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Case Review

Case Review

Before you decide to pursue an application or appeal it is always a good idea to undertake a Case Review.

The Case review allows one of our Planning Consultants to sense  check your proposal and has the following benefits:

1) if the project is feasible; 

2) if not feasible what amendments can be made to ensure it is and:

3) saves you time from submitting an application which is likely to be refused and money council fees.

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Planning to extend your home?

Loft extensions, single storey rear extensions, 2 storey side extensions, porch extension and other associated permutations are just some the ways people seek to extend their homes and maximise their living space.

Strategy is key Key points to consider

Knowing the policies and guidance of your Council is important;

Determining whether or not your proposal could be undertaken under permitted development;

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Air Conditioning units and Planning permission

With the British weather and the temperatures constantly fluctuating from reaching record highs in the summer, hardware stores can quickly sell out of both fans and portable air-conditioning units.

It seems the only way to keep cool when the weather becomes humid, is to have a back-up plan of walking through the freezer isle of the grocery store!

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Do you need Planning permission to open a Coffee Shop?

Are you planning to open a coffee shop? One of the most frequent questions we are asked is do I need planning permission

The Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) Order 1987 (as amended) sets out various land uses and categories.

If you are opening a coffee shop you should be mindful of the requirements.

Coffee shops normally fall within use class A1 and cover the sale of retail goods and includes sandwich bars,

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Fees

How Much do we Charge?

Quite often the first question many clients ask is how much is the service going to cost? How much will they be charged to submit an appeal or an application?

 

Our approach 

Before we discuss fees with our clients our approach  is to always to first understand the problem. 

So for example we need to understand why your application  was refused,

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Served with an Enforcement Notice, Planning contravention notice or received a warning letter? Don’t panic.

Threatened with Enforcement Action

Firstly it is important to note that we are completely independent of the Council and any information you give us is treated with the utmost confidentiality. 

You have certain rights including a right of appeal against an Enforcement Notice.

It is important that your case is approached in the correct manner and that your case is presented 

properly in order to avoid any complications later in the process.

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How long will your planning application or Appeal take?

Before you embark on your planning application or planning appeal it is important to know how long it is likely to take the Council or Planning Inspectorate to determine it.

Below is a guide for timescales for different cases.

 

Applications:

Applications are decided by the relevant council that the application is submitted to.

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Why Lodge an Objection to a Planning Application or an Enforcement Complaint?

Why Lodge an Objection? 

Do you believe that the proposed development proposed will have a detrimental impact on any of the following? The application property itself; neighbouring properties; your living conditions or those of someone else; the local community; the overall character of the area; highway/transport safety or parking; or even environmental impacts.    

It is also important to lodge an Enforcement complaint with your local planning authority if you believe a development has been carried out without planning permission or not in accordance with approved plans.

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Shisha Lounge – A Planning permission Guide

Opening a Shisha Lounge? A Planning Permission Guide

In this competitive economy businesses are always looking at providing a unique experience for their customers

Increasingly cafés and restaurants are adding Shisha lounges as they prove to be a hit with their customers.

Smoking Laws

Shisha Lounges have to comply with the smoking laws introduced in July 2007

One of the basic requirements of the smoking ban is that there should be no smoking inside of public spaces without a certain amount of open ventilation being provided.

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Points to consider when applying for a change of use from A1 to A3

A question many people ask is “Will I get planning permission to change from A1 to A3” in a particular location.

You may have found your ideal premises and location and have big plans. However, you need to pause and ask yourself the question do I need planning permission to change from A1 to A3 and more importantly will I get it?

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Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Development Approved (Lambeth): Extensions All Way Round!

We are delighted to add another win to our success book! We’ve just received an approval for a certificate of lawfulness for our client in Lambeth. Our client was proposing to erect a ground floor rear extension, a first floor rear extension, a rear dormer roof extension and a basement. After having undertaken research on the development, our team advised that the best way to go would be to apply for a certificate of lawfulness.

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Development Declared Lawful (Ealing): Use of Property as Two Self-contained Flats

We’re always happy to receive good news after helping our clients! MZA has recently secured approval for our client in Ealing to continue the use of her property as two self-contained flats. The team advised that the best route to undertake would be a certificate of lawfulness for an existing use or development.

In support of the application,

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Appeal Allowed (Wandsworth): The Hotel Outbuilding Can Stay!

