Our Approach

Crofton Design’s Approach to Planning

With our huge experience in working in the local area we can offer clients accurate advice on how best to develop a scheme.  There is a good chance that we have worked on a similar style or property to yours and can provide expertise on how best to extend your property.

Although we work with all Local Authorities, the majority of our work is carried out within the London Borough of Bromley where we have an excellent working relationship with the Planning Department.

With all new enquiries, we will initially take details of the site and the clients requirements.  We then make an assessment of the project by looking at the planning history, aerial photographs and digital mapping systems to allow us to provide you with an initial project overview by email. We will also provide our outline fees at this stage.

If you feel that our emailed comments about the scheme meet with your expectations, we can then arrange a site meeting to discuss the project in more detail. We can answer any questions you may have and provide advice on the design and layout of the project. Following this meeting we will write to you with a formal fee proposal covering all the issues discussed.

To proceed further with the project, we would ask that you sign and return our terms & conditions. This allows us to organize a site survey.  Following this we prepare initial design drawings for your comment which are issued in either electronic pdf format or printed hard copies.

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Typically we require between 2-4 weeks from our survey to prepare initial plans.  This time frame is subject to the size of the scheme and our current work load.  We can inform you of our lead times on a project by project basis.

Once you have had the opportunity to review our plans, we welcome your comments and feedback. This can be through email, telephone or if more involved a further meeting.

We will revise the plans until you are happy with the scheme, following which we can then look to submit the plans into the Council for an application.

We would always recommend that you inform your immediate neighbours of your plans to extend a property.  Once an application has been submitted they will be written to and notified by the Council.  We have found that a conversation with your neighbour, at this time, is a better way of them being informed of the proposal rather than a letter from the Council.

As part of this process, we act as your agent in dealing with the administration and submitting the relevant application and paperwork.

Once and application has been submitted and validated by the Council, they will take 8 weeks to determine the scheme. This 8 week lead time is a target the Council have and can sometimes extend beyond this period if the Planning Department are particularly busy or the scheme goes to the Planning Committee. Unfortunately, we have no control over this element of the project and timeframes cannot be reduced.

Following the determination we are notified by email of the decision.  The formal paperwork is issued which we then forward onto you for your records.

Although we have a very high success rate of gaining planning approval first time, we unfortunately cannot offer any guarantees of approval. If a refusal is issued, we can assist with looking to redesign the scheme and overcome the reasons for refusal ahead of a resubmission.

With some refusals, clients may wish to appeal the decision. For this service, we recommend using a planning consultant to provide you with strongest change of winning the appeal process. You only have one chance at appealing a refusal so it is worth maximizing the changes of success. We can provide you with a recommendation for a extremely well respected local planning consultant who will be best placed to assist you with the appeal process.

If due to a refusal we need to rework plans and submit a revised application we may need to charge a reasonable fee to cover the plans and administration of this second application. Much will depend on the nature of the scheme, our design recommendations and the Councils reasons for refusal.

Once a planning application has been approved, the Council may issue planning conditions that need to be discharged. Depending on the type of project (new build house/commercial) these planning conditions often have to be discharged before any building work can commence on site. We can assist with these conditions but sometimes they may require input from external consultants with associated additional costs.

Following a successful planning approval, the hard part of the project is really out of the way. The rest is more of a formality and falls under the building regulations phase of the project.