Certificate of Lawfulness for the proposed stationing of a granny annex in a garden

Once again, working with our colleagues at Urban Marque , C2C Planning Consultants have gained a Certificate of Lawfulness for a Proposed Use for the stationing of a lovely lodge in the garden of a house for their client.

The proposed caravan meets the definition of a caravan set within of the The Caravan Act 1968 and as such is a movable structure which is meant to be a temporary feature. The submitted Planning Statement indicates the caravan would not be permanently affixed to the ground. As the caravan is for use ancillary to the main dwelling and within the curtilage of a dwelling house it is considered the proposed siting of the caravan would not change the use of the land and consequently would not constitute development as defined by the Town and Country Planning Act, 1990.


Two new dwellings on the edge of Hemyock in the Blackdown Hills AONB

Whilst Mid Devon are currently exhibiting a lack of 5 year housing supply, our clients approached us at just the right time to catch that window of opportunity!

We submitted a planning application for them adjacent to, but just outside the settlement limits.  The planning officer supported the application in the face of sustained objection from interested parties to change in the AONB

“The site is well located to other dwellings which are located within the settlement limit of Hemyock. The proposal is considered to be acceptable in that, in accordance with the provisions of paragraph 11 of the National Planning Policy Framework, the benefits of provision of dwellings that respects the existing development pattern of development along Lower Millhayes, acting as infill development and has no unacceptable impact on highway safety, visual amenity and the amenity of neighbouring residents, are considered to outweigh the harm caused by the provision of two new dwellings in a countryside location outside of the defined settlement limit of Hemyock.”

and after a few hours in planning committee, we are delighted to have received the benefit of planning permission!

Prior Notification approved under Class O (offices to residential) in Exeter

C2C Planning Consultants have assisted with the successful submission of a prior notification application to Exeter City Council for the conversion of a small block of offices in a residential part of Exeter to 5 apartments.

As Class O does not allow for external alterations, such as the removal of the garage door in the photo above, a tandem planning application was submitted for the external alterations required to better facilitate the conversion.

Permission was granted for both and we have a happy client!

Replacement dwelling granted on appeal with all costs being paid by the Council

As a referral from our colleagues at Broadoak Building Design, we assessed the merits of a refused planning application for a replacement dwelling  and sizeable garage with annex accommodation over.

Planning permission had already been granted for the replacement dwelling, so the main bone of contention was the size of the proposed garage and the use of the first floor over it as annex accommodation in place of a mobile home on the site.

We won the appeal and, having applied for full costs to be awarded to our client, the award of full costs was the cherry on top!

In the Council’s reason for refusal, in reference to Core Strategy policy DM 2, it states that “the enlarged garage with first floor living accommodation above, would result in unacceptable additional development in open countryside that would be in an unsustainable location and would have unacceptable impacts on the visual amenities of this rural location”. However, neither the unsustainable location nor the unacceptable impacts on the visual amenities has been explained in any detail in the submitted Council documentation.

In regards to the location, it is accepted by all parties that this is a rural location, but the proposed development is a replacement dwelling with ancillary accommodation above a garage. The site currently has a dwelling with outbuildings, including a mobile home used as ancillary accommodation. As such, the proposals would not result in an increase of dwellings at the site and so it is not clear why the issue of the unsustainable location has been included in the reason for refusal.

In regards to the visual impacts, this has not been substantiated with any evidence. Moreover, the Council’s delegated report states that the development would result in a more “appropriate condensed built form” from the existing arrangement, which would “improve the character and appearance of the site when the older elements of the site are removed.” On this basis, it is not clear how the development proposed would lead to an adverse visual impact when there are visual benefits for the site.

This demonstrates that the Council has included vague and unsubstantiated reasons for refusal.

I have taken into consideration the Council’s rebuttal, which includes an explanation why conditions or negotiations could not have overcome the reasons for refusal. However, this rebuttal does not sufficiently explain the lack of substantiated evidence or explanation regarding the harm the development would cause that led to this refusal.


Replacement of chalets with lodges in North Devon

C2C Planning Consultants are delighted to have been the planning advisers to UNISON for a project in North Devon.

Planning permission has been granted by North Devon District Council for the demolition of rather dated holiday chalets and their replacement with 28 modern and luxurious holiday lodges and a pavilion.

Here’s to sunny days and sandy feet!


