Donaldson Planning can undertake commissions for individual planning projects, or work as part of a comprehensive development team of architects, surveyors, landscape architects, ecologists etc. We can assemble, motivate and direct the professional resources necessary to deliver results across a wide spectrum of projects.
We have managed numerous high profile projects, across a full range of planning activities. Our main activities include:
- Planning Applications – we have led project teams in preparation and negotiation of many applications, ranging from challenging residential and commercial developments; tourism projects; residential care proposals; single houses; mineral extraction proposals; and energy projects.
- Planning Appeals – we have written and presented evidence at many hundreds of appeals. We have been at the forefront of several ‘ground-breaking’ appeal decisions, some of which have resulted in the need for revisions to the Department’s published policy documents. We are also one of Northern Ireland’s most experienced practitioners in complex enforcement appeals, with successful outcomes for developments as diverse as building suppliers, scrap metal merchants, quarry operators and vehicle retailers. We believe that our success lies in our preparation, presentation and ability to expect the unexpected.
- Planning Advice and Appraisals – we have worked with many of Northern Ireland’s leading financial institutions and other professionals to provide robust and realistic appraisals of development potential on a wide range of sites and properties. David led the team which was appointed by the NI Assembly Commission in 2008 to advise on the Assembly’s land holdings and their development potential. David also managed a complex research and advice project on householder development rights, which was commissioned by DoE Planning Service. More recently we have presented to various seminars and responded to consultations on changes to planning legislation and the transfer of planning powers to local Councils.
- Development Plan Inquiries – the team has submitted and presented many representations to area plan inquiries and examinations. These have been on behalf of local Councils, and a wide range of private sector clients. At the major Belfast Metropolitan Area Plan inquiry we argued for several thousand additional dwellings on behalf of a range of house builder clients.
- Judicial Reviews and Legal Disputes – the team has acted for clients in numerous judicial reviews, legal disputes and Tribunals. We have worked with many of the top law firms and Senior Counsel, and we have extensive expert witness experience.
- Environmental Assessment – the team has prepared and coordinated numerous Environmental Statements, for projects as diverse as residential, industrial, quarrying, leisure and retail uses. We are well aware of the complexities and pitfalls of the EIA process, and of the need to ensure that all members of the project team are properly focused upon delivering the optimum outcomes for the client. We can also provide advice and assistance to individuals and groups who are concerned about major development projects.