Can I offer my tuppence worth, BenK?
Planners usually open a file at the pre-planning meeting stage.
I make the point of writing to them listing any contentious matters discussed at the meeting.
I send this note in by letter, e-mail or fax - it doesn't matter as long as it leaves a permanent record.
Basically this is a minute of the meeting, which some of them hate, and you'll get little denial notes sent in the post
Typically the pre-planning meeting might just start the ball rolling, which opens the door for more correspondence on file.
Then I revert filling in any gaps in the knowledge base the have identified, such as relevant precedents in the area or whatever.
The point being that all of the issues get dealt with, noted, sent in and are on the file and agreed in principle by the planner on the case.
After few weeks have elapsed, the file is starting to look pretty full, perhaps with a few photos or a survey as well - IOW its not easily dismissed.
That way, planners can change or a new issue can crop up, but I have seldom been requested for more information on an issue that's been dealt with.
That doesn't mean an upset can't happen.
Once, the planner who was all nice as pie to me left to go on a sabbatical for a year.
The next guy was a pain in the proverbial, but the notes and letters I had sent in meant he couldn't throw out the application.
We didn't get all that we wanted, but we still got a useful permission, plus my client had been copied with all the correspondence so we didn't look too lame.
BTW, I'm not being preachy on this - filing and time keeping are my two bugbears.
I bless the guy who invented modern e-mail clients with decent search facilities.
So easy to send, so easy to search and retrieve information later.
Copying the client means the get to look after their own file.
The difficulty is clients who say they can't use e-mail!