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.

 

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. “

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.

Interested parties assist Council defend appeal in Green Belt

When a local planning committee overturned officer’s recommendation and refused planning permission for development in the Green Belt, they missed the fundamental basis of national planning policy and their own.

Both local policy and paragraph 89 of the NPPF have 2 elements in ascertaining if there is an exemption to a proposed development being inappropriate; same use AND materially larger. To comply with the policy the proposed development must do both.

As representatives of a group of objectors, we highlighted this issue (where the Council concentrated only on the the increase in size of the proposed development).

We successfully established that the proposed use was not the same as the existing use and therefore the proposed development fell at the first hurdle.  The size or otherwise of the new works were irrelevant.  The Inspector picked up on this matter and agreed.  Had we not raised it….

Permitted development – successful Enforcement Notice appeal – EN quashed

Despite an exchange of correspondence outlining the merits of our client’s case and the holes in the Council’s advanced arguments, Exeter City Council served an Enforcement Notice on the owners of this dwellinghouse, indicating that the dormer constituted operational development. Whilst the Enforcement Notice made no reference as to why the Council advanced this stance, our attention was previously drawn to a condition that the Council believes to remove permitted development rights.

C2C Planning Consultants asserted in our appeal statement that the dormer is permitted by Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development)(England) Order 2015 and, second, that those permitted development rights have not been removed by any condition on a relevant planning permission.  With the help of our colleague Graham Gover, we successfully argued that all six limitations that would prevent development being permitted by the Class were met; even limitations (c) and (e) which are matters of interpretation.

In addition, we persuaded the Inspector that the condition the Council relied upon to remove permitted development rights was not precise and is therefore unenforceable.

“…the way the condition is worded strongly suggests that it is only permitted development rights within the curtilage of the dwellings that is being restricted. The headings within the 2015 GPDO do not form part of the statute but they do provide guidance. While the heading to Schedule 2, Part 1 is ‘Development Within the Curtilage of a Dwellinghouse’, only some of the Classes A to H refer to ‘curtilage’. Class B, ‘additions etc to the roof of a dwellinghouse’, is not one of them.

It may be that either or both of the terms ‘extensions’ and ‘other development’ in the condition are intended to embrace additions to the roof slopes. However, the very fact that the condition is ambiguous on the point and thus open to interpretation means that it is imprecise and therefore unenforceable. It cannot be said therefore to unequivocally remove the rights available under Schedule 2, Part 1, Class B of the 2015 GPDO…”

To the delight of our clients, the enforcement notice will be quashed.