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The First Principle – err on the side of caution!

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

The sensible prospective builders amongst you will sit with me and err on the side of caution when it comes to any potential planning decisions. I really wish I could be the Jiminy Cricket character on the shoulders of potential planning-seekers before they plunge their monies into a full application. Quite often, it is fairly obvious even at the very earliest of stages that the application won’t fly, for one reason or another.

Please, if you are in this position, simply ask me to take an initial look at the lay of the land so that I can tell you if you are wasting your time and hard earned cash in working towards an application. It saddens me when I am asked to manage a developer’s appeal when, if they had contacted me initially, I could have saved them the time, money and effort and helped them avoid getting to this stage.

There are certain points to look for in the first instance, such as, are there any planning policy or technical constraints on the site, is the application in itself feasible or are there already red flags which need to be overcome? The more problematic the site, deeper pockets you may need.

There are many planners out there who can help with this situation; it is not just me that has this outlook on helping developers to achieve their goal. We would always advocate taking the most sensible route of just asking us to sense-check your thoughts before you go to design stage.

It really could save you a significant amount of money, or even dissuaded you from buying the land or property in the first place.

As a Chartered Member of the RTPI (Royal Town Planning Institute), I am bound by the organisation’s strict rules and regulations. As such, anyone who finds themselves in the situation above, can relax knowing I am here to provide impartial and cost-effective advice – no matter the size of the potential development.

If you would like me to sense-check your ideas or plans before you get in to deep, please feel free to call me on 07762 627 861 or email me at


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