authority's particular development plan. The key element of your local planning authority's development plan is known as the local development framework.
The good news is that this information is publicly available!
The bad news is that it is frequently incredibly dense and involved reading material, and won't directly tell you what is and is not permissible. Instead, it will lay out what is and is not desirable, and the local planning authority will have to make a judgment call based on its own research and the information you provide as to whether or not your planning application fits with their development plan.
For this reason, when making a planning application you should consider the local development framework carefully. You may find it beneficial to tailor your application to emphasise the ways it fits the local planning authority's vision and explain why your application won't obstruct their vision.
Approach it like you might a job application – there's no trick questions and they're not looking for subtlety or originality, this isn't an essay. All the information about the kind of thing they're looking for is out there, and it's your role to include all the relevant information, emphasising things that support your case.
Remember that lying to or misleading the local planning authority about the nature of your planned development is a serious matter. At the very least it will make your application much less likely to succeed.
Applying For Planning Application In Kent And Medway Towns
This variance is why we've created a series of guides for planning applications near us in Kent and Medway.
We hope that you find them helpful!