Successful appeal for a dwelling in a garden in Somerset and with costs awarded to our client

We are delighted to share our client’s joy in finally getting planning permission for a house for family members in their rear garden.  It has taken them 2 years to get to this point, which is far too long.

In this case, like many others, time costs money.  Projects are financed from loans, borrowings or savings, consultants are paid as the work progresses without any conclusion; so it was of little compensation that the Inspector awarded out clients the opportunity to claim their appeal costs back from the Council.

But, every little helps!

“Although the Council should be able to substantiate their case, they have done little more than to restate their ‘in principle’ objection to the proposal….The Council’s generalised assertion about the impact of the proposal is supported by barely any objective analysis. Thus, the Council have failed to substantiate their case….The proposal, which should have been permitted, has been delayed, and this has caused the applicant the unnecessary and wasted expense of the appeal. “

Conversion of Grade II Listed hotel to a dwelling and alternative use of separate manager’s dwelling

At East Devon’s Planning Committee, we gained planning permission for the change of use of this Grade II Listed building from a hotel and restaurant to a single dwelling, in the beautiful Exe Valley.

At the same time, we got flexible planning permission for the manager’s dwelling within the grounds to become an annex associated with the Listed Building or as a separate holiday let, making it a much more saleable in a wider market.


Photo courtesy of Christie and Co, Exeter

The manager’s accommodation also had an associated S106 Legal Agreement that required C2C Planning Consultants to apply for its removal, having successfully been granted the variation of the condition.

Appeal for retrospective garage won whilst the threat of prosecution hangs over the development.

A new client approached us with a rather urgent situation and needed our help.

A nearly completed garage building had been served an enforcement notice, that notice hadn’t been appealed and prosecution action was being pursued by the Council.  Planning permission was just about to be refused for the retention of the building and things were looking somewhat…complicated.

Residential garage
Retrospective garage granted planning permission on appeal whilst the Council pursued prosecution to seek its removal.

C2C Planning Consultants sought a stay of execution on the prosecution action while appealing the refusal of planning permission within 4 days of the issue of the refusal notice.   The Council refused to pause the proceedings, despite it not being expedient to pursue action while our client had every right to appeal the refusal of planning permission.

We are delighted to have received planning permission from the Planning Inspectorate.

“…when completed with rendered walls as well as windows and doors as shown …the building will not look out of keeping within this residential area. The appearance of the new structure will be softened substantially with the addition of planting as shown on the submitted plans…

The appeal development is sufficiently well designed such that it respects the special qualities of this part of Torbay. In relation to the main issue, the development does not have a harmful effect upon the character and appearance of the site and surrounding area…

I consider …that the building is acceptable on its own merits in terms of this main issue and is not reliant upon the previous planning permission as a fall-back proposal.”


Assisting the community in resisting inappropriate development

C2C Planning Consultants were approached by a representative of a local community to object to a planning application.  A review of the application raised a number of professional concerns which echoed the majority of the community’s concerns.  C2C Planning Consultants attended a community meeting to focus the community’s concerns so that they addressed the planning matters raised by the application.

A letter of representation was sent to the Council and planning permission was refused.

The applicant submitted an appeal against that refusal of planning permission and the community once again sought our help to maintain their strongly held views.   We made representations to the Planning Inspectorate, attended the site visit.

For the above reasons, and having taken all other matters raised into account,
the proposal conflicts with the development plan taken as a whole and with the
approach in the Framework. I therefore dismiss the appeal

We are very pleased to see that a substantial proportion of our concerns were sustained and the appeal was recently dismissed.

Appeal won to convert barn to dwelling under Class Q

When a local Planning Authority refused a planning application for the conversion of a barn to a dwelling under Class Q in the belief that the building was not solely use for agricultural purposes on 20th March 2013, we submitted more information and evidence with a second planning application to give them the opportunity to reconsider their stance.

Unfortunately, they didn’t so we appealed that second decision.

The Council seemed to be under the misapprehension that an applicant/appellant must “prove beyond all reasonable doubt” that the building and its associated land was in sole agricultural use. Not quite the test necessary, dear Council!

The evidence submitted by us indicated that the use was “on the balance of probability” in sole agricultural use on 20 March 2013.

All other matters were considered to comply with Class Q and the Inspector allowed the appeal.

A tenacious client/planning consultant combination that won the day.