Construction management: planning permission
Planning permission is a vitally important part of almost all projects, often making the difference between whether the project proceeds to design or not. Many clients will be unwilling to commit to paying fees for detailed design until they have received planning permission, and on particularly high-risk projects, the client may even wish to obtain outline planning permission before committing to any significant expenditure. As a consequence planning permission can be applied for at different stages of the project's development.
In this project plan, we suggest the construction manager is appointed on completion of concept design. Earlier or later appointment will result in some of the activities below being re-allocated between the consultant team and the construction manager (for example the role of cost consultant).
 Assessing the type of application
The lead consultant co-ordinates advice from the consultant team on the likely need for an environmental impact assessment and advises the client. It is important that this is considered at a very early stage in the project as preparing an environmental impact assessment can take a considerable time and may influence decisions such as site selection. The client may seek a screening decision and/or a scoping study from the local planning authority.
 Undertaking a consultation process.
The lead designer consults with the local planning authority (and other appropriate statutory and non-statutory authorities) to determine the preferred form of the application, dates of planning committee meetings, committee procedures, possible planning conditions and possible planning obligations (section 106 agreement), as well as the application of the community infrastructure levy and the requirement to undertake an external consultation process.
The cost consultant (or construction manager if appointed) advises on the cost effects of statutory requirements and other requirements including possible planning conditions and planning obligations (section 106 agreement).
The client and lead designer consider the extent and nature of the external consultation process that will be undertaken. The client begins an external consultation process with assistance from the consultant team.
 Preparing a planning application.
The lead designer co-ordinates the preparation of a draft planning application and issues it to the client for consideration. The cost consultant (or construction manager if appointed) advises the client about any abnormal costs arising from the draft planning application.
 Submitting a planning application.
The client (or lead designer) consults with the local planning authority on the progress of the application and likely planning conditions and planning obligations (section 106 agreement). If necessary, the client and lead designer respond to questions from the local planning authority and make representations to the planning committee.
On receipt of a decision (or recommendation in the planning officers' report) the client, lead designer and construction manager (if appointed) consider the planning conditions and planning obligations (section 106 agreement) that have been, or are likely to be, imposed and, if necessary, instructs the lead consultant to revise the application. If required, the client re-submits (or instructs the lead designer) to re-submit the outline or detailed planning application.
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