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  1. Hello all Having applied for a lawful development certificate I eagerly awaited the determination date which was yesterday. Only yesterday did I notice the validation letter sent by the planning authority has given themselves an indeterminate amount of time in which to reach a decision. The letter states "whilst every effort will be made to ensure that a decision is reached on the application and notice given to you by the 21st of September 2021 circumstances may dictate otherwise and to avoid excessive correspondence I shall assume unless I hear from you to the contrary that you have no objection to the period being extended to enable a decision to be issued please note the above description unless I hear to the contrary within seven days of the date of this letter I shall assume that you agree to the description." I hadn't previously noticed this and am really annoyed. Besides anything else I am annoyed with myself for not noticing this before but also the principal of acceptance by silence is extremely frowned upon in legal circles as it is often used to dupe the unsuspecting. I would really value thoughts on the legitimacy of this strategy. In my view its unethical and potentially illegal, but I would value your views. TIA.
  2. Hello all We have just had our application for a larger homes extension refused, which we will appeal but I was wondering if any of a number of basic errors would lend support to our case? The decision notice has been issued by another local authority over 150 miles away by someone with no previous involvement with the application. Were in Knowsley, Merseyside and the PDF is from city of Sunderland. The issue date is 2002?!? Are there any rules on these things? Without wading into too much detail, the decision maker also states assertions on our behalf which we simply never made. I am lucky in that I've never had to appeal before but would massively appreciate any guidance from those who have. TIA
  3. Hi There is a strip of land that runs along the rear of the properties in the street we live. The land was originally bought by the housing estate builder when the estate went up. I believe the land was set aside as a natural area between two phases of the estate and along the public footpath that runs between them. The land used to get strimmed for a couple of years after we moved in, then this stopped, presumably due to inaccessibility. Without our using or maintain the land, we would have had huge tees over hanging our garden by now. For over 10 years we have been using the part of the land to the rear of our property for various activities garden related. The are is about 10m wide x 4m deep. Then a further 3m is a public footpath running down the 10m length. The land has a lot of trees, some up to 25ft. It can also get very overgrown with weeds. The public footpath is not very visible from the land as there are a lot of branches blocking the view both in and out. We have been using the land for BBQs, fire pits, storage and log store for over 10 years. About 5 years ago I put a shed on the land, with access from our garden. The front of the shed is plane with our garden fence, so it's sticks out into the land. The shed can barely be seen from the footpath. I have always opposed putting a fence around it, despite suggestions from other neighbours. I don't intent to put anything else on the land. I have tried to find out who owns the land in an attempt to buy it. But the builder went bust so I have never made any progress. Unfortunately, the council has received a complaint that some residents (there are others who have cut trees down) are taking over the land. The council has contacted me and claims a change of use of land has taken place. They don't seem concerned about the neighbours cutting down trees or maintain the land. They have advised me to apply for planning permission under the 10 year rule or a lawful development certificate. Both at a cost of £462! Can someone confirm whether the 4 year rule applies to anything in my situation? I am also aware of adverse possession. Am I right in saying they are different. AP deals with ownership of the land, whereas change of use is planning. I have not fenced it off over the 10 years so don't think I have a claim on that. However, even if I did, I would still need planning permission for a change of use, is this correct? So my situation is purely planning and getting that approved, whether I own the land or not? I can't prove that I have been using the land as garden for over 10 years as I have no photos, documents or anything. There is a photo of the kids in the log store from about 9 years ago. The best I can manage are the neighbours signing an aphidavit to say I have used it as a garden for over 10 years. My Preffered option would be a LDC, but I don't want to spend £462 with no hope of getting approval. What are my chances with the limited evidence and my circumstances, am I wasting my money? What else could I do to improve my chances? Thanks Simon
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