About Wilkinson Planning

About Wilkinson Planning2022-03-07T23:22:11+01:00

Jack Wilkinson


Wilkinson Planning is a leading town planning consultancy in Ipswich, Suffolk headed by Jack Wilkinson (BA Hons), an RTPI accredited Planning Consultant with an extensive local authority background.

Jack has established a strong reputation amongst clients and colleagues through providing sound planning advice, including the delivery of planning applications and appeals. As well as providing reliable service, Jack also possesses a real commercial nous which adds real value. Through effective communication, Jack’s attention to detail and pragmatic approach is a serious advantage for any developer.

Having grown up in Suffolk, Jack is committed to delivering results that matter, both to him and his extended team, as much as they do to you.

Jack Wilkinson Town Planner Suffolk

Accredited by The Royal Town Planning Institute

Having been accredited by The Royal Town Planning Institute, we are at the forefront of town planning practice. Our town planning consultancy abides by a strict code of conduct, maintaining professional and ethical standards at all times, which means our clients, colleagues and wider public trust us.

RTPI Chartered Town Planner Suffolk

The go-to town planning consultancy for many…

  • Jack provided an excellent service by obtaining planning permission for our new build house. His attention to detail from the outset enabled us to secure planning permission. The whole process was smooth, and he kept us informed throughout.

  • Jack’s experience and knowledge of the Planning System and Council Policy has proven invaluable. He has helped our Architectural Practice achieve many successful planning permissions for our clients, supported by sound advice, attention to detail and first-rate service. Highly recommended.

  • Wilkinson Planning is very knowledgeable in what they do taking it from planning right through to the build stage. We have worked with them on a couple of recent projects and they are a pleasure to work with and we look forward to a continued relationship with Wilkinson Planning. Highly recommended.

  • Excellent! After meeting Jack to discuss our plans, we were filled with confidence. He gave us initial planning advice, submitted the application, and we were awarded planning permission in just over 8 weeks. Faultless service. We will be in touch again soon.

Town Planning Consultancy FAQs

What is a stop notice?2021-06-15T15:53:23+01:00

A stop notice is a document that you can be served along with, or after an enforcement notice from the LPA if they believe that there is a breach of planning control on your development. Stop notices can order the cessation of activities relating to the breach of planning control.

In the event you are issued with a stop notice, along with if you are issued with an enforcement notice, we strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a professional, reputable planning consultant on how best to approach and resolve the matter.

NEVER ignore a stop notice or an enforcement notice.

What is the breach of condition notice maximum fine?2021-06-15T15:52:32+01:00

The maximum fine for breach of condition notice (BCN) is £2,500. The recipient can be charged with subsequent offences if they continue to fail to comply. If charged with failing to comply with a BCN, it is up to you to prove that you had a reasonable excuse for non-compliance.

In the event of BCN non-compliance, or recurring breaches of the terms of the BCN, you will be asked to demonstrate what steps you have taken to comply with the conditions stated in the notice. If you cannot give a reasonable explanation or have taken no steps to comply, then your local council will likely seek to prosecute.

NEVER ignore a breach of condition notice.

What is a retrospective planning application?2021-06-15T15:51:20+01:00

A retrospective planning application is an application for planning permission after work on your development has already commenced. An LPA can request that the owner or occupier of the land makes a retrospective planning application if they have started work without previous approval. This does not guarantee automatic planning permission.

A retrospective planning application will be processed in the same way as a standard planning application. Should planning permission be refused at this stage, the LPA could issue an enforcement notice that requires you to return the site to how it was before works commenced.

NEVER ignore a planning enforcement notice.

What can a planning enforcement officer do?2021-06-15T15:50:29+01:00

Under sections 196A, 196B and 196C of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended (“the 1990 Act”), LPAs and Justices of the Peace are able to authorise named officers to enter land for specific, essential enforcement reasons. This is to ensure the thorough and complete planning control enforcement.

Entry to land may be authorised to determine whether there has been a breach of planning control, whether enforcement powers should be actioned, how these powers should be actioned and whether compliance with previous enforcement notices has occurred.

There are rules governing the entry, conduct and departure of planning enforcement officers. You must not wilfully obstruct an authorised planning enforcement officer. For a detailed description of the powers of planning enforcement officers and LPAs, please contact Wilkinson Planning.

NEVER ignore a planning enforcement notice.

