Just Planning is the UK’s only planning appeals specialist
We help hundreds of homeowners & small developers obtain planning permission each year
Large developers have the resources to make the most of the planning system. They hire armies of consultants and understand that the best way to get permission may be to appeal.
Householders and smaller developers rarely think of appealing. In fact, fewer than 20% of householder planning refusals are appealed. They rely on councils and case officers to make a fair decision. Because so few householders appeal, councils receive no feedback and the quality of their decisions does not improve.
Bad decisions have consequences. When householders accept a planning refusal without appealing, they give up on their dream of a large open plan family kitchen or live without that extra bedroom for growing children. Small businesses accept less suitable, premises. Developers sell land on, at a loss.
There are many reasons why wrong decisions are reached. Planning officers are overworked and underpaid. They process hundreds of applications every year and are under pressure to decide them quickly. They may also be working with outdated policies and must deal with objecting neighbours and local council politics.
Bad decisions are generally overturned at appeal. We win hundreds of appeals each year, allowing extensions, loft conversions and outbuildings to go ahead despite council objections. We help developers obtain permission for new dwellings and small businesses open new premises.
We are also specialists in dealing with planning enforcement problems. Every year, thousands of people get contacted by their local council to say that they have carried out a development without the right planning permission in place. Councils serve around 3,500 Enforcement Notices each year, demanding that new buildings and extensions be ripped down or changes of use reversed. If you receive an Enforcement Notice, it is important to take specialist advice – contact us as soon as you receive it.
Just Planning provides planning services across England and Wales. If you have planning problems, contact us for some advice.
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Our Founder, Martin Gaine
Just Planning was set up in 2014 by Martin Gaine, then a planning case officer working at the London Borough of Waltham Forest. Martin had worked for many years both in local councils and as a private sector planning consultant, and he realised that householders and smaller developers were getting a raw deal from the planning system.
His first encounter with the planning system (as an applicant) was when his own application for a simple extension to his home was refused, without good reason. Though he appealed the refusal, and won, he realised that many householders would have accepted the decision without realising that appealing was a viable option.
Martin studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at the University of Oxford. He completed a masters degree in planning at the University of Reading, and was awarded a distinction. He became a chartered town planner (member of the Royal Town Planning Institute) in 2016.
He writes about planning and property issues for the Times and the Telegraph. He contributes to the Ask The Expert section of the Sunday Times Home supplement, and to the Daily Mail’s Property Clinic, responding to planning enquiries sent in by readers. He writes for Build It magazine and speaks at Build It Live, a twice-yearly exhibition for self-builders.
Martin’s bestselling books, How to Get Planning Permission: An Insider’s Secrets and Planning for HMOs are available to book at all good bookshops.
For more information, check our Martin’s website at martingaine.com.