Moonshine

Planners playing games

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So I have re-applied for a concented scheme for my development, which now has some amendments.

The case officer has changed but the development hasnt changes that much.

Tomorrow is the decision deadline, as is was apparently validated and on the planning lpa website.

We have not heard much from the case officer and i was not expecting it to meet the deadline.

However we got an email from the case officer last night to say that they could not validate the application, and looking at the planning website it has been taken off.

This is a bit of a smack in the mouth and waste of 8 weeks, and seems like the planning officer is playing games to buy more time.

Annoyed to say the least!

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Don’t talk to me about fecking planners!!!!

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That's awful, what was the reason for non validation? See if you can find and screenshot a previous version of the application on the portal (guy in our office tracks changes on every application which has given us some interesting insights...)

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How can you have a target determination date if the application hasn’t been validated?

 

Do you have any email or letter from the LPA since the application was submitted?

 

Why has nobody chased the LPA within the last 8 weeks?

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8 weeks to give you a not validated. Council officers all sitting at home watching TV and not actually bothering to do any work ? Got to be one of the best jobs. "Work for the council, you can be crap, but we still won't sack you"

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21 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

That's awful, what was the reason for non validation? See if you can find and screenshot a previous version of the application on the portal (guy in our office tracks changes on every application which has given us some interesting insights...)

 

"the drawings are inconsistent and not accurate.", seeming about some sections and elevations. They are pretty much the same drawings submitted on the last application, with a different case officer. The architect is going to chase today / talk directly to find out what the issue is. 

 

Unfortunately the application has been taken off the planning website and i didn't take a screenshot of it (lesson learnt)

 

13 minutes ago, DevilDamo said:

How can you have a target determination date if the application hasn’t been validated?

 

Do you have any email or letter from the LPA since the application was submitted?

 

Why has nobody chased the LPA within the last 8 weeks?

 

There was a determination date on the website 23/09/20 so i don't know how they can invalidate it, Architect hasn't received one.

 

All chasing has been done via architect and he has been able to speak to the officer during the 8 weeks and there was no issue, with the indication that the consultation letters were going out 3 weeks ago.

 

My feeling is the officer has seen the 8 weeks is nearly up, found a technicality and invalidated (even though the system said validated) the whole thing so the clock resets.

Edited by Moonshine

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I have never heard of that happening. If anything, the LPA request an extension of time. They can’t invalidate something after something hasn’t been formally validated. Not sure why it took them 5wks to send out the consultation letters either 🤔

 

Your only option is to get in contact with the PO to ascertain the reasons why the application has been retrospectively invalidated. Probably no harm in copying in their Line/Area Manager at the same time.

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15 minutes ago, DevilDamo said:

...They can’t invalidate something after something hasn’t been formally validated. ...the reasons why the application has been retrospectively invalidated

 

I agree with you @DevilDamo.   Not sure about  the term retrospectively invalidated  though. 

I feel for you @Moonshine. Many of us here  have had our fair share of planning delays - indeed delays in general. The only positive thing I can offer is that the stress that delay causes can be harnessed and turned into something useful - like increasingly detailed preparation.

 

Have you heard of the WayBack Machine ? It's an Internet archive. Your data may be available there. Worth a try .....

Edited by ToughButterCup

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25 minutes ago, DevilDamo said:

They can’t invalidate something after something hasn’t been formally validated.

They can if they find the basis of the original validation was predicated on a falsehood! (IE somebody somewhere didn't tell the truth!)

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4 minutes ago, MikeSharp01 said:

They can if they find the basis of the original validation was predicated on a falsehood! (IE somebody somewhere didn't tell the truth!)

 

In that case they would just ask for additional information, ask you to withdraw the application or refuse it on the basis of insufficient/inaccurate information.

I've never heard of an application being made invalid in the week before a determination deadline (but nothing surprises me anymore with planning officers)

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With my planning “war” I found they were fire fighting, only dealing with it at the last possible moment then finding something to delay the process. The appeal process was far better, timely and informative.

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I would find the same page for another planning app, then  edit your number into the web address.

 

Then check for it on Google Cache and Archive.org (wayback machine), in case it has registered.

 

It might be worth a baffled email to your local councillor if nothing can be found out.

 

At least they need to give an explanation so it can be addressed.

 

Ferdinand

 

 

 

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You might also like to try your council’s complaints procedure. Several times during my planning “process” I called the complaints department and politely explained my situation and frustration which resulted in an internal email copying line managers, department managers etc. This sped things up without actually making an informal complaint. 
 

Got to say this does sound awful though! I struggle with a such an internal inflict when it comes to planners - sympathy (often massive case load, poor pay, no respect) coupled with complete contempt (capricious, officious, incompetent, unimaginative).

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53 minutes ago, Ferdinand said:

I would find the same page for another planning app, then  edit your number into the web address.

 

Then check for it on Google Cache and Archive.org (wayback machine), in case it has registered.

 

Checked both of those but no joy for the main planning page which has all the info on (summary / further information / important dates) has gone.

 

However the related documents are all stored on a different webpage, and they are all still there!

 

I have added the related documents  to the way back machine for today.

