The Practice

J and A Consulting specialises in planning services. Applying for planning permission is often not as simple as asking an architect to complete your drawings and apply for you. The planning system is a complex web of legislation, policies, guidance and case law all of which effect your application. We specialise in advising clients on the planning system and how best to move forward.

We are a planning practice based in Epping Essex and covering the Essex and Hertfordshire areas. On occasion we also help clients in other areas. Please contact us to discuss your needs

Planning consultants can help you with planning advice before, during or after a planning application. We can help you with submitting a planning application or appeal a refusal on your behalf. Please browse our site for more information on the planning system and how we can help you.

Planning and Building Regulations

Planning permission and building regulations are often confused. The planning system looks at the impact of a development on the environment and community (and the economy if it is relevant). Planning looks at things such as appearance, the landscape and impacts to neighbours to name a few. Building regulations by contrast are based around health and safety. This is an entirely separate legislation looking at what is safe structurally.


Planning was first introduced by Parliament as the Town and Country Planning Act 1947. The Town and Country Planning Act made it a requirement to apply for planning permission for development. The 1947 Act also designated the Green Belts. The Town and Country Planning Act is still used today although it was last updated in 1990; the last update of the separate Town and Country Planning Act Regulations was in 2012.

Relevant Legislation

There is a web of legislation, guidance and policy relating to the planning system. The main documentation is described very briefly below:

  • The Town and Country Planning Act (1990)(originally 1947) and amendments - The basis for the planning system and its administration;

  • The Town and Country Planning Act Regulations - Some of the changes to the system since 1947 are contained within the regulations;

  • The Development Management Procedure Order (2010)- Sets out the procedures that should be followed at a minimum across the Country when dealing with planning applications, appeals and enforcement action;

  • The General Permitted Development Order (amended 2008)- Sets out development that can take place without planning consent;

  • The National Planning Policy Framework (2012)(NPPF)- The national approach to planning. Local Authorities base decisions for planning permission on a Local Plan. The Local Plan must conform to the national approach to planning. The NPPF replaces all previous Planning Policy Guidance (PPG) notes and Planning Policy Statements (PPS) except PPG10 (Waste). The NPPF reduced 1300 pages of policy to just 50;

  • Companion Guides to Planning Policy Statements and Guidance: The old PPG and PPS documents were accompanied by companion guides which provided detail for the method of application of the policies. Some of these have been retained when the NPPF was adopted;

  • In addition to the above guidance there are also White Papers , Government Circulars and case law which is often established at planning appeal.