It is our pleasure to announce that MZA has been successful in overturning another council decision! We’ve recently helped our client in Wandsworth appeal a refusal to retain his single-storey hotel outbuilding  in his rear garden.

The proposal was refused by reason of its size, scale  and design. According to the council, the development dominates the rear garden,

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Application Approved (Lewisham): Can a Mini-Cab Office Turn into a Takeaway?

We are very excited to add another success to our record! MZA Planning helped a client in Lewisham secure planning permission for a change of use from a mini-cab office (sui generis) to a takeaway (A5).

Our team put together a strategy which involved a detailed planning statement, a cover letter and the preparation of drawings.

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Permission Granted (Barnet): Use of Property as x2 Self-contained Flats

MZA Planning are happy to announce another win! We recently helped our client in Barnet apply for a conversion of a property to two self-contained flats. We didn’t only help him, we also secured an approval for the project!

In support of the application, our team prepared a detailed Planning Statement which argued that the proposal would provide one net additional dwelling that would positively contribute to Barnet’s housing targets.

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Application Approved (Harrow): Conversion of Dwellinghouse to Two Self-contained Flats

Our team has just hit another win and we couldn’t be happier! MZA has helped one of our clients secure planning permission for a conversion of a dwellinghouse into two self-contained flats and an erection of a dormer in Harrow.

In support of the application, planning drawings were produced and the team prepared a Design and Access statement which highlighted that the proposal would not be harmful to the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

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Appeal Won (Merton): Erection of a Three Bedroom House Allowed on Proposed Crossrail 2 Route

MZA Planning are delighted to announce another success in the appeal department! We were able to overturn the council’s decision for our client in Merton. Our client was proposing to demolish a garage and erect a three-bedroom house. The land to which this proposal was related to just so happened to be land that was required for Crossrail 2 according to TFL’s plans,

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Permission Granted (Ealing): Development of Flats

MZA Planning are delighted to add another success story to our record! Our client was proposing a scheme that involved the erection of a 3-storey rear extension to accommodate an office and a Duplex residential accommodation in Ealing. We supported our client from the very beginning, helping him with a pre-application submission which also entailed a meeting with the council,

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Conditions Discharged (Hounslow): A Change of Use from A1 to A3 with No More Conditions…

We recently secured prior approval for our client in Hounslow who was proposing a change of use from A1 to A3. However, upon approval a few conditions were imposed and so we decided to step in again and get them discharged. The conditions were related to extraction equipment and refuse and waste management.

In order to achieve a positive result,

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Application Approved (Hounslow): Conversion of a Garage into a Habitable Room

MZA Planning are very pleased to announce the success of yet another planning case in Hounslow. Our client had a vision to convert his garage into a habitable room and we helped make this a reality.

In support of the application, drawings were produced and the team prepared a planning statement which highlighted that multiple similar developments have occurred along the same road.

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Proposed Use Declared Lawful (Waltham Forrest): An Internet Café for Console Gamers!

MZA Planning not only deal with planning applications and appeals, but also help clients obtain certificates of lawfulness as a way to be certain that their developments are lawful and do not require planning permission. Just recently, we helped our client achieve a certificate of lawfulness for a change of use to an internet café and console gaming centre.

In support of the application,

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Appeal Allowed (Kingston): Front Boundary Treatment

MZA Planning are excited to announce another win! This time, we helped our client overturn the council’s decision for the erection of a front boundary treatment, along with a wood panel pedestrian gate and sliding vehicle access gate.

The application was refused on the basis that the proposed boundary treatment would reduce the openness of the front of the property due to its size,

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Appeal Won (Brent): Need More Space? Wraparound Extension

MZA Planning are delighted to announce the success of another case of ours! Once again, we were able to help a client overturn the council’s decision. Our client proposed to erect a rear infill extension at ground floor level, however was turned down due to its excessive depth and projection beyond the rear wall of the outrigger, which would detract from the form and character of the dwelling and would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the Queens Park Conservation Area.

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Development Declared Lawful (Hammersmith & Fulham): Use of Property as Two Self-Contained Flats

MZA Planning recently helped a client preserve the use of his property as two self-contained flats. Our team advised the client to apply for a certificate of lawfulness to continue using his property lawfully, and the end result was a great one!

