There is no getting around the planning process, but there are things you can do to avoid any hold-ups
Allow sufficient time and resources to facilitate pre-application discussions and project development, with the local planning authority and other agencies that will have an interest in what you are proposing.
Start talking to the local planning officer as soon as you have an idea of what you want to do, so that they can help steer a project into a form that will be attractive to the community and acceptable to the local authority. This can save you time and money, reduce the potential for confrontation and raise the quality of development, by ensuring that proposals meet policy objectives and expectations of the local community, whilst enhancing the development value and profitability.
You should seek agreement on target dates for submission and determination of the application, and be clear on what documentation and supporting evidence will be required to comprise the application before submission.
Set an objective to provide a high quality planning application that takes account of the advice provided, and is complete from the outset.
Respond to requests for further information promptly and you may want to consider formatting any submission in such a way that it reflects the way the local planning authority prepares its committee reports.
Keep in close contact with the planning officer to monitor progress of your application through the system.
Words: Phil Kirby, Planning Officer's Society Image: Jefferson Smith