Frequently Asked Questions

When is a planning application needed? What do I need to do?  Need answers? Read on….

Knowing where to begin can be tricky.  We understand this and have carefully designed all of our services with our clients at the heart of everything we do.  The aim is simple - we try to make it as easy for you as possible, at every stage.  If you are thinking of a new development, whatever the scale of project, we're here to help. 

Get in touch with us today to discuss your ideas, or take a look at some of the most common FAQ's we receive below.   

We offer full support for all forms of planning applications, including drawings and scale plans. We will prepare everything that you need to make a planning application, and then deal with the local planning authority on your behalf.  Get in touch!

You can see all of our services here - or read more below...

We offer a range of planning, development and architectural design services to homeowners, self-builders and developers.  In addition, we provide professional advice for all types of building work and construction projects, and if you are a landowner we can assess the development potential of your site and help you promote it for development. Alongside all of our professional services, we are also an LABC accredited housebuilder and build bespoke, luxury homes using local craftsman and trades, all to an exceptionally high quality (see our latest exclusive newbuild here - Lincolnshire Life Magazines 'Property of the Month'). 

We provide professional support and consultancy services for residential development (new homes, major housing schemes as well as domestic extensions and conversions), commercial development, leisure and sports venues, holiday parks and agricultural sites.  Our in-house services include full architectural design and support throughout a project, including building control applications right up to project completion.

For smaller projects, we can provide full drawing packages for extensions & alterations, new build dwellings & housing developments along with any necessary statutory approvals required by the individual project.   Whether it is a small single storey extension, a garage conversion, building your dream home or office, or a new housing development we can provide all the services you require to get your project started.

We are a very commercially aware practice and will offer advice at every stage, including working with you to create cost-effective design solutions. 

Yes - in nearly all cases we do this for our clients unless they decide to deal with an application for themself. Generally, only some of the larger developers we work with choose to do this themself, most clients want us to deal with the local authority for them

Dealing with the Local Planning Authority (your local council) and handling Building Control to ensure full compliance with building regulations can be a time consuming and difficult task.  We take the hassle away from you by dealing with all statutory approvals and correspondence throughout the project - this includes preparing everything you need for a planning application or building control application, submitting it to the council or service provider and then providing you with regular updates on the progress.

We offer a free no obligation consultation and quotation for any prospective project. There is no obligation, commitment or hard sell. We provide valuable upfront advice totally free of charge whether you utilise our services or not.

As you will see from our many excellent reviews on Google, Facebook or Yell, our customers repeatedly highlight our honest, practical and exceptional speed of service amongst our most noted qualities. 

OUR FEES - Unfortunately there is no 'one size fits all' because we work on an exceptionally wide range of different projects - and each will typically require a totally different level of work.  For instance, not all projects will require us to undertake the architectural design (if you already have an architect or plans) and some projects may require a higher level of technical reports.  There is also a significant difference between application types, for instance between full and outline, or minor and major developments. 

We will therefore provide you with a quotation tailored to your project that will set out clearly what is covered, and the terms of our appointment. 

Our quotes may be in the form of either a 'full project' cost inclusive of everything, or cover all of the work involved in preparing and submitting an application to the local authority up to the point of validation - which is when it goes live and is passed to a planning officer.  Once an application is 'live' the level of input required from us could range from no further input - through to a wholescale redesign.  For this reason, we don't inflate our prices by expecting the worst - and only charge for the time we actually spend on your application. We will specify our hourly rate in our quotation so that you are clear how this will be charged if any further work is necessary to get it to the point of planning approval.  

Very occasionally circumstances arise that are beyond our control and may result in additional costs - such as when a previously unknown issue is identified by the local planning authority that requires further investigation, or when a third party report highlights a serious issue.  We always seek to avoid this, but if this does arise it will always be discussed with you prior to anything being instructed.

We do not limit our design fees to a number of solutions unlike most other practices. We provide fee based on a brief and we do not charge additionally for sketch schemes and minor amendments, the fee we quote is the fee you pay - unless the brief is dramatically changed by you later of course. Neither do we limit the number of design ideas or schemes; we could produce only 1 or maybe several design solutions for you to consider. We believe it is our duty to meet our client's individual needs and will explore all design avenues prior to agreeing a final solution with you. Get in touch for a quote today. 

Yes, of course!  We offer in-house architectural design for all construction projects, including post-planning support to ensure full building regulation compliance and assistance with building control applications too. We offer exceptional value, and will always try to beat the fees of any local practice because we simply prefer to provide this service in-house.  Feel free to ask us for a quote for any plans or drawings you need. 

