Obtaining planning & development permission, particularly in rural areas, can be a complex task. Identifying issues from environmental and landscape concerns to contaminated land and access. Skinner Holden will manage your application and engage the appropriate specialists for your project. From initial site appraisal to final application we can help.



Development site planning and application advice for commercial, residential and tourism projects.

Skinner Holden was created following Iain taking a complex family site through from initial concept and design, successfully obtaining planning for 4 houses and selling the site to a developer.  The site had contaminated land issues, restricted access, ecological and historical conservation issues and was generally a mess.

Planning & development, Skinner Holden Property Advisors, West Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey

Skinner Holden Property Advisors can assist with the following areas of planning & development: –

Whether you have a site that you wish to understand its potential, an estate that you would like to increase the income from or a business idea that you need a site, location or building for Skinner Holden can help. We will work with you to understand the desired outcomes and then research all of the factors that affect your decision, providing you with a comprehensive report, giving you clear options and the risks and rewards that may be achievable. These may include valuations of capital and rental values if required.

If you have a site and a project we can help you structure your pre-application queries, collating all of the material required and presenting it in a professional manner to the local planning officer to ensure that it has the best chance of receiving positive feedback.

Sometimes if you are looking to sell a site, or obtain planning permission for a project prior to raising funds you may be able to reserve matters for future discussion. This is an outline application, which gives permission in principle subject to further details.

Most construction, change of use or other operations require planning permission if they are to be in place for more than 28 days and are not specifically listed in the General Permitted Development Order. We can help advise you in the early stages of your project what permissions you will require and how best to structure your application. Remember, once you have your planning permission you will need to clear the conditions, possibly obtain building regulations approval and other specific licences for entertainment, catering and transport uses.

Planning applications now require a plethora of reports and information. These may include…and this is not a comprehensive list…location plans, site plans, elevations, planning statement. Landscape statement, design and access statement, historic buildings statement, arboricultural report, transport statement, ecological surveys… and so the list goes on. Skinner Holden works closely with a range of specialists t ensure that your application is compiled cost effectively with all of the information required.

It is not uncommon for a very strong application to be turned down at committee for political reasons rather than planning reasons. In these instances, an appeal to the planning inspectorate should be considered. An appeal can be a long process, so it is important to ensure that the initial application is as well presented as possible.

It is not a criminal offence to overlook the fact that you should have got planning permission for a new building, extension or change of use of a building. However, it is a criminal offense to ignore an enforcement order from your local planning authority. If you have been in breach of planning for several years (the length of time depends upon several factors) then you may be able to apply for a CLUED. This will effectively give you permission to continue whatever it is you have been doing! We can provide an initial consultation on the best way forward. Then work with you to collate the appropriate evidence to submit to the local authority.

Many buildings and operations that would normally require a full planning application can gain permission with a simple notification giving the authority 28 days’ notice. There are strict conditions for such applications.

New agricultural dwellings

Although very difficult to obtain planning permission for a new house in the countryside there are occasions when an agricultural or forestry business requires someone to live on site for good husbandry or other reasons. We can help you gather all of the information required to give your application the best chance of success.

Many agricultural dwellings were built at a time when farms required more labour than in modern farming systems. These dwellings may still have agricultural occupancy conditions on them, which restrict the value of the property. We can work with you in order to lift the agricultural occupancy conditions.

There are a number of useful classes of permitted development within the General Permitted Development Order. These also have strict conditions, so each case needs to be considered carefully before deciding the best way forward. Two useful ones to consider for rural situations are:

  • Class Q – Agricultural Buildings to C3 Dwellings
  • Class R – Agricultural Buildings to ‘Flexible’ business use

“I have had the pleasure of working with Iain on a complicated residential planning project in 2017. The way he went about his consultancy services was very professional and on point at all times. I would have no reticence of recomending Iain and look forward to working with him again very soon.”

Stuart Wilson, Director, Wilson Designer Homes Ltd