Does an enforcement notice expire?2021-06-15T15:49:46+01:00

An enforcement notice does not expire. It must allow for a four-week (minimum) period for you to appeal before coming into effect. If no appeal is made, the notice will come into effect. NEVER ignore an enforcement notice. Should you receive one, we strongly recommend enlisting a professional planning consultant.

The compliance period for an enforcement notice is variable, depending on the nature of the development. This can range from one month for simple works reversal, through to six months for usage changes and land restoration. Only in the rarest of circumstances will the compliance period exceed six months. You must comply with the terms of the enforcement notice.

Do I need a planning consultant?2021-06-15T15:48:40+01:00

At Wilkinson Planning, we would always encourage that you seek at least the initial advice of a planning consultant, particularly if getting planning permission for your development is not going to be straightforward. Planning legislation and the channels involved can be highly complicated and specialised, and it is our speciality.

It is important to bring a planning consultant on board at the start of the development. The planning landscape in the UK is a continually evolving and dynamic landscape of legislation, process, and communication. Incorrect information given at the incorrect time can at least delay projects and developments, costing you time, potentially money, and undue stress.

What is a statement of common ground?2021-06-15T15:47:08+01:00

A statement of common ground is a written statement that contains facts about the development proposal that is being appealed, that the appellant has grounds to be considered non-disputed by the LPA. This helps to ensure the appeal focuses only on the material differences between the LPA and the appellant.

When an appeal is made, the appellant must submit a draft version of the statement of common ground. An agreed (between the appellant and the Local Planning Authority) statement of common ground must be submitted within five weeks of the start date and can be based on the appellant’s initial draft.

What is a statement of case?2021-06-15T15:46:16+01:00

A statement of case is the documents that lay out the argument and evidence that you will use in your appeal. This must be done regardless of which appeal route sought, be it written representation, hearing or inquiry. A statement of case helps to paint a picture of your appeal.

A statement of case form can be downloaded from the government’s website, which gives pointers for what a statement of case should (and should not) include from both the appellant and the LPA. This form can be used to give notice to the LPA that you intend to lodge an appeal.

How many planning appeals are successful?2021-06-15T15:44:55+01:00

According to the Planning Inspectorate, the average planning appeal success rate is about one in every three, and this figure has largely remained consistent over time. By ensuring you are confident in your appeal and are able to make your complete case, you can push the odds in your favour.

This can of course be very difficult without dedicated knowledge, contacts and sheer experience. A planning consultant should have these in abundance, and at Wilkinson Planning we set the bar incredibly high. We are experts in planning appeals and welcome all cases, big or small, with our exceptionally high success rate.

How long do planning appeals take?2021-06-15T15:44:09+01:00

Planning appeals to the Planning Inspectorate can take significantly longer to be processed than a simple planning application. The total timeframe can be highly variable, but typically you can expect to be waiting for months. From January 2016 to December 2020, the mean planning appeal waiting time was 26 weeks.

A planning appeal can be submitted by written representation (the most common way), a hearing (typically for when there is a public interest in your proposed development), and for the most complicated cases, via inquiry. Depending on the nature of your appeal, you may be better compromising with the LPA on some conditions if time is tight.

What is an S106 agreement?2021-06-15T15:42:39+01:00

An S106 agreement (Section 106 Legal Agreement), also known as ‘planning obligations’, is a legally binding agreement between the LPA and the developer. They are often used when the LPA believes a development will have significant impacts on the local area that cannot be negated by implementing planning decision conditions.

The Section 106 Legal Agreement comes from a section of the Town and Country Planning Act of 1990. An S106 agreement must be necessary, relevant, and reasonable. Additionally, the development’s viability and the local economy can have a hand in shaping the contents of an S106 agreement, should one be necessary.

What is a planning statement?2021-06-15T15:41:59+01:00

A planning statement is a document that highlights the need and context for your proposed development. It assesses how the development relates to national, regional and local planning legislation. They can also include the details and findings of consultations between the developer and the LPA, statutory consultees, and community representatives.

Depending on the scope of the community surrounding the development, a separate statement regarding the involvement of the community may be necessary.

A supportive planning statement will be required for many planning permission applications, particularly for large developments, significant changes to the use-case or application of a building, or works pertaining to listed or period buildings.

What is pre planning application advice?2021-06-15T15:41:26+01:00

Pre planning application advice is not mandatory, but it is an encouraged part of the planning process. This is because it can lead to the identification and solving of any issues with your development proposal before you submit your application. This could save time and money in the long run.

