Architecture Magazine

Of Bats and Bureaucracy, Part 1

By The_woodlouse @the_woodlouse
The last week or so has been a flurry of fairly stressful activity.  I haven't felt so stressed about the project at any point so far.  Thankfully as a result we now have nearly everything in place to finally submit our planning application.  I hoped to have done that by now, and as I'll explain one of the reasons for the recent activity also makes it more urgent than ever to submit the plans as soon as possible.  Urgh.
I went to see the planning officer again with the virtually complete plans (previously I'd only shown them my own computer mock-ups of possible designs, rather than the actual accurate plans).  The planning officer didn't really have much to add this time, having already commented on the basic principles of the project (and broadly approved - see Elevated Greenery), but she did add that we'd need a Bat Survey before we could submit our application.  Despite my best efforts to find out what additional information we needed to accompany the application this annoyingly hadn't shown up in any lists on the Dorset For You website or the Planning Portal site.  The Dorset website is so convoluted that I can't guarantee it's not on there somewhere in the depths but certainly not anywhere obvious.  The Planning Portal ("the UK Government's online planning and building regulations resource") does have a lot of information, but when it comes to local information requirements it just says that pull-down lists will show what you need when actually submitting a planning application online.  That's not much use in advance.
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