ECA routinely prepare and submit planning applications for a variety of proposals, ranging from small to medium sized redevelopments to larger development proposals and unique one-off projects for local developers and individuals. With a background in Local Authority Development Control, our planning consultants have an excellent and up-to-date understanding of planning law and legislation. We also prepare listed building applications and Certificates of Lawfulness and can discuss any planning issues that may be affecting you as a third party

Initial work often involves a planning appraisal, which will involve making an assessment of the physical aspects of the site and the relevant planning policies that apply. The local SHLAA (Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment) can sometimes assist with us quickly estimating the number of dwellings a site is capable of accommodating, given its location, site constraints and planning history.

This background information allows our planners to provide the architects with a set of parameters that assist in the design process. Initially this may often be in sketch form in order to obtain pre-application advice from the local authority. Once we have established agreement relating to principles such as development, design, layout, scale, mass, density and form, we then progress with a formal planning application.

Planning Applications

Planning application submission can be more complex than people think and can often involve submission of a number of supporting documents in order for the local authority to register the application. In most cases a Design and Access Statement is needed to present the proposals and demonstrate how the proposal relates to the site and surroundings and complies with relevant policies.

ECA are adept at drafting Design and Access statements and present these in a thorough, structured and professional way. Often presentation of proposals can be key to gaining a successful planning permission. An example of our work can be found here.

The documents normally required for a planning application include:

  • Site location Plan
  • Block Plan
  • Existing plans and elevations
  • Proposed plans and elevations
  • Design and Access statement
  • Energy statement

Additional reports that are sometimes required:

  • Tree survey
  • Flood Risk assessment
  • Biodiversity survey
  • Transport Assessment / Travel Plan
  • Statement of Significance (Heritage assets)

We work alongside a number of external consultants with the professional expertise to draft these reports and would be happy to assist you with this work as part of our services.

Whilst we are unique in being a joint accredited Architecture and Town Planning practice, our architects and planners may also undertake work independent from each other. If you have a specific planning or plan requirement please contact us to discuss this in more detail on Tel: 01202 675152

Planning appeals

If you have had a refusal of planning permission, all is not lost. You can appeal the decision within 6 months of the date of the refusal notice (or 12 weeks for householder planning applications).

Planning appeals are handled by the Planning Inspectorate. Appeals are subject to strict guidelines and timescales on what needs to be submitted and when. ECA planners have a wealth of experience in handling planning appeals. We are adept at drafting planning appeal statements and are very familiar with the process.

We have handled a number of appeals for housing schemes both locally and further afield. We are successful in putting across convincing and strong arguments in appeal statements and at hearings that draw upon the planning merits of the scheme and any other professional input, to ensure that the strongest and best case for your proposal is presented to the Inspector.

The local authorities that we have worked with and/or gained successful planning permissions in include:

Borough of Poole: Planning


Bournemouth Borough Council: Planning


North Dorset District Council: Planning


Purbeck District Council: Planning


Christchurch Borough Council: Planning

East Dorset District Council: Planning

Weymouth and West Dorset District Councils: Planning


Further afield:

Southampton City Council: Planning


Brighton and Hove City Council: Planning

Wiltshire Council: Planning

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea: Planning