The purpose of the Planning Panel is to provide Members with one-to-one advice and guidance on their particular case.
If, having obtained the RSGB’s planning advice booklet Planning Permission: Advice to Members, you either do not feel confident taking on the planners, or your case has gone beyond the advice given; contact RSGB HQ and you will be allocated to a Panel member. The Panel member will be told this at the same time: the onus is then on you to contact him. Advice of the Planning Panel is available only to RSGB members.
Panel members have skills—usually professionally—in the planning process and will have dealt with numerous amateur applications as Panel members. Panel members get no expenses from the Society for this purpose so please expect to make sure when asking for advice that they are not out of pocket, for example by providing as SASE when writing for advice.
The most useful first step is to write giving details of what has happened. Copies of relevant documents and plans will also be needed. Panel members work in different ways, but the writer would normally write back with initial advice and invite the member to ring him and discuss.
Some points: one of the first things the Panel member is likely to ask you is have you followed the steps in the booklet; and in particular do you have any neighbour problems. Having the neighbours on your side—and therefore not objecting—is a very much a good thing.
Secondly, do get allocated to a Panel member and contact him/her early in the process. Enforcement Notices are preceded by a Requisition for information and the Notice itself takes at least 28 days to take effect. Contacting HQ on the 27th day is neither wise nor likely to generate success as you will probably be too late to enter an Appeal.
Thirdly, it is our experience that there is considerable interaction between EMC matters and planning problems, so you may have to contact either or both Committees depending on your individual circumstances.
The advice of the RSGB Planning Panel is just one of the many benefits of membership.