How to get planning in the Cotswolds

Do you have a piece of land, need permission or thinking about building in the Cotswolds, Cheltenham or Gloucestershire, follow the 8 simple steps in this Free guide to help you get planning permission granted for your project. This short video gives you a taste of what’s inside…

The free guide also contains Thomas Studio ‘fact finder’s’ a free service that helps you get through the initial planning issues and challenges, such as:

  • Put you in touch with a self-build mortgage provider;
  • Tell you if your local 5-year-housing-supply-rate will help you get planning;
  • Let you know if your local Neighbourhood Development Plan supports your project ideas;
  • Provide you with a FREE CALL BACK with Architect Garry Thomas
  • Provide you with a ROAD MAP for your project
    Enter your details below to get your free copy.

Before you make an application, here’s what people have said who followed the 8 simple steps in the user guide when permission was granted for their projects:

“The call back was really helpful thank you for the advice and allowing me to avoid making costly mistakes in my proposed area.” Estelle Rose

“Hi Garry, Still can’t quite believe we got it! Thanks for taking us on in the first place!! No one else would touch us with a barge-pole, but at least you gave us a gamble and it paid off! Speak soon.” Steph & Alex Grand Designs.

“That’s great news Garry thank you… for all of your help. We are flat out lambing at the moment, but we will be in touch [about the next stage] soon.” Jackie & Pete

“Thank you once again for all of your (successful) efforts on our behalf – It’s not the taking part it’s the winning that counts.” Dave

“With your help we have transformed a rural barn into a wonderful space. We couldn’t have imagined getting planning for a remote barn in the countryside without your help and guidance. It’s paid off and we have a fantastic event venue.” Hannah & Robin

If you are fortunate to have a manor house in a Gloucestershire market town the chances are it’s a listed building and you may be very familiar with planning and development control. However, if you require planning being ‘familiar’ with listed buildings, planning issues and the planning history doesn’t mean you’ll receive a notice that permission has been granted for an ambitious design project. To convert, extend or redevelop a building is not easy, as current planning policy governed by the town and country planning act varies over time depending on your district council, or borough council, and where your development plot is located.

If you want to be granted planning permission and receive your very own notice ‘permission is granted’ in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, a conservation area, or an area that has been subject to a regulation 14 condition then planning process is not going to be a simple matter, and to add insult to injury – planning policy is in a state of flux – what is relevant this year may soon change when your application is submitted.

Applications received, by planning departments, whether it is for pubs, Blenheim palace or a holiday cottage need to demonstrate that they have considered planning policy fully. Reading the application guide is one thing, but ensuring applications demonstrate they account for up-and-coming changes to local policy is also important. Even if planning permission has been granted there are always planning conditions that need to be discharged in writing after permission before you can start your development plans and submit detailed building regulation drawings to building control.

All planning in your community is open to public access for applications online. Your neighbour can make a comment on your application by finding it on the planning portal’s interactive map and the public has development rights to do this. All comments are treated equally but they must make comments that are relevant in planning terms. Councillors will see comments as they are posted to the application online and they may side with your neighbour and decide that the application should be refused and encourage the planning officer at the county council to find reasons to refuse the planning application. People tend to resist new homes in their local area. You can always appeal against a planning refusal, but this is only successful if the planning department during development management has made an error in refusing the grant of planning permission in your case.

Progressing planning and development in Gloucestershire, in places such as: Calcot, Cirencester or Chipping Campden can be difficult, especially as so many of these areas are conservation areas, or areas of outstanding natural beauty. But it doesn’t have to be difficult as a well-constructed outline, or full planning application can help you overcome the planning issues and challenges when doing your own self-build project in Gloucestershire.

Most development requires prior permission and without permission your proposed development is going nowhere. If you start development without planning permission you can submit retrospectively; however, this can be risky especially if the application is refused and then you are subject to enforcement action. Too often people rush into the planning process as they don’t submit correct information, which only results in a refused outline, or full planning application.

The Thomas Studio guide will not only help you save money, by avoiding costly mistakes, it will help you focus on the planning considerations when preparing a design for planning your project. The user guide puts you on the right track to understand if your proposed development needs planning permission.