In support of the application, different pieces of evidence were collated and a statement was prepared by the team.

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Appeal Won (Hounslow): Council’s Decision for a Roof Extension Has Been Overturned!

MZA Planning are pleased to overturn yet another council decision! Our client was refused planning for erecting a roof extension, on the basis that the proposal would appear overly dominant in the roof slope and would cause harm to the character and appearance of the dwelling.

Our team set out to appeal this refusal, and argued that the neighbouring properties have larger extensions and that our client’s proposal would not be viewed in isolation.

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Permission Granted (Southwark): Use as D1 (Church) on a Temporary Basis

MZA Planning are happy to announce the success of another case of ours for a client in Southwark. We recently helped our client secure planning permission for a change of use from B8 Warehouse to D1 Church for an additional year. The development has an extensive planning history, which includes previous planning applications and an enforcement, and our team drew on that to help gain approval.

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Appeal Won (Hounslow): Tea in the Conservatory?

If a retrospective application is refused, it’s the end of the road right? Wrong! MZA recently helped a client appeal a refused retrospective application for a conservatory. The application was refused on the grounds that its appearance and size were harmful to the living conditions of the neighbouring property, as well as the character and appearance of the property and the wider area.

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Application & Discharge of Conditions Granted (Hillingdon): You Can Transform Your Back Garden Garage into a Child-Minding Service!

When our clients approach us with an idea to convert an outbuilding or a garage into a business, we love to take on the challenge! Just recently, we have been successful in discharging conditions for our client whose application we also worked on and gained approval for.

The application for the change of use of an existing detached garage to a child-minding service was initially refused,

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Appeal Won (Hillingdon): Make Space for Your Car! Front Garden Parking

It gives us joy when we can help clients overturn a council’s decision! Just recently, MZA Planning was successful in appealing a refusal that was issued to our client. Our client submitted an application for a vehicle crossover, and it was refused on the basis that the proposal would result in the disruption to the free flow of traffic and would be detrimental to highway and pedestrian safety.

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Application Granted (Ealing): A Grand Re-construction

We are happy to add another success story to our record! We’ve recently helped a client with his goal of constructing a single family dwelling house, following the demolition of an existing single level building. This scheme represented a revision to a previous scheme, and it was approved on the basis that it would have acceptable impact on the conservation area.

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Application Approved (Ealing): Continued Use of Property as a 15 Person HMO

MZA Planning are delighted to announce another win in the application department! We recently helped our client gain planning permission to continue using his property as a 15 person HMO. The team produced a Design and Access statement which highlighted that the property has been used as a HMO since 1954, and that the proposal would not result in the loss of a single family dwellinghouse.

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Appeal Won (Ealing): Turntable that Car Out of Here!

Our team at MZA is happy to add another successful case to the record! We recently overturned Ealing Council’s decision to refuse our client’s application for a vehicle crossover. The proposal was refused on the grounds that it would likely lead to vehicles reversing to / from a busy classified road, to the detriment of the safe and free flow of traffic and highway safety.

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Permission Granted (Ealing): You Have the Right to Work in Your Very Own Garden!

MZA Planning are happy to announce the success of another case of ours, which involves a planning application for an outbuilding. Our client was interested in altering and using the outbuilding in her rear garden for business purposes. The team set out to achieve a good result by arguing that the development doesn’t impose on the neighbouring dwellings, and the changes to it have increased its visual attractiveness which makes it look more similar to the properties it is adjacent to.

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Appeal Allowed (Harrow): Conversion of Dwellinghouse into x2 Self-contained Flats

Our team has won another appeal and overturned the council’s decision to refuse a client’s application to convert a dwellinghouse into 2 self-contained flats. Our client’s application was refused on the basis that the proposal would create a cramped and poor standard of living accommodation for the occupiers of the flat.

In support of the appeal,

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Appeal Won (Hounslow): Welcome to Your Dream Home

MZA are pleased to announce another successful overturn of a Council’s decision. Our client was refused permission to demolish an existing two storey detached dwelling, and reconstruct it with the addition of a basement and mansard roof. The refusal was on the basis that the proposal would have a negative impact on the historical value of the property, and the character and appearance of the surrounding area.

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Application Approved (Westminster): Permission for Taxis to Jet Off!

We at MZA are happy to announce that we were able to help a private hire taxi service continue trading. Our client had temporary planning permission to use part of a car park in Westminster as a booking office, and wished to obtain permanent permission for the same development.

