Christian Hillier

Planning permission precedents.

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Hi all hope everyone is well. This is likely my first of many posts.

 

I was wondering if anyone knows how much precedent counts towards a planning application.

 

Myself and my partner have put in an application for a large 200 square meter house on some land my mother owns.

 

There is a house just up the road from us that has been accepted for one and now two houses.

 

Ours has all the same merits if not more. Both plots are outside of the village development limits, theirs more. Ours is just on the edge outside the limit. 
 

Neither plots are infill though both are continuation of the line although theirs has less housing around and could be considered more rural.

 

Theirs is within the same plot as a listed building. Theirs is obviously for a money making scheme and ours specifically for a dream home.

 

Both are mostly in character with surrounding except for large dormer windows for ours.

 

I have also found several other similar proposals accepted within a few miles with the one I have mentioned being about 100 meters away.

 

Is there any case law which suggests consistency is legally required?

 

The areas local 5 year plan is currently out of date and has not fulfilled it.

 

Any advice on this and anything else someone is willing to add would be very much appreciated.

 

Kind regards

 

Christian Hillier

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Welcome.

 

The simple answer is that precedent counts for nothing at all, and is not a valid planning consideration.  Planners will often refuse to accept any argument based on precedent, and will judge each application solely on its own merit.

 

Having said that, fitting in with the local street scene, and making a development in keeping with its surroundings, are valid planning considerations, so it may be that some older developments in the area have changed the local street scene such that any new development might be viewed in a slightly different context.

 

There's no law that requires that planners be consistent, really, and very often they aren't, as circumstances change from year to year.

 

The local plans are very often out of date, I think.  That doesn't mean a lot, as it could be argued that national planning policies should be applied, and they may or may not prove helpful.

 

I'm afraid inconsistency between planning decisions made in the same area, but at different times, is entirely normal, and something that has to be lived with!

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why don't you go onto the local planning on line, and find out who the architect is, then contact them and ask the question, maybe they used a planning consultant, also check on their applicaton  to see what conditions have been applied.

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I would submit a pre planning application to the LPA first, then speak to a good proven local Planning consultant. I would say that as approval has been given in a similar case to yours you have a good chance but a planning consultant would advise you better. Outline Planning would involve less financial input at this stage. Good luck 

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All applications are meant to be acceptable in their in their own right. I would have a look at the Design & Access statements for these other properties. Ditto the planning officers recommendation report to the committee (if they went to committee). These will give you a good idea what if any objections the planning officer had and possibly how they were overcome.

 

For example one objection to rural development might be a lack of services and public transport. So you should check there are spaces at the nearest schools and a school bus to get there. Ditto access to doctors and ideally shops. Planners call this sustainable development (nothing to do with being green). You need to do this even if you don't have kids - planners have to assume anyone could live there. 

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I would say that you need to step back and consider the development in the context of the Local Development Plan first (you've not mentioned this) . If you believe that your proposal accords, or could be in accordance (because often its subjective), then you are off to a good start. 

 

If you can then find other similar developments, then whilst it's not necessarily a material consideration for the planners, it's important to reference. 

 

Precedent is more important in my view if you go to appeal - when the government reporter comes, they are interested in that. 

 

If you try reply on precedent alone, you're on weak ground gas said above, what applied for one may now not be suitable. 

 

Also, consider national policy frameworks too - local authorities are not obligated to follow the LDP - the more justification you can find from a variety of sources, the harder it is to refuse. 

(btw, the LDP being out of date is irrelevant, they still have to use it - and any new plan that is not yet adopted. A local authority near me has two that didn't get adopted (2015 and the current attempt) therefore any applications need to refer to all three for decision! That can be a good thing or a bad) 

 

 

 

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15 hours ago, Christian Hillier said:

[...]

Any advice on this and anything else someone is willing to add would be very much appreciated.

[...]

 

Easy to read = easier to answer, so thanks for that.

 

27 minutes ago, jamiehamy said:

I would say that you need to step back and consider the development in the context of the Local Development Plan first (you've not mentioned this) [...]

 

9 hours ago, Temp said:

All applications are meant to be acceptable in their in their own right. I would have a look at the Design & Access statements for these other properties. Ditto the planning officers recommendation report to the committee (if they went to committee). These will give you a good idea what if any objections the planning officer had and possibly how they were overcome.[...]

 

15 hours ago, Jeremy Harris said:

[...]

The simple answer is that precedent counts for nothing at all, and is not a valid planning consideration.

[...]

 

I have just talked to our architect and joked that everyone says I should put another house on our site:

" Now that Wyre ( our LPA ) has its 5 year  allocation in the Local Plan, unless you are doing a granny flat, you've no chance". ( of getting another house on our site). 

Local context is everything.

Your best chance is to network like mad among your local contacts: planners, estate agents, councillors, builders

 

Not the warmest of messages in response to a first post, but a warm welcome nevertheless.

 

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I would agree with Jeremy above. Although slightly different, i bought a run down bungalow on a large plot, just outside a villiage boundary, in the Green belt. I fought hard with the planner to get permission to extend to 6 times the original size, so 500sq ft to 3000sq ft.

I then thought about if it would be better to build 2 houses at about 1500sq ft instead of 1 large house. You could fit both of the new houses inside the footprint and volume of the 1 large house. It eventually got refused by the council for over devl in the GB. I stuck it in for appeal, with various case law etc, that stated that my extant permission should be taken into account, and that building 2 new houses that would fit inside the 1 big house, to a much higher standard, would be better for everybody. I got a straight refusal from the inspector, that simply said "Extant permission, was no reason to override GB rules"

As you are not going to be paying for the land, i would think that you might be best to have a specialist planning consultant handle the whole thing. Good luck.

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This is taken directly from my planning barristers advice to me which was subsequently used at a successful appeal.

 

In planning law, there is a “principle of consistency” in decision-taking: see North
Wiltshire District Council v Secretary of State for the Environment (1993) 65 P & CR
137. The principle is not that like cases must be determined alike, but a decision-taker
ought, when considering a materially similar proposal, to have regard to the principle of
consistency, to have good reason if deciding to depart from the previous decision, and to
give reasons for any such departure.

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