Originally Posted by rayjdav
Sorry, but could not let this go, I tried
If you care to hang around here you will see that there are MANY AT's/Arch's that are VERY WELL
versed and have very comprehensive knowledge of the complete
Do agree that in a situation involving a respected Multi-National's application, some form of professional should be employed, be it AT/Arch/Eng. and even Planning Consultant....
I don't entirely disagree with you - especially as those who submit to Boards will be interested and probably have sufficient knowledge - but not all ATs/Archs/Engs will!
Unlike architects, there is little restriction on who can set themselves up as a 'planning consultant' at the moment, although there are plans to change this. AFAIK, most architect's courses will have modules in planning but not many other professions will, unless it is those limited aspects of planning directly related to their specific discipline.
Most people who submit a planning application will hopefully have an appropriate level of knowledge or an agent who knows what they are doing - this isn't really an issue for simple applications, especially as most architects can deal with these. The bigger applications will always employ someone who is qualified in planning.
In a case like this, (the OPs) , a member of the public or community group responding to an application - it can be difficult to know where to go for advice (especially at appeal stage, where the time is short) but so often a qualified planner isn't even considered (possibly because most people believe planners are only employed by the councils?)
I would firmly advise anyone objecting to an appeal to at least consider having some professional advice - it is amazing how much a properly worded concise letter can achieve. If an appeal goes to an oral hearing, even more so - as these are often court-like in their set up, with the multi-national employing a barrister and a range of consultants.
The tactic of submitting an amended application while another is under appeal is not unheard of - it can confuse objectors and the company involved can always withdraw either their application or appeal, whichever comes out first in their favour..... keep an eye on both.