After a lengthy process of liaising with the Case Officer appointed,

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Council application fees set to rise on 17th January 2018

Parliamentary approval has been given the legislation that will increase planning application fees by 20% in England and introduce new categories in regards to applications for Permission in Principle.

The changes made by the government will come into force on 17th January 2018.

This means that any applications that have been submitted but not validated by its respective council will be liable to the increased fee.

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Planning Permission Granted by Bromley Council to Change a Pub into Flats!

MZA Planning are very pleased and excited to announce another win in Bromley’s Planning Committee Meeting. After a failed application and appeal, the Council finally conceded that there was little they could do to resist the application. Our team, through careful design and strategy, managed to address all previous concerns with the scheme such as the lack of amenity space.

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Planning Permission Granted for D2 (Hammersmith and Fulham): You Can Soon Lift Weights at this Site!

MZA Planning are delighted to announce approval of planning permission for a client in Hammersmith and Fulham. Our client was looking to change the use of a railway arch from an unclassified use to a gym (Class D2).

The first attempt for this change was withdrawn by the client, however MZA Planning was able to turn this around and submit a successful application to the LPA.

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Critical Changes: Light Industrial (B1c) to Residential (C3) Class PA

Hounslow Council has deemed the conversion of light industrial to residential inappropriate, due to the effect this has had on employment sites and town centres within the borough. Council has claimed that they cannot afford to lose more employment land to residential. Therefore, a non-immediate direction to eliminate these rights has been created.

This direction was approved by the Council in December of 2016 and made in January of 2017.

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Crucial Changes: Offices (B1a) to Residential (C3) Class O 

Hounslow Council has found the conversion of offices to residential under permitted development to be unacceptable as this creates a loss of office space. Consequently, the Council has moved to protect office space in the borough by way of Article 4 Direction.

​​This direction was approved by Council in December of 2016 and made in January of 2017.

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Important Changes: Dwellinghouses (C3) to Small HMOs (C4) – Hanworth Ward

Hounslow council has introduced an Article 4 Direction that may affect you. If you are seeking to create a Small Scale HMO (C4) with certain parts of the borough, these directions mean that owners will now need to apply for planning permission.

With regards to the change of use from Dwellinghouses to small HMOs, the Non-Immediate Article 4 Direction has been approved by the council,

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Planning Permission Gained (Ealing): Signs and Blinds Business Escapes Enforcement Action and Secures Planning Permission

MZA Planning have been successful in securing planning permission for a client in Ealing. Our client was faced with an enforcement, however our Consultants were able to obtain permission for the continued use of the property as a retail unit and close the enforcement file.

With a detailed Design and Access Statement produced by MZA Planning,

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Appeal Approval (Hounslow): Wrap-around Extension Appeal Win in Stand on the Green Conservation Area

MZA Planning have recently secured approval for an appeal in Hounslow, reversing the Council’s decision of refusal. Our client was refused permission to erect a single storey side infill extension, on the grounds that the proposal would fail to preserve the character and appearance of the Strand on the Green Conservation Area.

Our team argued that the extension would not be harmful to its surroundings,

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Appeal Won (Hounslow): Garage Extension Permitted in Chiswick

MZA Planning are happy to add yet another successful planning appeal to their record, which overturned Hounslow Council’s refusal to grant permission. Our client had been refused permission to erect a single storey extension to an existing outbuilding, due to its size and scale that the Council found unfit to the surrounding area.

Our Consultants, having great knowledge with regards to planning policies,

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Enforcement Overturned (Brent): Circumcision Clinic Spared the Chop!

MZA Planning are pleased to announce a successful outcome for an enforcement appeal in Brent. Our client was served with an enforcement notice stating that there was a breach of planning permission, in relation to the change of use of the premises to a mixed use as residential and a clinic.

This case required a great deal of effort and hard work as it was quite a lengthy process.

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Planning Permission Approval (Hounslow): Rear Roof Extension

MZA Planning are pleased to add another successful case in Hounslow to their record. Our client in Chiswick applied for a rear roof extension to form an outrigger and Juliette balcony.

MZA Planning oversaw the case from A to Z; we helped the client by arranging for our architect to produce drawings for the project and by producing a detailed design and access statement in support of the application.