Some of the things you may find from using a pre planning advice service can include: what policies your development will be assessed against, development site planning history, important constraints, and designations the site has, what supporting documentation and information you will be likely required to produce to support your application, and more.

How do you submit a planning application?2021-06-15T15:40:27+01:00

You can submit a planning application online. Every LPA in England can be applied to using the Planning Portal. If you are working without a planning consultant, then at the start of the project you should check to see if your project requires planning permission, building regulations approval, or both.

When submitting a planning application, it is worth noting that online planning application submission requires a planning fee of at least (subject to your development) £60 to be paid as part of the application process. The application will not be submitted to the LPA without payment of the planning fee.

How long does a planning application take?2021-06-15T15:39:47+01:00

Typically, for most projects, the decision on the outcome of a planning application is made within eight weeks. For very large or complicated developments, this can be extended to thirteen weeks, after gaining your written consent. It is likely that the LPA will be able to give you a timeframe.

If the LPA does not seek your written consent to extend the period, then you can appeal to the secretary of state. Do be aware, however, that this can take months, so it may be faster to contact the LPA and reach an agreement if time is of the essence.

When is planning permission required?2021-06-15T15:38:20+01:00

There are many criteria describing when planning permission is required. The likelihood is that if you are building something completely from scratch, making a significant change or modification to an existing building, or are looking to change the purpose of a building, then you will most likely require planning permission.

In order to apply for planning permission, you should get in touch with your Local Planning Authority through your local council. If you are doing this yourself, please be aware that if it transpires that your project requires planning permission, and you commence or carry out work without getting planning permission, you could be ordered to undo all the work you have done with an enforcement notice.

At Wilkinson Planning, we are experts in applying for planning permission for projects from building sheds at the end of a garden, through to housing estate developments.

How does drone photography work with planning?2021-06-15T15:37:46+01:00

High-resolution drone photography can significantly increase the effectiveness of your planning permission application. Aside from the benefit of quality, bird’s eye views of the site, you can also include angled shots at a range of altitudes to fully showcase the surrounding area and illustrate what your development hopes to achieve.

Some architects and planners can superimpose development drawings or blueprints over an appropriate bird’s eye view of the site. This visual aid can be highly beneficial in showing to the Local Planning Authority what your development intentions are, alongside a well-written planning permission application. At Wilkinson Planning, we are experts in the field.

How long does pre application advice take?2021-06-15T15:36:52+01:00

Oftentimes, the planning pre-application advice for your proposal will take anything from two to six weeks. Pre-application advice can help to ensure all the formalities are correct, and it could help save time and effort in the longer term by helping you to avoid refusals and appeals on account of technicalities.

The two to six-week period is not inclusive of the validation period, or the determination period, so pre-planning advice can increase the lead-time of your development project. However, as previously mentioned, you could save time and effort by going down this route. You may even find your proposal is for a permitted development, in which case, you could skip a planning application altogether!

What is the purpose of a planning appraisal?2021-06-15T15:36:08+01:00

Simply put, a planning appraisal highlights the potential relevant opportunities and restrictions that apply to a development proposal. A well-tailored planning appraisal enables you to make informed, solid decisions about both how and whether you should or shouldn’t proceed through the planning system with your development proposal.

Additionally, a planning appraisal can assess the future potential for the development of land or buildings. These can be used to ascertain whether or not a development project is possible, and to formulate a planning strategy to help increase opportunities and negate risks within your project.

What is a feasibility study?2021-06-15T15:35:02+01:00

A feasibility study will often form the basis of a planning application. As the name suggests, it is a study conducted by a planning consultant to evaluate whether or not the development proposal being assessed is likely to be accepted by the appropriate authority, and thus be granted planning permission.

Initially, we will talk through with you any of the key issues regarding your development and the site. This ensures that we fully understand what you wish to achieve. This, and your development proposal will then be checked against the appropriate planning policies, planning laws, and planning history. If everything checks out at this stage, we can quickly apply for planning permission.

My neighbour is applying for planning permission, can I object?2020-05-17T13:39:45+01:00

Yes, you can. Every planning application submitted to a local authority must undergo a period of public consultation which varies in length between three and eight weeks. Most councils publish details of planning applications on their websites.