Often people make the mistake of rushing into planning and building without considering all their needs and options fully. Whilst the planning application guide and checklist is important, to ensure you comply with planning conditions and obligations, it is more important to ensure your design meets your budget expectations and your building needs – before you submit an outline, householder, or full planning application – as after you notify the planning department, pay a fee and they issue the application number making changes to the design post planning stage really is going to cost you a lot more money.

The guide is written for people who have:

  • seen a potential site and are unsure if it will get planning;
  • a plot adjacent to a rural village and wonder what planning applications are possible;
  • seen a plot in an area of outstanding natural beauty and don’t know where to start;
  • an existing property in conservation area that needs renovation or an extension.

Whether you’re an existing rural building owner, have land adjacent to a rural village such as Painswick, Chipping Norton, or Bourton, or you are thinking of investing in a plot in this quintessentially English countryside, the steps set out in the Thomas Studio guide will increase your chances of getting outline, or full planning permission, and help to unlock income and real value from your building projects.

Whilst many people believe that using Cotswold stone to bring about planning consents in the Cotswolds gets you over the planning hurdle, design-quality and the design-process is what is more important. There are plenty of enchanting country house examples in the Cotswolds, in places like Tetbury, or Castle Combe that have designed a contemporary extension on the side of a listed building. We all love the grand stately examples like Highgrove, or Hidcote, what these design successes ultimately mean is: design-quality and design-process is the key driver to unlock a planning decision.

The user guide helps people assess all their needs and options more fully, to ensure planning documents are well presented, before embarking on proposed development. The user guide helps you to prepare for consultation and will lead you towards a grant of planning permission. You can avoid the need to make an appeal if you follow the 8 simple step guide. Too often people overlook their needs and don’t assess all the site options before committing to buying a site or proceeding with a home planning proposal. If you’ve submitted bad design, not assessed all the planning considerations, or you have shortcut the planning policies in the local plan, it is unlikely that the planning inspectorate will side with your design review appeals, or planning appeals, when poor design is being attempted. And if you have ended up at the appeal stage you have already wasted a considerable sum of money and spoiled your chances of gaining real planning success.

The natural beauty and special character of towns and villages in the Cotswolds is a planning-relevant matter. The prettiest 16th century and 17th century listed buildings and stately homes dotted around the Cotswolds are controlled by your local council planning policy, known as the local plan. Local plans do very from place to place but they all control design standards to a very high level.

The town and country planning system is always changing, and policy is always in a state of flux, what your neighborhood development plan says today, or does not say, influences what you can expect from the outline or full planning application. Too often people make the mistake of assuming what has got planning down the road will get planning on their own site. The 8-step user guide is not a complete guide, but it will help you to avoid making costly mistakes before your start a project.

Online planning makes the application process simpler, however planning is not simple. The user guide is there to help you make the right decisions before preparing a new planning application. Submitting application forms to the planning portal, which are then issued to your local planning department is the new planning submission process: but because the submission process is made easy don’t be fooled that it’s a walk-in-the-park, it is important that your scheme accords with the development plan.

Architect Garry Thomas has put together his tried and tested methods to help you unlock the potential in your Cotswold countryside site and move your project closer to getting planning permission. Overcoming the planning issues and challenges are important ensuring your site will meet your needs and help you assess fully all the options.

The guide helps you get planning permission in all the desirable Cotswold areas, whatever your post code. If you follow the 8 simple steps and use the Thomas Studio ‘fact finder’s’ you will be well on your way to overcoming the planning issues and challenges.

Enter your details below to get your free copy sent to you.

The guide will…

  • Put you in touch with self-build mortgage provider;
  • Tell you if your local 5-year-housing-supply-rate will help you get planning;
  • Let you know if your local NDP supports your project ideas;
  • Provide you with a FREE CALL BACK with architect Garry Thomas
  • Provide with a ROAD MAP for your project

As an aside the studio is aware that the following areas in the Cotswolds are most desirable for development projects at the moment: Cotswold Way, Windrush, Westonbirt, Cotswold Wildlife Park, Lower Slaughter, Upper Slaughter, Foxhill, Blenheim, Cotswold Water Park, Campden, Stow, Stow on the Wold, Moreton in Marsh, Daylesford, Bibury, Malmesbury.
The outer laying areas are also relevant too, such as: Leamington Spa, Leamington, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire, Stratford, Stratford upon Avon, and Woodstock.