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Planning Permission Approval (Barnet): Change of Use to A3

MZA Planning recently obtained A3 (Restaurant) planning permission for a client in Barnet. The client had previously applied for an A3 Restaurant use and had been rejected by the Council on both occasions.

Using our knowledge of permitted development regulations introduced within the last couple of years our consultants were able to secure approval for our client within days for a 2 year period.

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Planning Permission & Listed Building Consent Obtained (Bristol): New Shopfront

MZA Planning are pleased to announce approval of planning permission and listed building consent in relation to a project in Bristol.

Our client seeking to redevelopment a Grade II Listed Building sought approval in the 1st phase for a new shopfront and associated alterations.

The application was initially heading towards refusal, however, through a combined team effort and a swift response.

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Planning Permission Approval (Ealing): Installation of Front and Rear Crittal Windows

MZA Planning are happy to announce yet another successful planning application in for a property located in Ealing’s Hanger Hill (Haymills) Conservation Area where an article 4 direction has removed permitted development rights.

The carefully prepared and researched submission proposed steel critical windows to ensure the proposal wasn’t harmful to the conservation area. Approval was obtained and delivered on time within 8 weeks.

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Planning Permission Approval (Southwark): Erection of Second Floor Rear Extension in Conservation Area

MZA Planning has been successful in gaining planning permission for a client in Southwark. Our client applied for the erection of a second-floor rear extension in a Conservation area.

MZA Planning arranged for an architect to produce drawings for the project and prepared a design and access statement in support of the planning application. The drawings had to be amended after liaising with the case officer,

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Won on Appeal (Ealing): Vehicle Access with hardstanding

MZA Planning are pleased to announce another successful planning appeal overturning a Council’s refusal to grant planning permission.

Our client applied for a vehicle access with hardstanding, however, Ealing Council refused the application on the grounds that the proposal would fail to allow vehicles to enter and leave the site in a forward gear and as a result would be harmful to highway safety.

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3 points to consider when applying for a change of use from A1 to A3

Until recently, planning permission was required for a change of use from A1 (a shop) to A3 (a café). This was so, unless your site was to operate solely on a 2-year basis, in which case no planning permission was required.

However, as of 15th April 2015, planning permission is no longer required for such developments. These can now be made under permitted development rights (PD rights).

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Planning appeal results in 3 weeks

Last week, we received a decision for an appeal we submitted for associated alterations to existing front storey extension to dwellinghouse to increase height and installation of 2 side rooflights. Not only was the decision allowed, it was allowed within 3 weeks of submission. Our client views this success as a record! But for us, this quick turnaround is actually commonplace.

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MZA Magazine

Have you read our latest magazine?

It contains a selection of projects, testimonials and a wealth of information & news on the planning sector.

Curated by us, for you

View my Flipboard Magazine.

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Duty Planner service: advice surgery


For a limited time, we are offering a complimentary advice surgery to householders, businesses and developers. This takes place every Friday between 10pm and 4pm, in the form of pre-arranged appointments of 20 minutes. Through this service, our planning consultant will answer any queries or concerns you may have about your development and explain the planning process.

There is no charge for this advice.

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Roof extensions allowed in Chiswick House Conservation area

Before After

We recently received planning permission for the above site. The development: two side roof extensions, one rear roof extension and alterations to a single dwellinghouse in Chiswick House conservation area. 

To clarify, conservation areas are zones designated by local planning authorities to safeguard the character and appearance of areas of special architectural and historic interest. As a result,

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The Joy… (video testimonial)

More satisfying than winning a case, is seeing the elation on our clients’ faces when they find out that their case was successfully won…

Read our past & returning clients’ testimonials. ... more »

Launching our Express Enforcement Service

Our enforcement service is for those who have recently been served with an enforcement notice.

Too often, we come across cases whereby clients did not act on their enforcement notice, out of a belief that there were no options. Or clients come to us when their deadline is already upon them. By this point, complying with the council’s demands is the only option or they risk prosecution.

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Victory for Chiswick resident as wrap-around extension appeal allowed

At the end of 2014, the Planning Inspectorate allowed the planning appeal of Mr. Long, one of our clients, for a wrap around extension to his home. This was a major success, as it came despite the London Borough of Hounslow’s refusal of the original application, which the council deemed to be contrary to policy.

In June 2014,

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