• LATEST NEWS...    
  • Simon has achieved MRTPI status being elected to full membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute.    
  • Planning permission achieved for contemporary rear extension in Tunbridge Wells.    
  • Our alterations to a former dairy conversion in Horsmonden have been aproved.    
  • Planning permission has been granted for a 2-storey extension with change of use agreed at a former restaurant in Collier Street.    
  • Conversion of a former agricultural building to a domestic dwelling has been granted.    
  • Planning consent has been obtained for a new fishing lake, car park and utility building in Paddock Wood.    
  • Permission has been obtained for a 95-bed HMO in central Croydon.    
  • Planning permission has been granted for two extensions on adjoining houses in Marden.    

About Us

Founded in 2012, SJM Planning was launched by company director Simon McKay, after completing seven years service as a local authority planning officer.

Since inception, the company has undertaken a wide variety of projects in Kent and Sussex; In more recent years, the scope of work has expanded to include much of the South East and Greater London area.

With this increased work load, SJM Planning have recruited a new Associate George Bryant.

Our recent projects include, new dwellings, office to residential conversions, rural developments, HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation), changes of use and residential extensions. However this list is not exhaustive and SJM Planning are happy to take on any project whatever it's size, scale or complexity.

Gaining industry wide recognition, the company have fostered a number of links with other consultants and construction professionals and now offer a turnkey Project Management service.

Our professional network includes specialist Architects, Ecologists, Transport Planners, Heritage Consultants, Flood Risk Assessors, Stuctural Engineers and Topographical Surveyors. Bringing together these various disciplines, SJM Planning are able to provide clients with the complete package.

Services we provide include, working drawings, Building Control plans and structural specifications. Having built a good working relationship with a number of trusted contractors, we can also facilitate and oversee the construction work, managing every part of the build process.

Simon McKay - Director at SJM Planning

Director

Simon McKay

BSc MA (Town Planning) MRTPI


George Bryant - Associate at SJM Planning

Associate

George Bryant

CAD Drawing Specialist


Contact Us

Appointments only available on request.

Head Office

01892 882 228

Browning House
Draper Street
Southborough
Tunbridge Wells
Kent
TN4 0PG

Company No: 09705700
VAT No: 223 870 18

Email Locations

Kent Office Welsh Office

Why Use A Planning Consultant?

Recent changes in planning legislation by government have been made in order to simplify the planning regime. In reality these changes have made the system even more complex and it can be challenging for somebody with no experience or planning background to negotiate their way through the application process.

Whilst anyone can make a planning application to a Local Planning Authority, an understanding of the necessary requirements to ensure the application is validated is key to speeding up the process. Speaking in the same language as a Planning Officer can also assist in the negotiation process and ensure that the best proposal can be put forward.


A Chartered Planning Consultant can;

  • Provide accurate, impartial and cost-effective professional planning advice to ensure their client’s planning applications receive a smooth journey through an often expensive and complex planning process.
  • Offer a fresh, independent approach to solving complex planning issues.
  • Understand how add value and get the most for their clients from the planning system.
  • Build effective relationships with the Local Planning Authority, community and other affected by their clients planning applications.
  • Hold professional indemnity insurance, protecting them and their client.
  • Direct instructions to Barristers, without their client having to use a solicitor as an intermediary;


Membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) as a Chartered Town Planner, or as a legal member of the RTPI, is an internationally recognised mark of professional expertise and competence. The RTPI has over 2,500 consultant members and more than 1,000 firms offering the services of consultant Chartered Town Planners or legal members of the RTPI. They range in size from sole practitioners or small partnerships, through to large, international, multi-professional practices including architects, economists, engineers, surveyors and other specialists. Some smaller practices may also have access to similar professional skills. It is important to understand that employing a planning consultant does not guarantee your application will succeed. But it does mean you have expert advice and help to ensure your application has the very best chance.


How does a Planning Officer assess my application?

In the case of a typical residential extension, for example, whether a neighbour likes the scheme or not, is not a reason to refuse the application. Whether there are 1 or 50 letters of objection, this is still not reason to refuse the application, and likewise for approval in the absence of objections. Ultimately, the Planner has to consider all aspects which are material planning considerations in reaching a recommendation.


These could include;

  • Impact on visual amenity.
  • Impact on residential amenity.
  • Impact on trees | ecology.
  • Impact on Highways.
  • Any other relevant considerations, such as Conservation Areas, Listed Buildings, High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) etc.


What are some of these terms?

Visual amenity is essentially how the design of the extension fits in with the house and wider area; does it dominate the ‘host’ dwelling? Does it fit in with the wider street scene? Are the materials used in the proposal going to fit in well? Does it close an important gap between two houses for example which might lead to a ‘cramped’ feel on the site?

Residential amenity is how it provides for the occupants of the proposed extension as well as how it affects neighbour properties; does it result in a loss of light or overshadow the neighbouring property? Does it provide windows such as bedroom windows that look straight down into the immediate parts of a neighbours’ rear garden? Are the windows big enough to provide adequate daylight to that room? Is the proposal of a scale and sited so close to the boundary that it might have an overbearing effect on the neighbours? These things are best discussed with your neighbours before you submit an application to the Council.

SJM Planning has the experience and knowledge to tackle the planning system on your behalf. Keeping up to date with changes in planning policy ensure that SJM Planning can provide you with the best strategy to achieving planning permission on your behalf.

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