Planning Statements

Planning statements are often a crucial element in any successful planning application. This is because they enable planners to better understand the merits of a scheme and not make presumptions due to a lack of supporting information.

A good planning statement aims to offer a balance approached to the justification of a development. Therefore, the statement must demonstrate:

  • Surrounding context
  • The need for the proposed development
  • How the proposal is in line with national, regional and local planning policy
  • Where emerging policies should be applied
  • Material considerations that need to be considered

Planning permission will always be determined with a development plan in mind, unless a material consideration signifies otherwise. This is to ensure planning policy and decisions are applied in accordance with planning law. Therefore, the overriding aim is to demonstrate that a scheme is in accordance with the relevant policy.

Often a development plan will show inconsistencies within its own policies. For example, some policy will promote residential development in an effort to alleviate the housing demand but other policies will seek to curb development in an effort to protect rural areas or green spaces.

Due to the conflicting policy found within the same development plan, it is necessary to take a subjective stance on the interpretation of policy. So where necessary a planning statement will seek to address these issues and assist the planning officer by weighing up the significance of each policy and thus determining the correct weight that they warrant. When policies are out dated or can be proven to be ineffective they should carry very little weight when making the decision.

Where material considerations are considered the courts have ruled that

“any consideration which relates to the use and development of land is capable of being a planning consideration. Whether a particular consideration falling within that broad class is material in any given case will depend on the circumstances”. 

Common material considerations are:

  • Precedents
  • National policy and guidance
  • Historic planning considerations
  • The enabling of wider development

When concluding a planning statement, we will always provide a view based on a balanced consideration. This usually includes the impact on a social, economic and environmental benefits of the proposed development and how they mitigate any potentially negative impacts.

For more information on how LSE Planning can support your planning application please get in touch.