There are a number of ways to do this:

If you are a neighbour affected by a planning application the local planning authority will either notify you directly or display a site notice on or near the land to which the application relates.
You could contact the planning offices of your local authority to involve yourself in the consultation process

The local planning authority may offer a service on its website
You are allowed to attend planning committee meetings to hear applications being considered

You are also allowed to have your say at these meetings but you must notify the council in advance of the meeting

As a result, the range of objections that can be made is wide and varies from council to council.

Can I appeal against the Notice served?2020-05-17T13:38:47+01:00

The appeal process depends on the complexity of the issues relating to the requirements of the notice, and you have the options of proceeding either through written representations, informal hearing or Inquiry.

Many appeals in respect of Enforcement Notices are by means of an Inquiry, as there may need to be complex legal issues to discuss or consider. Whilst you may consider Written Representations to be appropriate to your case, the final decision as to the type of procedure will rest with the Planning Inspectorate, in consultation with yourself (or your agent) and the local planning authority.

A final decision will subsequently be made in writing after the site visit. The whole process from submission to decision should take around three months.

I have been served a Notice by the Planning Enforcement Officer, what should I do?2020-05-17T13:38:09+01:00

The failure to obtain planning permission or comply with the details of permission is commonly known as a ‘planning breach’.

If you have received an enforcement notice or other formal notice from the local planning authority (LPA) in respect of your property, then there is an opportunity to make an appeal in respect of that notice. An enforcement notice will usually be served on the owner of a property (and others) where the LPA considers there has been a breach of planning control and consider it expedient to take action to remedy the breach.

The notice will usually require you to stop doing something, such as removing a building or structure or alter it to make it acceptable.

Planning permission has been refused, can I appeal the decision?2020-05-17T13:37:29+01:00

Yes, you can appeal a decision made by a local planning authority on a planning application if you disagree with it or if the application wasn’t determined within eight weeks (for a typical householder development) or 13 weeks for major developments.

The applicant of any type of planning application is usually entitled to appeal the decision of the local planning authority (LPA). This is usually where an application is refused by the LPA, but there are also other rights of appeal in respect of other matters. Only applicants or their appointed agents can appeal.

Can I obtain planning advice prior to submission of a planning application proper?2020-05-17T13:36:43+01:00

Yes, you can, and we strongly encourage this. It is often a good idea to discuss your proposal with a planning officer before you submit an application. Some local planning authorities (LPAs) charge for this service so it’s a good idea to check first. It is also a question you have to answer on the application form and can assist the local authority in dealing with your application. The level of preparation required depends on what you propose to do. In simple cases, it should be sufficient to look at the main issues governing the grant of permission and decide which of these are relevant to your application.

Do I always need planning permission for a development?2020-05-17T13:34:06+01:00

Not all proposals require planning permission. Permitted Development (PD) rights mean you can do certain types of development without planning permission, subject to strict terms and conditions. However, if you live in a conservation area, national park or area of outstanding natural beauty, your PD rights will be restricted. The same is true if your house is a listed building. In the majority of cases, planning permission is required as set out in statute Planning Law.

Why do I need to get planning permission?2020-05-17T13:33:34+01:00

The Town and Country Planning Act (1990) is effective in England and Wales and is (amongst other statute Planning Law) an act which regulates the development of land and buildings. It is a central part of English land law in that it concerns town and country planning in the United Kingdom.

It is your responsibility for seeking, or not seeking, planning permission. If required, it should be granted before any work begins.

Who grants planning permission?2020-05-17T13:32:38+01:00

Your local planning authority (LPA) is responsible for considering planning applications. It is important to understand the local planning policy implications which affect your proposal, along with the national planning policy aims set by Government.

What is planning permission?2020-05-17T13:32:02+01:00

Planning Permission, in simple terms, is like asking if you can do a certain piece of building work or operation. It will be granted (possibly subject to certain conditions) or refused. Parliament has given the main responsibility for planning to local planning authorities (usually, this is the planning department of your local council). Therefore, if you have any queries about a particular case, the first thing to do is to contact your local planning authority.

Why is town planning important?2020-05-17T13:31:13+01:00

Planning affects everything we do on a day to day basis, as it influences the places and spaces within which we live and work. It is underpinned by sustainability through focussing on the economy, environment and society, whilst being pivotal to change. Good planning helps create efficient environments and attractive places to live, work and socially absorb. Feel free to visit the Royal Town Planning Institute website for more information about what town planning is.

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