Planning Direct Planning Direct

Major Developments and Unique Builds

Major Developments

Getting a major large-scale project delivered on time, on spec and on budget is a difficult task to achieve. Delivering a project within a planning system that often seems predicated towards a ‘no’ decision is even harder. The team at Planning Direct offers a variety of planning services, and have extensive experience managing large-scale projects from the concept stage, all the way through completion. Read on to find out why we are right team to help you achieve your large-scale development project.

Our range of skills in-house include:

  • Planning policy;
  • Financial feasibility;
  • Procurement;
  • Project management;
  • Transportation infrastructure;
  • Residential development; and
  • Design

We have extensive experience in:

  • Large-scale housing projects;
  • Schools and other education facilities;
  • Large office developments;
  • Commercial premises;
  • Ports;
  • Road building; and
  • Railway construction

Site Acquisition

Planning Direct works on finding good value sites that are not typically already on the market. With enviable connections in the commercial and political world we find sites that work for you at an attractive price.

Whilst outright purchase may be the best strategy in some circumstances much commercial and residential land acquisition is done through option agreements, minimising costs in the event that planning permission is not granted. The key to successful site acquisition is an early understanding of the clients needs and flexibility within that remit. Planning Direct takes those criteria and finds sites that not only match in terms of the geographical criteria but also in terms of planning. We look very early at the chances of planning success and reject sites that are marginal before we waste our clients time and resources.

Successful site acquisition requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Expert planning consultants at Planning Direct have experience managing large teams of Experts, professionals from lawyers to environmental consultants. We can provide a seamless Project Management solution or work alongside your own in-house team, offering consultancy where necessary ensuring you obtain the right result on time and in budget.

The Law

With legal fees at the top end of professional disbursements we always aim to avoid taking legal action or instructing lawyers to work on run-of-the-mill matters. In the event of disputes such expenditure is sometimes unavoidable. At that point it’s imperative that the right legal solution is used in order to get value for money and a result.

With many working relationships in the legal profession Planning Direct sources the right legal support for your planning issue and recommends the most cost-effective approach. We have considerable experience of issuing instructions to regional and national solicitors firms, or specialists, where required.

At present, Planning Direct is working on a number of major large-scale projects. Here are a few examples;


The largest Industrial site to be developed in Ipswich for a number of years

Headlam Group plc has instructed planning Direct to obtain Planning Permission for the redevelopment of a derelict site on Harris Way.

The site is situated within an established inner urban industrial context including Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Elton Park Industrial Area, and Boss Hall business park. It sits between the rail main-line and the East Coast branch line. The whole site was occupied by the Harris Bacon Factory for many years until it closed in the 1990s. The site was sold for redevelopment as a business park soon after and all buildings were then demolished.

Planning Permission has been granted for the development of a distribution centre (class B8) which would occupy most of the old factory site. A small triangular area at the front would remain for future development in accordance with the Council’s planning policy for the site.

More information on this project is available in the news section of the website. Click here for more information

If you are interested in learning more about this development why not read one of the articles from a local newspaper 

Article 1, September 2018

Article 2, October 2018

New large scale housing development for Dover 

The project to convert a run-down hospital building and grounds to smart new housing for Dover is becoming a reality thanks to support from the team at Planning Direct. The derelict hospital site on Coombe Valley Road has been identified as a site for regeneration. The site, earmarked for housing, will include in excess of 180 flats of various sizes and a number of family homes plus public open spaces, parking and infrastructure.

This development will see £30m investment into Dover, St Radigunds Ward. The Planning Application has been submitted by the team at Planning Direct. The consultancy is continuing to work with the Council, the Developer and Architects to finalise the finer details of this scheme. 

Read more on this project here

New Private School

Planning Direct is project managing the planning and design process for a prestigious new private school in North Kent. This innovative scheme will see the provision of highly sought after school places in attractive greenbelt surroundings.

Unique Projects

Barn Conversions – the development of agricultural buildings

Are you looking to convert an Agricultural Building? If so, Planning Direct can help you. 

The Government is doing all it can to promote the building of new homes. Several years ago the Coalition Government set out to simplify the planning process for the conversion of redundant but structurally sound agricultural buildings. Under ‘permitted development’ agricultural buildings below 450sq.m. can be converted into up to 3 new dwellings so long as they comply with a number of restrictions and conditions. These permitted rights don’t just apply to traditional ‘barns’ but to any building that has been used solely for agricultural use (or was last in use, as part of an established agricultural unit), on or before 20 March 2013. Buildings brought into use after 20 March 2013 must have been used solely for an agricultural use, as part of an established agricultural unit, for 10 years before the date the development begins.

Despite these rights, many Councils turn down applications. The official guidance given to local authorities on how existing planning policy was to be applied to developments (under the new rights) was unclear. Subsequent official guidance was issued which has made it much harder for local councils to refuse these applications, provided they fall within the ‘permitted’ criteria. They must be well designed and take account of the usual transport, highways and noise impacts of the development, as well as any flood and contamination risks.

If you are looking to covert a barn you must also consider the economic impact of such a development. For example, will your investment in conversion be the right long term business decision to avoid damaging the future needs and long-term viability of the agricultural business (since the implementation of  the permitted right restricts building further new agricultural buildings).

If you have a redundant agricultural building, Planning Direct can help you assess the suitability of your building for residential conversion. We will guide you through the process, highlighting the appropriate requirements, including make the necessary ‘prior approval notification’ to your Local Council.

With decades of experience and a strong team of experts on board, Planning Direct will quickly access the suitability of your agricultural buildings for development and recommend the least risky, and most cost effective route to a lucrative development.

Stommel Haus

Stommel Haus is a German supplier of premium, bespoke, sustainable (off-site manufactured) timber houses. The firm provides high quality, energy efficient and eco-friendly luxury new build homes to the UK. These eco-friendly Stommel Haus homes are designed and built for hundreds of individual homes across Europe. Stommel Haus are now experiencing a growing demand in popularity throughout the United Kingdom.

In 2015 Planning Direct announced a new and exciting partnership with Stommel-Haus. Stommel Haus recognised Planning Direct would be a perfect fit for collaboration. The ability of Planning Direct to offer a range of cost-effective planning services, such as help with planning permission and the project management of difficult applications appealed to the German team. Since partnering with Stommel Haus in 2015, Planning Direct has been able to ensure their clients experience the highest possible quality of service for their niche projects.

You can read more about the relationship between Stommel Haus and Planning Direct by clicking here

For more information on Stommel-Haus visit

If you have any queries or you wish to discuss a site you would like to develop, why not get in touch. Contact us now about your planning problem and we’ll give initial advice completely free of charge or email



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