CN Planning is the business name of the sole practice planning consultancy owned and operated by a Chartered Member of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), operated in accordance with the RTPI’s Code of Professional Conduct. These Terms and Conditions are to be read in conjunction with any ‘Offer of Professional Services’ and together these form the basis on CN Planning shall provide professional Planning services to you. Written acceptance of the Offer of Professional Services and Standard Terms and Conditions of Engagement are required before work can commence on any commission.

All commissions accepted by CN Planning are subject to the following terms and conditions except where changes are expressly agreed in writing:

1.0 Standards of service and client care

1.1 The practice prides itself on delivering a quality service and on maintaining high standards of client care. Client’s instructions will be pursued diligently and professionally, however, the client agrees and accepts that outcomes cannot be guaranteed because of the nature and uncertainties of planning procedure and legislation.

1.2 The practice undertakes to provide professional services in accordance with the scope and nature of work set out in the Offer of Professional Services letter, as agreed with the client.

1.3 The practice undertakes to keep the client regularly advised of the progress of work at reasonable intervals and will respond promptly to any communications from the client during the course of the commission.

1.4 In turn, the Client undertakes to assist by supplying upon request all relevant and necessary information, documents, plans, material, etc within a reasonable time. The practice shall not be held be responsible for any delays incurred while awaiting such information, or for any other circumstances or matters beyond its reasonable control.

1.5 CN Planning expressly reserves the right to refuse a commission where it conflicts with the interests of the practice. Where a conflict arises after work has commenced on a commission, the practice reserves the right to cease work on the commission and collect payment due to that point. Where possible an alternative practice will be recommended and the client will be free of any obligation previously agreed with CN Planning.

2.0 Offers of Professional Service

2.1 CN Planning always begins any prospective engagement with a free initial consultation to gather information about the planning matter that you require assistance with. Once it is established that we are able to assist you, we will prepare an ‘Offer of Professional Services’ letter, which will set out the nature and scope of our professional services and give you an estimate of anticipated fees.

2.2 By the nature of the planning system it is not normally possible to give a precise forecast of the amount of time that an exercise will take. Therefore, unless a fixed price has been agreed, the Offer of Professional Service is intended to give an indication of professional fees and not a fixed quotation. Where there is particular uncertainty over the amount of time and effort that may be required, CN Planning may suggest a budget ceiling or an intermediate point (in time or budget) at which to review progress and agree further work.

2.3 In accordance with the Royal Town Planning Institute’s Code of Professional Conduct, CN Planning shall notify you in writing before undertaking work or incurring fees or expenses additional to those previously agreed in the original Offer of Professional Services, and shall be satisfied that the necessary instructions have been received from you.

2.4 Acceptance of a client’s instructions will usually be based on our Offer of Professional Services and clients are required to confirm that this and our Standard Terms and Conditions of Engagement are accepted, by means of a signed Agreement to this effect.

3.0 Fees and expenses

3.1 CN Planning’s professional fees are usually based on the time spent dealing with your planning issue, calculated in accordance with our current hourly or daily rate, details of which are available on request. Fees for work undertaken on a daily rate basis are based on a working day of 7 hours.

3.2 The agreed fee rate will cover any of the following:

  • Meetings with you (and accompanied by others when necessary) in connection with the commission;
  • Research, examination and consideration of relevant information including, as necessary, background history and associated documents and materials, planning legislation, planning policy documents and other relevant policy documents, case law and practice guidance and commentaries;
  • Site visits, and visits to the locality where necessary for the proper undertaking of the commission;
  • Preparing and working on notes, papers, forms, reports and documentation necessary for the proper undertaking of the commission (unless explicitly excluded below at 3.6 and 3.8);
  • All necessary correspondence (including e-mails), telephone communications and consultations required in connection with the commission;
  • Provision of general advice to the Client in connection with the commission.

