Top Tips from Morton Fraser - Improving your relationship with your local planners

Establishing and maintaining good relationships with your local planners can be essential to ensuring efficient project delivery on your estate.  Whilst traditionally planners remained in post for many years, recent changes in the way local authorities operate have lead to a far higher turnover of personnel.

It is therefore prudent, as with your bank [insert link to factsheet], to ensure you maintain regular contact with your local planning teams in order to stay up to date with who is in post and ensure they understand you, your estate and your ambitions.

By engaging with your local team and keeping abreast of the emerging Local Development Plan you will be kept well informed, which will, in turn, save you time and money when pursuing new development projects.  More importantly, your prospects of success in securing planning permission are likely to be increased.

Follow our Top Tips to stay one step ahead:

  1. Know the timetable - Get a copy of the council's timetable in terms of the production of its Local Development Plan.
  2. Stay informed - Stay on top of the work that the council is doing in preparation for its new Local Development Plan by registering for e-bulletins, attending meetings etc.
  3. Know the specifics - If your land is zoned for development in the Local Development Plan, you are more than halfway there.
  4. Seek advice - Meet with the Council's planners and ask for their advice.
  5. Do your homework - Be prepared with research and evidence if you want to persuade the planners that there are no physical or legal impediments to the development of your site.
  6. Know their views - If you are in an area which is covered by a Strategic Development Plan, find out what your Council's position on it is.
  7. Open your doors - Invite the planners to your property and give them a tour to help them understand the bigger picture.
  8. Participate - Attend council meetings and contribute positively.
  9. Focus - Get to know your local councillors in particular.
  10. Approach from all angles - Attend your local MSP’s clinics and get to know their team.
  11. Relate to national plans - Visit the parliament website to stay informed of agriculture updates and national plans.
  12. Get your neighbours on side - Consultation with neighbours is an important aspect of the planning system, and support for development can considerably enhance prospects of success.