Edited by Moonshine

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6 minutes ago, Moonshine said:

 

Checked both of those but no joy for the main planning page which has all the info on (summary / further information / important dates) has gone.

 

However the related documents are all stored on a different webpage, and they are all still there!

 

The other thing I would do is FOI internal correspondence if I thought it was going to get very tricky, and / or do a Subject Access Request. It will take 28 days to get the info back, but it would be useful to have in the bank, and may help later.

 

FOI is what dotheyknow.com. SAR is personal information under Data Protection.

 

Ferdinand

 

Edited by Ferdinand

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So the architect has managed to speak to the planner, it seems that there were some inconsistent levels on the drawings, a mistake from the architect, and the planner wanted some more labels on the site plan marking where the elevations refer to.

 

Seems nit picky to me rather that anything significant, i think it really could have been dealt with during the application process in a drawing revision rather than invalidating the application two days before the determination deadline.

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As I said above, waiting till the last minute to do anything (but they may be under funded/staffed/managed). I would have thought validation should have found this out!

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35 minutes ago, Moonshine said:

So the architect has managed to speak to the planner, it seems that there were some inconsistent levels on the drawings, a mistake from the architect, and the planner wanted some more labels on the site plan marking where the elevations refer to.

 

Seems nit picky to me rather that anything significant, i think it really could have been dealt with during the application process in a drawing revision rather than invalidating the application two days before the determination deadline.

 

Agreed.

 

I think that is not a reason for invalidating the validation.

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that is absolutely awful service! Planning applications should be checked on receipt and validated at that point - it is still possible that a planning officer can ask for more information or clarification, there is no need whatsoever to invalidate an application at this stage. 

If I was your architect I'd be on the phone to the head of planning right now 😂

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On 22/09/2020 at 09:34, the_r_sole said:

In that case they would just ask for additional information, ask you to withdraw the application or refuse it on the basis of insufficient/inaccurate information.

I've never heard of an application being made invalid in the week before a determination deadline (but nothing surprises me anymore with planning officers)

They can both invalidate it pre-decision and revoke the permission post decision if they find the application fraudulent during or after. We had a local issue  where a developer claimed to have been living on the site, in what was essentially a tin shed, for the previous 10 years. It got through permission but a previous owner of the land spotted the diggers and wondered why they were clearing the site, investigated and told the council that there was never anybody living there, provided proof - they had owned it until 3 years before and so the council revoked the planning permission.

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13 minutes ago, MikeSharp01 said:

They can both invalidate it pre-decision and revoke the permission post decision if they find the application fraudulent during or after. We had a local issue  where a developer claimed to have been living on the site, in what was essentially a tin shed, for the previous 10 years. It got through permission but a previous owner of the land spotted the diggers and wondered why they were clearing the site, investigated and told the council that there was never anybody living there, provided proof - they had owned it until 3 years before and so the council revoked the planning permission.

 

Once a planning application is registered and in the process it can't be made invalid, it can be refused, withdrawn or the local authority can determine that there isn't enough information to make a decision and request further information - I've been trawling my planning handbooks for anything that says an application which has been validated can then be invalidated later but drawn a blank so far.

Revoking a permission due to fraud is a slightly different situation than the op has (hopefully!! 😂)

 

Was this application ever publicised @Moonshine?

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If they thought there were inaccuracies they could ask for updated information, issue a refusal or ask you to withdraw the application.  They should not just remove it after it is validated.

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39 minutes ago, the_r_sole said:

Once a planning application is registered and in the process it can't be made invalid, it can be refused, withdrawn or the local authority can determine that there isn't enough information to make a decision and request further information - I've been trawling my planning handbooks for anything that says an application which has been validated can then be invalidated later but drawn a blank so far.

Revoking a permission due to fraud is a slightly different situation than the op has (hopefully!! 😂)

 

Was this application ever publicised @Moonshine?

 

The architect says he never got a letter (not unheard of), but it was on the website with it being open for comments (the drawings are actually still on a separate part of the website), it was easily searchable on the planning website.

 

Could being on the website be classed as being publicised even though it never went out for consultation?

 

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6 hours ago, the_r_sole said:

Once a planning application is registered and in the process it can't be made invalid

 

Although I 100% agree with you, some LPA's I deal with do include a rather odd bit of text within their formal acknowledgment/validation letters...

 

Quote

If by (8 week date);
you have not been told that your fee cheque has been dishonored; or
you have not been told that your application is invalid; or
you have not been given a decision in writing; or
you have not agreed in writing to extend the period in which the decision may be given,
then you can appeal to the Planning Inspectorate against the failure to determine your
application in time. You can appeal within six months at www.planning –
inspectorate.gov.uk or completing a form from The Planning Inspectorate, Temple Quay,
Bristol, BS1 6PN or. This does not apply if your application has already been referred to
the Secretary of State.

 

I never understood why that included that part as the letter receives confirms the application is valid 😕

Edited by DevilDamo
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21 minutes ago, DevilDamo said:

 

Although I 100% agree with you, some LPA's I deal with do include a rather odd bit of text within their formal acknowledgment/validation letters...

 

 

I never understood why that included that part as the letter receives confirms the application is valid 😕

 

That's interesting and bizarre in equal measure!

I've never seen that wording before (thankfully)

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