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Colin Smith Planning's thoughts on current industry issues



Colin Smith is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and started his career in planning after graduating from Bristol in 1990. Initially he worked at Reigate and Banstead Borough Council for 7 years as a planning assistant in the Development Control teams, before moving to Sevenoaks District Council in 1997. At Sevenoaks, Colin held the positions of Senior Planning Officer and Area Planning Officer.

Following that he rose to the position of Service and Performance Manager, responsible for reviewing and improving the performance of the development control function, and managing the development control and enforcement teams.

Colin left Sevenoaks District Council in 2005 to join a private planning consultancy as a Director. During this time he acted for a wide range of clients in securing planning permissions, carrying out development appraisals and advising on enforcement matters.

He has represented Local Authorities and private clients at written representation appeals, hearings, and public inquiries throughout his career.

The length and depth of his experience has given Colin a balance of understanding and knowledge across a range of planning issues. He is versatile, and has worked on projects ranging from conservatories and roof extensions, to major residential developments, town centre redevelopments and potential Formula 1 racing circuits. Having worked in urban contexts, with many clients active in London boroughs, and in rural areas, where Green Belt and other policy constraints apply, he has an excellent working knowledge of central government policy and how to analyse, interpret and communicate it effectively at the local level.

Colin Smith Planning aims to deliver successful, client focused outcomes, and values a positive work ethic, integrity, trustworthiness and professionalism highly. Colin enjoys working collaboratively with clients, and their other appointed specialist consultants and believes that the chances of effective results are enhanced through building positive relationships with all those involved in the process, including local authority officers.



Colin Smith Planning is well placed to be able to negotiate to resolve issues where possible, having experience of enforcement proceedings from working within Councils and in private practice.

Planning Appeals

If your planning application is refused, or if the Council do not determine it within the target time frame (usually 8 or 13 weeks), advice and guidance can be provided on whether an appeal against the decision should be considered or if revising the proposals and resubmitting a further application would be a more appropriate […]


Submitting the correct information with your planning application is essential in order to achieve a timely and properly considered outcome.  Colin Smith Planning can establish at an early stage the information necessary to submit and present an application to minimise the risk and to maximise the chances of success. Through contacts with architects, designers, landscape architects, […]

Land allocations

Councils are required to identify the planning needs of their area through the Local Plan process. Most Councils have, or in due course will adopt, a Local Plan which identifies and allocates areas of land for specific uses. If you have land, it is important to assess its suitability for alternative land uses, particularly in […]

Site Appraisals

In order to maximise the return on your land or property it is essential for you to understand its development potential and the risks involved in engaging in the planning process. Colin Smith Planning can assist by: Visiting the site to assess its characteristics, topography, accessibility and proximity to other developments. Investigating the planning policies […]

Professional Representations

Most people have no involvement in the planning process until they receive a consultation letter from their local planning authority inviting comments on a nearby development proposal. To a lay person, the planning process can seem confusing, complicated and illogical. It is important therefore to set out your arguments in a logical and coherent manner, […]

Church Projects

In the last few years, Colin has been involved in a number of projects, where he has helped local churches achieve their vision through the development of their premises. As well as being instrumental in securing planning permission for his own church (Reigate Baptist Church), Colin has worked with churches of different denominations giving pre application advice, representing them at appeal, and negotiating with Councils through the planning application process.

Colin’s interest in this area of work is both professional and driven by his own personal faith. The development of church premises can raise particular planning issues, especially when older, traditional buildings, often located within the heart of the communities they seek to serve, need to be developed or expanded to meet modern demands. In addition, many churches have a vision and a heart for meeting the needs of the people around them, and this vision is often best worked out through the use of an inviting and welcoming building that can be used for a variety of functions.


In time, this section of the website will be populated with information and knowledge about current issues and matters of interest to developers, whether you are planning major commercial schemes or additions and alterations to your own house. Colin has regularly given expert planning advice at the Grand Designs exhibition in London. You will be able to follow this growing knowledge base through Twitter and Facebook, or just by revisiting this page regularly.

Get in Touch

If you would like any more information or to discuss how I may be able to help you further please do contact me!

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