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New Build Planning Frustrations


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14 minutes ago, Thorfun said:

might not be financially feasible but can you put an application in to demolish the bungalow and build 2 x 2 story houses orienting them to suit? could be a nice profit in it?

 

otherwise maybe a planning consultant could help? our case officer was against our development. we got a planning consultant involved to fight our case and we got an approval. sometimes it's worth the money to pay someone to fight for you!

we have considered that. There is likely space for 3 buildings and valuation post built would net profit, but would be a huge headache I don't want to go through.

 

We have had some informal advice from a planning consultant who indicated that we would have a strong case on appeal, and that was before we had identified any of the other comparable applications that have been approved.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our planning officer has updated the application with our revised design for public consultation. It is less impactful than the original design so a little odd that this was needed, however this may be helpful. We have quite a lot of local support for the application, and people are now adding this on the planning application, which is helpful. One disgruntled person has now commented 3 times!

 

The planning officer has helpfully advised that if we have sufficient local support it will trigger a notice on the circulated schedule, and if the case officer were to refuse approval, a councillor could still call the application to the planning committee. This may be our best route as the planning officer has indicated that despite our application complying with objective elements of the local policy and BRE guidelines, their line manager still feels it is subjectively overbearing.

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@garrymartin @Indy

 

Just to add - my two parallel appeals had final comments in March too (actually 19th). For anyone reading along - the current appeal stats are here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/appeals-average-timescales-for-arranging-inquiries-and-hearings

 

The stats are misleadingly quoted and refer to the Validation date to Decision date. My Submissions from Submission date to Validation date took 10 & 12 weeks and a neighbour's 15 weeks! So, the quoted timescales need 10-15 weeks added to them. There's clearly some stats management going on by the inspectorate using the validation delay to massage the data - which should be outlawed so that real stats are reported. A letter to our MPs when they all get back to work? The validation process was nonsense and I sent back some drawings with the 'missing items' noted in bold red text and some 'missing drawings' with just a page reference to the required drawings in the already submitted file.

 

Hopefully there will be a number of pleased BH members soon...

Edited by Alan Ambrose
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23 minutes ago, Alan Ambrose said:

Hopefully there will be a number of pleased BH members soon...

 

I chased our appeal today, not really expecting a response, but got the following almost immediately - "An Inspector undertook an unaccompanied site visit on the 21 May and will be working towards finalising a decision in the coming weeks." so fingers crossed for something before the end of the month... 

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17 minutes ago, joe90 said:

But are they valid objections or just NIMBYism ?

"This corner plot is very prominent in the village and approving a 2 storey home there will result in a house that looks forced onto the plot, not in keeping with the area at all.
The driveway access also, being so close to a blind corner has to be considered dangerous.
The appletree sighted as "providing shade" has actually been cut down, so the plans are inaccurate.
Finally, I question the validity of some of the previous comments supporting the development as I have been reliably informed they are personal friends of the site owner"

 

1. Every other house in the area is two story except our bungalow

2. The driveway already exists and highways have approved the plan

3. The apple tree is still there, he is getting confused

4. Sorry for having lived in the road for 10+ years and making friends who are supportive and who we spoke with before we even submitted the application.

 

Everyone is entitled to an opinion, I get it, but for some reason this gent has decided that our proposal, and not the other 10 houses being built in the area, is the problem!

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6 minutes ago, Havkey100 said:

....   but for some reason this gent has decided that our proposal, and not the other 10 houses being built in the area, is the problem!

 

Dig around just a little bit in this site and you will find the same story repeated many times. Planners - and especially Inspectors - know the score. Unless an objection is Material (to the application), it will be ignored.

 

 

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4 minutes ago, ToughButterCup said:

Unless an objection is Material (to the application), it will be ignored.

 

Spot on. It never ceases to amaze me that almost all "complaints" have no valid planning argument. Our own application had a neighbour that objected, with one of his objections being the poor condition of the private access road (especially in winter) and the addition of more traffic to it. I had the deeds to a number of the properties in the estate, including his, and all owners were proportionally responsible for the good upkeep of said private access road!

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5 minutes ago, garrymartin said:

 

Spot on. It never ceases to amaze me that almost all "complaints" have no valid planning argument. Our own application had a neighbour that objected, with one of his objections being the poor condition of the private access road (especially in winter) and the addition of more traffic to it. I had the deeds to a number of the properties in the estate, including his, and all owners were proportionally responsible for the good upkeep of said private access road!