3.3 A reduced fee rate is payable for time spent travelling in connection with the commission (for example to and from the site or to attend meetings). This is calculated at 50% of the prevailing hourly rate. This rate will apply to all necessary travelling time in connection with the commission.

3.4 Alternative fee arrangements are subject to negotiation and agreement with the client prior to the commencement of work. Depending on the nature and scope of the work involved, some commissions may be charged on the basis of a fixed, all inclusive price. It may also be possible in some circumstances to negotiate a reduction in the standard hourly or daily fee rate or initial fixed price estimate, in return for an additional ‘success payment’, payable if the client’s aspirations are realised through the professional services of the practice (e.g. successfully obtaining planning permission).

3.5 If it becomes necessary to carry out additional work outside of the agreed brief (or if you request additional work to be undertaken), then this work will involve additional fees. In such circumstances, a Variation to the original Offer of Professional Services will be prepared and agreed with you before undertaking such additional work.

3.6 Where is has been agreed between CN Planning and the client that another consultant or consultants (such as an architect, ecologist, solicitor, highways expert or tree specialist) should be sub-contracted by or on behalf of the client, the client shall have full responsibility for the payment of any fees, expenses or charges due to the said consultant(s) for work carried out for or on behalf of the client.

3.7 Where any statutory fees are due to be paid to local authorities or other bodies in respect of any applications, appeals etc, such fees shall be the responsibility of the client and CN Planning shall have no liability whatsoever in respect of such fees, nor any delay in determination of applications, etc arising from a failure of the client to make a necessary payment of such fees.

3.8 In addition to professional fees, the following expenses (where incurred) are normally added to invoices as disbursements:

  • Purchase of Local Authority documents, publications and plans;
  • Pre-application fees charged by a local authority;
  • Planning appeal decisions;
  • Ordnance Survey maps (including aerial photography);
  • Photocopying and plan printing;
  • Photography;
  • Courier or special delivery charges;
  • Travel expenses – either based on standard class rail fares or a fixed car mileage rate, reviewed annually (Note: 2014 rate = 60p per mile);
  • Attendance at meetings/visits requested by planning officers, Planning Committee or Appeals (Note: current hourly rate = £50)
  • Accommodation and subsistence when an overnight stay is necessary

4.0 Invoices and Payment

4.1 Invoices for fees and expenses will be sent to you, usually on a monthly basis or when the work set out in the Offer of Professional Services is completed. This may be varied in the case of large fixed price commissions or commissions involving the preparation and submission of planning (or other) applications and appeals when staged payments will be negotiated. Invoices will be accompanied by a Task Activity Report explaining the work covered and breakdown of the recorded hours spent on the commission (unless a fixed price has been agreed).

4.2 Payment of invoices is due within 28 days of the invoice date unless otherwise agreed in writing prior to the date of invoice. Payment can be made either by cheque made payable to ‘Mr C A Nash’ or by BACS transfer (account details will be provided).

4.3 If the invoice is not settled within this time, CN Planning reserves the right to charge interest at 5% above the prevailing Bank of England Base Rate on a daily basis, from the date of the invoice. If you have any query about invoices please contact us straight away. In the event of a payment not being made promptly, CN Planning may decline to act any further and issue a final invoice for the full amount of work done up to that point.

5.0 Limitation of liability

5.1 CN Planning endeavours to provide professional services with all due care and skill. However CN Planning will not be held responsible for any losses arising from the supply by you or others of incorrect or incomplete information, or a failure of you or others to supply any appropriate information or your failure to act on our advice or respond promptly to communications from us or relevant authorities. Due to the nature of the planning system, CN Planning will not be held responsible for any losses arising from the failure to obtain planning permission or any subsequent permission under other legislation.

5.2 Clients have the peace of mind that complaints of professional misconduct or negligence against CN Planning can be reported to the Royal Town Planning Institute and that the practice is fully insured to meet the costs of legitimate claims arising from such actions.

6.0 Law

6.1 Agreements under these Terms are subject to the Law of England.