Use the drop-downs to find out more about representation.

What is representation?

Representation is relevant in cases where you are required to speak on a planning matter in person, including appeal hearings, public consultations and planning committee meetings. Representation is where we speak on your behalf.

If we are representing you, we will normally prepare a detailed written statement for verbal presentation at the event. We will also attend the event in person to present the case on your behalf.

At the event, we will answer any questions or concerns raised by the other parties (such as the council or local residents) in response to your case. Our preparation for the event will always include the drafting of cogent responses to matters we anticipate other parties to raise.

What are the benefits of representation?

If you need to speak at a planning event, you are entitled to prepare and present your own verbal statement. The benefits of professional representation are:

  • your agent will ensure that your presentation focuses on appropriate planning matters only and uses the appropriate planning terminology
  • your agent will conduct thorough research and use their expertise to identify and persuasively explain all relevant arguments in your favour – that’s likely to include reference to previous appeal decisions or court cases
  • your agent will be able to respond to questions and comments raised by the other parties in a professional, coherent and convincing manner.

Standing before a planning committee or planning inspector can be a daunting experience and in some circumstances you only have a very short amount of time (approx. 5 minutes) to present your case. Professional representation will ensure you make the most of your allotted speaking time and give you the best chance of securing the outcome you seek – be that approval of your planning application/appeal or revisions to a Local Plan etc.

When is representation required?

Common events that benefit from representation include:

1. Your planning application is to be determined by planning committee

In these circumstances, you are normally given the opportunity to verbally present your case in front of the planning committee. These events are usually open to members of the public who may also be invited to speak on your case. If any objections are made, you will normally have a right of response. Councillors on the planning committee may also make comments or ask you questions.

2. Your planning appeal is to be determined by a hearing or public inquiry

In these circumstances, you (or your representative) must attend an in-person event held by the planning inspector. The local council will be there to argue against your case and other interested parties (such as local residents) will be invited to attend to express their support or objection. You must verbally present your appeal case and respond to the inspector’s questions. The inspector’s questions are normally issued before the event so that robust responses can be prepared. You must have adequate representation at appeal hearings and public inquiries, otherwise you could leave yourself vulnerable to an award of costs (meaning you might have to pay the council back for the funds they spent on your case). You can find out more about awards of appeal costs using the button below.

3. You wish to object to a planning application, appeal or emerging Local Plan

We also represent parish/town councils, local residents and local associations that wish to object to a wide range of planning matters where these are subject to in person events. This could be a major planning application, planning appeal, emerging Local Plan/policy or site allocation.

In all circumstances, we will prepare a robust verbal case, present it coherently and defend it confidently. 

We understand that in-person planning events can be daunting experiences. We’re here to alleviate at least some of that stress. In most cases, you won’t even need to be present unless you choose to be. If you want to learn more about being represented by Planning Direct, get in touch using the button below. Our initial advice is always free of charge.

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