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Planning Advice

4D Planning's Chartered Planning Consultants have many years of experience producing feasibility site appraisals and pre-application reports to assist and advise homeowners and property developers. We offer our client's valuable and quick planning advice when deciding what potential a property has to extend or to be converted. We also advise how best to obtain planning permission in the quickest and most cost effective way. We have offices in London and Manchester, however our services covers the whole of the UK.  We treat each project with confidentiality.

If you would like a free phone/email consultation, please get in touch. We will need your name, address of the property and summary of the brief/ proposal. We also offer planning advice on our whatsapp chat (see far right).

Our Planning Application process

The first stage of submitting a planning application, is for the client and the planning consultants to discuss the proposals, and potential options for development. Our consultants examine the site, either in person or through desktop research using mapping technology and satellite imagery of the site- undertaking a full property site assessment, by looking into the history and context of the site and its surroundings.

Next is research; to learn about the local planning authority to establish what property uses and extensions have been proposed, accepted and refused in the past.

We also take into account the listed buildings register to ascertain whether buildings listed for their heritage value are affected by the planning proposal.

We also look at the character of the road and the character of the adjoining properties, to determine what the established character is, and advise our clients to maintain this character, this will help to avoid setting a precedent which may impede the planning application process. Each case is different however, and so each project is assessed individually based on its unique site constraints and development potential. 

We give honest, reputable advice on what type of extensions can and will be approved by the council in each area, and how best to maximise the habitable space of a property. We will ensure at the outset that all of the planning validation requirements are met for the planning application stage to prevent unexpected delays. 

We can also help our clients understand which planning policies are relevant for the development scheme and how to address these in their pre-planning application. 

How we can help you with pre-planning applications

We can produce a Planning Statement or Design and Access Statement with a professional and clear description of the proposed development, how it relates and adheres to relevant planning policies and put forward a strong and convincing argument to the local Council why the development should be approved.

Applying for pre application advice from the Council or obtaining a feasibility report from 4D Planning for specific residential and commercial developments is a smart move, as it can save time and money, especially if the development is ambitious or if there are many planning considerations which need to be considered. 

Get in touch now to discuss your project and to request a quote and feasibility assessment.

Once the feasibility of the proposal is established, the next phase is to obtain the architectural drawings and to design the scheme. A site measured survey is carried out at the property to gather all the dimensions and required information of the existing site. 4D Planning has in-house architectural designers, CAD technicians and surveyors who will assist the client in implementing any ideas into reality. The emphasis will be on ensuring that the design will be granted planning permission.

We aim to stand out from other architect companies, by providing service with an emphasis on planning and on how to obtain planning permission for projects in London and Manchester. We design each scheme to meet all relevant planning policy and planning guidance. We advise our clients on planning permission loopholes and how to best achieve the results that are set out. When a scheme is not feasible we advise our clients and offer an honest professional opinion in writing that the scheme/proposal is not feasible and which alternative development scenarios may be considered (if applicable).

Pre Application Advice

There is a possibility to obtain a second opinion by consulting with planners from the Council. Their service is called "Pre-Application Advice". This service is offered for a fee and is not legally binding, therefore anything the Council advises at pre-application stage may not be taken into account at Planning Assessment stage. This is not always the best route to undertake.

4D Planning is aware of this uncertainty, and have a good understanding of the relevant issues, therefore, we offer an alternative to the Council's Pre-application advice service that we can tailor to suit your needs and specific requirements. 

Get in touch today for a no commitment chat and to book a 10min free phone consultation.

Conversions of Houses to Flats

The conversion of existing dwellings into flats, houses in multiple occupation and apartments, and the conversion of buildings in other uses, can make an important contribution to the provision of housing, in particular the provision of small units, which are in short supply. Also, conversions can make more effective use of urban land and promote sustainable development. However, conversions can harm the amenity of neighbouring occupiers by reason of increased noise, disturbance and activity, because they normally involve an intensification of use. They can also adversely affect the appearance of street scenes through the provision of hardstanding in front gardens to form off-street car parking and dustbin enclosures. The cumulative effect of conversions is that they can damage the quality of the environment and be detrimental to the character of established residential areas. 

Flat conversions must therefore be situated in appropriate locations. More acceptable locations include areas in or adjacent to town centres or easily accessible to public transport, along major roads, and areas characterised by non-family units such as flats, bedsits, Houses in Multiple Occupation, hotels and guest houses. In roads characterised by houses in single family occupation, conversions would not normally be appropriate, as it is in these areas that housing meets a need for larger homes to balance housing provided in town centres. The council will consider parking provision an important factor in such schemes. 

Get in touch for our assistance to establish whether your property has potential to be converted into flats.


Obtaining planning permission for any kind of development can be a complex process, particularly if the property is located within a conservation area. There are several steps you can take to increase your chances of success:

  1. Research: It's important to research the local planning policies and regulations that apply to your property, particularly if it is located in a conservation area. This will help you to understand the constraints and opportunities for development. Get in touch with 4D Planning to research the feasibility of your proposal on your behalf.
  2. Consultation: It's a good idea to discuss your plans with the local planning authority (pre-application advice), particularly if you have any concerns about the feasibility of your proposal or how it may impact the conservation area. You may also want to consult with a planning consultant from 4D Planning or architect to ensure that your plans are feasible and meet the local planning requirements.
  3. Preparation: Once you have a clear understanding of the local planning policies and regulations, you can begin to prepare your planning application. This will typically involve preparing detailed architectural drawings, plans, and supporting planning documents, such as a design and access statement and a planning statement etc.
  4. Submission: Once your application is complete, your application will be submitted to the local council. There is usually a council fee to process the application. It is important to ensure that you have included all the necessary information and documentation or the application will not be processed or it could be determined unsuccessfully.
  5. Review: The planning authority will review your application and may request further information or modifications to your proposal. It's important to be responsive and cooperative throughout this process to ensure that your application is approved. 4D Planning will liaise with the case officer to ensure that all matters are considered and that your application has a high chance of success.
  6. Appeal: If your application is refused, you may have the option to appeal the decision. This will typically involve presenting your case to an independent planning inspector. 4D Planning can assist with preparing the appeal. See here.

It's worth noting that the specific requirements for obtaining planning permission can vary depending on the location and nature of the proposed development. Therefore, it's always a good idea to seek advice from a qualified planning consultant from 4D Planning or an architect who can guide you through the process and help to ensure the best possible outcome. Get in touch today by calling: 02031500183 or email: enquiries@4dplanning.com

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