Alternatively, some clients will have already appointed an architect, and that’s fine too. We also work in collaboration with a range of local architects and architectural designers and so where an architect is already on-board, we’re very happy to work alongside them and provide support on the planning side only.  All we will need from your own architect is full copies of all plans they have produced in PDF. 

No way! We are a unique practice in every way and provide a broad range of services to a diverse mix of clients. Our team is made up of highly experienced professional consultants and between us we offer expert advice and support across a variety of development and planning services.    

As you will see from our projects page, we do the 'planning' side exceptionally well - but in addition to providing support for all forms of construction projects, preparing the planning applications and offering full design and architectural packages, we also...

  • source land and sell plots (any current plots for sale will be listed here);
  • provide detailed land and property appraisals - if you own land or are thinking of buying a site, we'll tell you its true development potential; 
  • build houses - we are a registered LABC housebuilder and construct individual bespoke, luxury homes;
  • help you sell your land - in partnership with Mundys, we will introduce you to buyers or jointly market the site for sale;
  • work with local communities, parish councils and neighbourhood plan groups to prepare local planning policies, masterplans and development guides;
  • work directly with a range of the region's largest housebuilders, architects, local authorities and landowners as part of a multi-disciplined project team
  • provide full project support, including with building regulations and building control applications - and in some cases full turnkey solutions & more!

Whatever you have in mind, contact us today for a friendly and honest discussion about your next project.

Our development specialists are fully qualified planners, backed by a first class team of in-house architectural designers, legal and environmental experts with more than 50 years in the industry between them.  Fytche-Taylor Planning Ltd offer an unrivalled understanding of both the development and planning sectors to ensure that our services fully align with the needs of our clients and the local market conditions.  You can find out more and see our faces here!

For our in-house architectural services, please be aware that we are not an RIBA practice or registered with the Architects Registration Board. We are however highly qualified in our specialist field with qualifications in Building Construction Management and hold memberships of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists and Chartered Institute of Building.

Collectively our experience includes working in construction, planning consultancy, local authority and government bodies (including as 'Head of Planning' at a local council and at the Environment Agency), private architectural practices and for large commercial contractors.  We have therefore led many aspects of major building and architecture projects, as the designer, developer and contractor.

Planning permission (or planning consent as some describe it) is the permission required in order to be allowed to build, extend or change the use of land or buildings.

Most of the larger projects we work on, and the majority of new buildings, will require some form of planning permission.  We will help you obtain this.

The only exception is usually for minor alterations including some smaller domestic projects that sometimes do not require planning permission. There are always certain criteria that the project would have to meet in order to be constructed under 'permitted development' rights, so in all cases we strongly advise you to get more advice - a useful source of information can be found online here.  Please be aware that householder permitted development rights may have been removed from the property for various reasons or there may be other factors, such as conservation area status, listed buildings, tree preservation orders that may need to be taken into account.  

Once submitted, it can take your Local Planning Authority between 8 and 13 weeks to issue a decision, depending on the scale of the development proposed.  More complex major developments may take longer, subject to agreement with the Planning Authority.  During this time we will keep you fully informed of progress, attend any meetings and will respond to any enquiries we receive to make the process run as smoothly as possible. 

Please contact us for a full quotation and to discuss your unique requirements - call or e-mail: 01522 581383 | [email protected]

Yes - we have a range of skills in-house but there are frequently projects where the input from a specialist advisor may also be necessary.  We work with a range of local businesses and independent professional, chartered consultants that cover every possible scenario and development constraint.

If a report is needed for any matter as part of your planning application, we will ensure this is carried out and will always advise you where the input from any third-party specialist is to be used.  We will handle both their appointment and check their reporting as part of our own service to you, so that we remain your single point of contact throughout.   

The additional costs for this, or any other technical report will always be presented to you at the earliest possible stage - no hidden costs will ever appear if you appoint us to work with you. 

Handled professionally and in the right way, a suitable development solution can usually be found.  We have worked on a number of listed buildings and have extensive experience of working within conservation areas and around heritage sites. 

Often our in-house advice and experience is sufficient for the majority of projects and planning applications, however if we (or the local authority's Conservation Officer) consider a site or building to be particularly sensitive, we may need to employ the services of an historic building specialist to undertake a more detailed assessment of the proposed works, and the impact this will have on the heritage value of the land or property. If so, we will always advise you where any third-party specialist is required.  We will handle both their appointment and check their reporting as part of our own service to you, so that we remain your single point of contact throughout. 

