What is the difference between Fytche-Taylor and other Planning Consultants or Architects?

(or... "Why you should always use Fytche-Taylor as your one-stop shop for expert advice, architecture and planning applications!")

Planning advice and architetcure - get both from Fytche-Taylor
Architects are great for design, but planning knowledge is a separate skill - you might need both
Planning Consultant vs Architect - when is one needed and what should you look out for?

Planning Consultant vs Architect - when is one needed and what should you look out for? 

We are proud that a significant proportion of our work comes from a combination of repeat clients and from client recommendations, typically from homeowners, housebuilders or businesses that have found our level of service to be exemplary and often going far above and beyond their expectations. 

Often, we are also asked to look at projects or take over live applications where a client is having a negative experience with other consultants - perhaps because they are not satisfied with the time taken to prepare an application, not responding to calls or even where planning permission has been refused.  Unfortunately, we know that many businesses out there (including numerous seen on social media offering cheap planning application services) are not qualified planning consultants or architectural professionals that fully understand how buildings must be designed.  We are set up differently.   

Being able to draw plans for new buildings or extensions and fill in an application form is not the same as understanding what will gain planning permission, considering site potential or how a building must be designed to meet planning policies or building regulations. 

There are numerous architectural businesses out there; ranging from chartered architects to individuals that look like professionals, but are really just working from their back bedroom!  What they have in common is that very few (almost none in fact!) have in-house planning consultants alongside their architectural services.  We have both. 

At Fytche-Taylor, we combine architectural design, expert planning knowledge and years of construction experience to give your project the best possible start, whatever the size or type of development you are proposing.  

Using only an architect for your planning application is sometimes ok…but when it’s not, it can be a costly experience.

Planning rules are becoming more and more complex, and regularly change too, meaning that preparing planning applications for even the smallest of developments can be expensive - so you need it to be done right!

It may have been possible in the past for architectural businesses to prepare planning applications (including complex ones) as well as drawing your plans. Some were very good at it, but nowadays it is much more high-risk to proceed with any planning application without good planning advice too.  If you look carefully, you will find this is reflected in the average or poor success rates that we see those types of agents often achieve.

For example, if you choose an architectural consultant that can draw lovely plans, that’s great – it might well seem cheaper than using a multi-disciplined consultancy like ours.  Sure, it will be enjoyable seeing what your new home or building will look like - maybe even getting some 3D plans or visuals produced. Focusing on design is really fun, we love it too, and for many people this is where their main attention will be, which is fine.  Until you apply for planning permission.  That’s when the value of a rounded approach, combining architecture and planning knowledge becomes clear!

After all, is there really any point paying for plans and pretty pictures if it turns out you cannot build what you wanted, or that the land you just bought isn’t suitable for development at all? The answer, plainly, is ‘no’!  Sadly, we see this happen all the time, and that’s precisely why we're different.

We have an in-house team that uniquely combines three important areas of knowledge, whatever building project you have in mind, these are: 

  • 1) Knowing the relevant planning policies and rules that will directly affect your site
  • 2) Architectural design - with creative and innovative solutions that are realistic and take into account your budget, and;
  • 3) A detailed understanding of construction and Building Regulations.

When Do I Need a Planning Consultant or Planning Advice?

In the first instance, seeking clear advice from a planning consultant should always be considered when you want to understand the development potential of any land or building, including for change of use, or if you have stumbled upon a possible building plot.

Certainly, getting advice on planning potential is sensible before any design work starts – otherwise it could just be wasted money, and nobody likes that!

Paying a few hundred pounds for a site appraisal or feasibility study before committing to the purchase of any land is a wise investment.  Likewise, by employing a practice like ours that can handle everything in one place it is often simpler for you, the client, and in the long run can be far quicker and cheaper. Plus, you will have assurance that we have designed something that we are confident has the best chance of gaining planning permission, and not just designing something that looks nice without thinking of the planning rules. That doesn’t mean you need to compromise, but it does ensure you understand what issues need to be considered.

Site Appraisals - Find out more about the planning potential of your land or property
Our experts can assist with architectural design, planning applications and building regulations compliance. Trusted throughout Lincolnshire - choose Fytche-Taylor.
Architectural Advice, Site Design and Planning Consultants Services from Fytche-Taylor
Fytche-Taylor Planning & Architecture - Planning Applications and Architectural Design Consultants
What's the difference between Planning Consultants and Architects?

What are the Key roles of a Planning Consultant?

  • Advice, preparation and submission of planning applications
  • Dealing directly with the planning authority 
  • Identifying the likely requirements for making a planning application
  • Liaising with other technical experts - for matters such as drainage, flood risk, ecology, flood risk etc.
  • Appeals against refusal of planning permission
  • Advising on potential development opportunities
  • Site appraisals
  • Development Feasibility Studies
  • Representing your interests in call for sites or local plan reviews
  • Environmental impact assessments
  • Master plans and character appraisals 
  • Planning policy research
  • Public consultation and involvement
  • Enforcement notices
  • Certificates of lawfulness

Can I Avoid Using a Planning Consultant or Architect completely?

Yes!  Not all projects need detailed planning consultancy advice, but we still think it’s worth checking!  Our in-house team will always do that for you, and be clear about what types of service we think you will need to get the best outcome.  Sometimes you might only need our architetcural input.  In fact, many developments – even some of the most controversial – don’t need much planning work at all, and so our architectural team will handle the majority of it for you, including making your planning application.

Often, the issue is less about the size of the project that dictates how much ‘planning’ input is needed, but the complexity of the site and the type (and use) of the building(s) proposed. Sometimes this means an application needs to be design-led – for others, a detailed assessment of the planning policies is vital and a complex argument needs to be presented.  Either way, getting it wrong is likely to result in planning permission being refused. 

At Fytche-Taylor, because many of our team have worked at a senior level as planning officers (and have decided the outcome of literally hundreds of different developments) or as architectural designers for major local developers, we can identify exactly what approach is needed on a case by case basis, plus what other supporting information is required as part of your planning application.  This also has the benefit of ensuring that you understand any possible risks, and that you have a clear idea of the likely costs.

Unfortunately, we regularly receive enquiries from people that either tried their luck on their own, or used a practice that did not include the skills we have in-house.  We also know that suffering a refusal on a site can be hugely detrimental to its chances of gaining approval later.  It pays to get the best advice from the outset, but if you still have any doubt about us, please do read our reviews to see why our clients use us time and time again. 

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