‘Planning permission’ two unsettling words that send a chill down the spines of developers and renovation seeking homeowners alike. Nothing quashes high hopes and anticipation like the arrival of a ‘no’ from the local planning authority and more often than not you haven’t a clue why such a response was received. So, in the absence of much knowledge on the subject, we visited the head (Mr. Ken Parke) of local private planners, ‘Ken Parke Planning’, in the hopes of gleaning some expert understanding.
With a passion for urban geography and history, Ken Parke always longed to pursue a career within the building industry. Having spent his youth gaining a relevant university degree and further education – and valuable experience as a brickie’s labourer along the way – Ken jumped at the opportunity to join a firm of solicitors as a planning technician, and he’s never looked back. In 2003 he set up his own firm with his wife Angela and he and his team have been assisting local residents and developers in achieving their planning goals ever since.
Has planning become more stringent over the last few years?
Absolutely. It’s such a complex system, with plenty of bureaucracy involved. We work as the middleman, between clients and the local authorities, managing expectations on both sides throughout the process. Ultimately, we argue the client’s case and make adjustments according to current planning and building regulations to ensure that the council is more likely to approve.
What are the benefits of having someone like you take control of planning?
There’s a lot of skill and knowledge involved in creating a successful planning application. Local legislation, the ever-changing planning and building regulations, and all of the other relevant do’s and don’ts, not forgetting trying to get all of these to work with a potential renovation and or development.
We advise on and manage the process; there every step of the way from site appraisals and feasibility studies, to design solutions. We have extensive experience in working with you and your architect to achieve your ultimate goal and will submit evidence, negotiate terms and represent you with local authorities.
What makes you unique?
We solve – and prevent – complications. We are a team of very strong negotiators, who are good at finding the answer to problems where others can’t. Our team – a mixture of long serving industry experts and fresh young talent – are the perfect, friendly force to be reckoned with.
Our portfolio is incredibly broad, including everything from individual residences to large-scale developments and specific housing projects. From single plots to sixteen-storey buildings, we do it all.
How do you stay up to date with the latest regulations?
Planning reform is constantly evolving, both centrally and locally, not forgetting a lot of recent change in our governance too, what with the big ‘B’ word on the horizon. We subscribe to the latest planning resources, with support from a team of barristers and lawyers, to ensure that what we submit complies with the latest laws and legislation.
What are you currently working on?
There’s an enormous initiative to create 15,000 new houses in the New Forest, which we’re currently working on with a series of collaborators. We’re getting more enquiries to meet the ongoing need for ‘Urban extensions’, by which I mean 900+ houses, complete with play areas, parks, local facilities etc. in areas such as Ringwood, Totton and Lymington, as well as New Milton and Fordingbridge later on. There are a few really exciting commercial projects in the pipeline too – we have recently gained planning permission for the new M&S in Ferndown and have just obtained planning permission for a Premier Inn in Ringwood, we’re working on the detailed matters for a 16 storey student block in the Lansdowne, and are currently assisting a private estate in North Dorset with the refurbishment of their buildings.
To find out more information contact Ken Parke Planning on:
t. 01202 538800
a. Anniversary House, 23 Abbott Road, Bournemouth BH9 1EU