Yes, but flood risk can be a serious issue so we will always look into this at the outset of any project. As with heritage matters, handled professionally and in the right way, a suitable development solution can often be found.  However, unlike other constraints there are simply some locations where, understandably, certain types of development will just not be allowed if the flood risk is considered to be severe.  Where we consider think this going to be the case, we will simply tell you the likely risks at the very start so that you can make an informed judgement over whether to proceed. 

In nearly all cases where flood risk is applicable to a site (and by this, we mean where flood risk is identified by the Environment Agency on their Flood Zone mapping) a Flood Risk Assessment, or FRA, will be required as part of your application.  In some circumstances, our in-house team are able to provide the FRA required for planning application purposes.  In more complex cases the local authority will require a report from a suitably qualified drainage engineer or flood consultant- again, this is all something that we can sort out on your behalf.

The Environment Agency and Town & Country Planning Association have partnered to produce an introductory video on addressing flood risk through the planning system in England. This video explains how and why planning must consider flood risk and explores different options and opportunities. You can view the video by clicking here (opens in a new window). 

Yes. We understand that the road to Planning Permission does not always run smoothly. If you have previously had Planning Permission refused, or need professional representation for a forthcoming Planning Appeal, Fytche-Taylor Planning can help there too.  Please contact us for an initial consultation to discuss your options to either appeal, or resubmit an amended proposal. 

After we have prepared your planning application and submitted it to your local council, it will go through the ‘validation’ stage first.  This is where the council check everything, confirm they have the correct fee and that that the paperwork and plans are in the correct format. Once validated the application documents are published online and the application is assigned to a Planning Officer, who will start to fully assess the application.

For the initial 3-5 weeks, your application will go through the public consultation phase, site notices may be put up and site visits carried out. During this time, if the Planning Officer requires further information, they will usually contact us although it is quite normal to hear nothing during these early stages.

Following these initial weeks, the Officer will continue to closely monitor your application, receiving consultation responses, answering questions raised from third parties etc.

Once the application is at a point a decision can be made, usually at around 8 weeks for most applications or 13 weeks for major developments, the Officer will write his/her report and it will then be signed off.  Following sign off, your decision will be sent out – usually to us if we have submitted it on your behalf.

If your application is called to Planning Committee, the decision will be made during the committee and is usually issued during the following few days.

Most planning applications are determined by the planning officer assigned to your application. 

A small percentage – typically around 5% of all applications – are determined by a Planning Committee. There are many different reasons why an application may be referred to committee, one of the most common is where the decision is considered to be finely balanced.

Under certain circumstances it may also be ‘called in’ by the local councillor to be considered by committee.  Rules do differ between local authorities and your council will publish its own constitution which sets out local rules for their planning committee. This can usually be found on the council’s website.

The committee is made up of elected local councillors. There is usually some form of public participation and discussion during the meeting, but ultimately the decision will be reached by a vote carried out by members of the committee only.

This varies - we will use whoever offers the most efficient service on a job by job basis . 

Building Control services were fully privatised in 1997, after first being partially privatised back in 1985. This means that for over 25 years there has been no requirement to use the council for residential building control work, although that option does still exist. 

Nowadays, a significant proportion of building control services are provided by government approved, regulated private sector companies.  Some council's use these private firms too, typically because of a shortage of council officers.  We will determine who to use based on area, timescales, and who is able to provide the best quality, prompt service at the time.  Sometimes this may be the local authority, otherwise it may be a government approved, regulated provider. Either way, you will be advised who we will use if you appoint us to handle building control on your behalf.

Rest assured, whoever delivers the service still registers notices with the council as required, including on completion. With more than 50 years in construction, planning and architecture between us, you are in safe hands. 

Yes - regularly!  From our office at the stunning Burton Waters in Lincoln we typically cover the counties of Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire and the Humber region, as well as the closer parts of Leicestershire, Norfolk and North Yorkshire.

For larger projects we will travel that bit further and have recently completed works in Devon, Sussex and Kent.  For land and property appraisals, or for more straightforward planning applications, much of the work involved is usually in the form of desktop searches and research (using our client's photographs and local knowledge) and so we can pretty much cover any part of the UK - and will certainly try to assist with any project you wish to discuss. 

You are not alone - planning can feel very daunting! We totally understand that you may have never been through the planning system before and might not have a clue where to start.

If this is the case, then please just give us a call or send us a quick email with your question. We will try to ensure that you receive all the help and support you need and will adjust our services to suit you.  Don’t be afraid to ask any question, about any job – and if you are still unsure then please check out the reviews people have left us on Google and Facebook to see how we helped them. 

Call us on 01522 581383 or drop us an email at [email protected]  

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Fytche-Taylor Planning HQ in Burton Waters near Lincoln