Agreed, the comments on ours around access just conveniently overlook the fact that there is a driveway there which got planning in about 1985. All the increased traffic they refer to came from a development of about 100 houses in the early 2000s.

 

As mentioned, most comments are on opinion, however I would add that we are now down to highly subjective elements of planning with the case officer. It is therefore helpful to have more vocal support.

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20 hours ago, Havkey100 said:

This corner plot is very prominent in the village and approving a 2 storey home there will result in a house that looks forced onto the plot, not in keeping with the area at all.
The driveway access also, being so close to a blind corner has to be considered dangerous.
The appletree sighted as "providing shade" has actually been cut down, so the plans are inaccurate.
Finally, I question the validity of some of the previous comments supporting the development as I have been reliably informed they are personal friends of the site owner"

 

When you have this kind of comment on an application I always like to send the planning officer an email "explaining the misconceptions" in the comments "for the sake of clarity". If nothing else there is then an answer on the application file which can be read by the planner's team leader and any councillor that may be interested and thinking of getting involved......

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16 hours ago, joe90 said:

So NIMBYism. Then.

I think once we get down to subjective elements of planning it is often the case. As mentioned, we are facing from the planners are opinions:

 

"I’ve read through the comparisons and whilst I note your points, I don’t believe any of them are directly comparable. Whilst the proposal likely would meet BRE guidelines in terms of light, and the amenity area is over that required in PSP43, due to the layout of the site the rear outlook from the bungalow would be entirely taken up by the proposal, resulting in an overbearing impact upon any future residents. This is not down to one factor, but the combination of layout, size, scale and proximity for this particular proposal."

 

We do disagree with this statement.  The bungalow has French windows that are 2.9m tall. The position of the proposes dwelling is 10m away, set at a 35 degree angle the view from the rear window intersects the dwelling at 20 degrees, much better than right to light and overlook guidelines stipulated by South Glos from the BRE guide.

 

 

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31 minutes ago, kandgmitchell said:

 

When you have this kind of comment on an application I always like to send the planning officer an email "explaining the misconceptions" in the comments "for the sake of clarity". If nothing else there is then an answer on the application file which can be read by the planner's team leader and any councillor that may be interested and thinking of getting involved......

Already done :)

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On 29/05/2024 at 14:25, Havkey100 said:

We received notification from our case officer that they had prepared their report, recommending approval and provided the planning conditions for our agreement. We reviewed and confirmed that we were happy with their stipulations. About three days later the case officer reached out to advise that their line manager subsequently disagreed with their approval and ever since we have been trying to find a solution to satisfy their concerns.

This from your original post……therefore your original planner was not against your build, just the line manager that objected. So I still think you have a fighting chance. 

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4 minutes ago, joe90 said:

This from your original post……therefore your original planner was not against your build, just the line manager that objected. So I still think you have a fighting chance. 

Yes, we definitely won't give up on this as our feeling is that this is a marginal subjective view.

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I expect not as the process as I understand it is:

 

1. We must get more than 3 supporting comments which mandates that any recommendation is published on the circulated notice

2. The planning officer makes their recommendation and due to 1. publishes

3. A committee member reviews the circulated notice and should they decide, can pull the application to the planning committee, irrespective of the case officers recommendation

4. The planning committee then becomes the decision body. The planning officer would make a case to defend their recommendation and we would make a case for approval as applicants.

5. Final decision is then documented on the application.

Edited by Havkey100
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>>> We must get more than 3 supporting comments

 

Run around getting some friendly neighbours/Councillors to help? Is this a local requirement - I thought that it only required one Councillor to 'call it in', no?

 

FYI there was a bit on planning committees in May edition of Homebuilding & Renovating p113-115 - or some here are knowledgeable on that subject.

 

Best to act quickly before the LPA issues a decision or find a way to spin it out while you gather support. You can withdraw or, of course, appeal if you are not in a rush and/or submit a somewhat different design.

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>>> spin it out while you gather support

 

Maybe get your Architect to propose (verbally without drawings) some ideas to 'mitigate' the visual impact - some roof amendments, planting ideas, anything - just to keep them engaged.

 

File some good photomontages or models etc - sometimes the idea of a negative impact goes away when you can illustrate the actual visual impact? Lots of people can't 'imagine' in 3D very well from 2D drawings.

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It's ok, we are back in the consultation phase so open for comments for another 10 days. We have quite a few favourable comments from neighbours now, so the trigger should be met. The architect is also preparing a render from within the bungalow which should help our case. I have also approached my councillors.

 

 

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