Planning Costs Q & A

Why use a consultant? Can I do a planning application myself?

In theory you can do a planning application yourself, and for the most straightforward ones there’s no reason why you shouldn’t try. However for more complex, larger applications it is really important to get your strategy right from the outset. This is where our experience comes in. When you pay for planning consultants, you aren’t just paying us for the hours we spend on your project, you are also buying:

  • Cumulatively over 50 years planning experience
  • The strategy and tactics to set your proposal on the right path from the start
  • The knowledge that will save you money (eg the right, and most cost effective surveys)
  • Excellent professional relationships with Local Planning Authorities and Planning Officers

How does The Rural Planning Co compare to other companies?

We are mid-range costs. We certainly won’t be the cheapest you could work with, but we won’t be the most expensive either. What we WILL be however is good value for money – our motto is to get the job done right, first time.

Can you give a ballpark costs?

The range can be really big depending on designations, complexity, size, Local Authority and so on, so this really is a ballpark figure.

  • Agricultural applications: Start from £750. Average £1200.
  • Equestrian: Start from £1200. Average £1500.
  • Rural business: Start at £1500. Average £2500.
  • Residential: Start at £2500.

(All costs are subject to VAT, mileage and costs where relevant.)

We fix costs up to the point of submission, and does not include costs after submission – see below.

Are your fees fixed / all in?

In the vast majority of cases we are able to fix costs up to the point of submitting the planning application. Once validated most (estimated 75%) of applications are straightforward and won’t need much or any additional work so this is included in the fixed fee.

However for larger, more contentious projects or occasionally out of the blue it will happen that other factors crop up once the application has been submitted. Typically this is if a neighbour decides to really complain and kick up a fuss and we need to get involved to respond. Also some types of applications have to go to committee which is extra work. In this scenario we will contact you to let you know what is happening, at this point you can choose whether to deal with this yourself, or if you want us to continue representing you we will do so on an hourly cost basis. This is a transparent way, that we continue to keep you updated with costs and progress.

The fixed fee to the point of submission is transparent and clear. After that it is almost impossible to judge how much extra work will be required. As above, most often there is little or none. BUT occasionally it can progress into a very big amount of work – our largest single fee for post submission work was £55,000 when a case had gone to public inquiry – fortunately for the applicant we were successful AND achieved costs where the Council had to pay for it all. This was an extremely rare occurrence but just a slight warning on complex or contentious projects, the costs can escalate afterwards, so do budget accordingly.