Choosing a planning agent
When appointing an agent you want somebody who will help you get permission for what you want, as quickly as possible.
Choosing a Planning Agent is a matter of personal choice, for example you may choose an agent because you like the work they have done previously, or because they specialise in the particular type of project that you are undertaken. If you haven't submitted an application before then this page can help. Although we can't recommend a particular agent to you, we do have performance figures for agents in respect of the applications they submit. Those performance figures relate to two areas: whether the application when submitted to the Council is valid on receipt and whether the application is approved. The first may significantly affect the speed with which your application is dealt with.
Some agents submit many fewer applications than others. This may be because most of their business is outside the borough, or they may be specialists in a particular type of application, or may deal with a few complicated applications rather than a lot of simple ones.
When looking at the valid on receipt list, we recommend you look both at the percentage of valid on receipt and the number of applications submitted by that agent.
You should not base your choice solely on this list, but if you are considering an agent, before you commit, you may find it useful to check their performance and possibly ask them questions about it.
Applications valid on receipt
Applications can only be considered when we have received all the information and the application is valid. If an agent does not submit everything necessary at the start, we have to contact them, they have to prepare the information and submit it, and we have to check the application again which could add several weeks to the process.
An agent with a high level of applications 'valid on receipt' will be submitting everything we need from the outset and avoiding unnecessary delays.
Numbers of decisions
An agent with a higher proportion of permissions granted will be one who has more successful applications than one with a lower figure.
Applications may be withdrawn by an applicant for personal reasons, such as a change in circumstances, but in many cases applications are withdrawn where they would be likely to have been refused permission. An agent with a high level of withdrawn applications is likely to be one who has submitted applications that were likely to have been refused.
If planning permission is refused, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. An agent with a high level of Appeals allowed will have been more successful in getting permission granted by the Planning Inspectorate than one with a lower figure.
Where appeals are dismissed the development cannot go ahead.