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Planning laws, clarification sought

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Martin Whybrow09/02/2017 22:58:10
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Our village has been the target of a hostile planning application by a massively rich landowner; they own a pice of arable land, located in the green belt, outside of the current village framework and adjoining a conservation area containing a number of grade II listed buildings. Their agents originally submitted an outline plan for 29 properties; there were a large number of objections and the planning committee threw the application out with a 12:0 vote, citing 5 seperate reasons for the refusal. The agent put in an appeal which for various reasons was delayed for 15 months after the original refusal. In the meantime, the agents submitted another outline plan, varying in only very minor details from the original. It also came to light that the agents had been submitting misleading street views with their plans. After much toing and froing, the council finally examined the new outline plan and accepted it 7:5; whilst they agreed that the planners had failed to address the original reasons for refusal, the 'desperate need' for housing in the wider area meant they were compelled to grant permission.

What I'm trying to understand is why can a new plan with very minor changes be approved whilst an appeal is in progress for the original plan on the same piece of land; we were told that the cost of holding the appeal is very expensive for the council, so it made financial sense for them to approve the new plan; not sure how true that is. BUT, the only reason we're in this boat is that the council dragged out the appeal process to 15 months; had they dealt with it in the normal time frame, they would have had to go through the appeal process.

Martin Whybrow09/02/2017 22:59:41
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I should add that the appeal hearing date has still yet to be set, although I guess it will now be withdrawn

Richard Wills 210/02/2017 01:08:18
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Posted by Martin Whybrow on 09/02/2017 22:58:10:

by a massively rich landowner

I think there your answer lies unfortunately.......

Martin Whybrow10/02/2017 01:12:45
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I suspect that's the case unfortunately, especially as they're located in the same city as our district council.

Jonathan M10/02/2017 04:47:20
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Someone needs to investigate why the council took so long... and who got paid how much?

Edited By Jonathan M on 10/02/2017 06:05:31

ben goodfellow 110/02/2017 08:52:27
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if you throw enough brown envelopes about you can do whatever you want . check this ouit that someone wants to build not far from me ,,,mind boggling https://publicaccess.northumberland.gov.uk/online-applications/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OI8I04QSLRR00

GONZO10/02/2017 08:55:03
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Justice is only available for those that can afford to pay for it, as I've found out to my cost in the past year. Also, from past experience of a 200 acre site that was developed for housing against the wishes of the local people and businesses there is a lot of inducement that can be used on those that make the decisions. We may not like it but every one has their price and the richer the developer the more will succumb to 'inducements'. Those involved will be skilled in concealing any 'inducements' as this is a well trodden path, like off-shore tax avoidance. Your only hope, a very slim one, is if an insider comes forward with information.

Engine Doctor10/02/2017 09:14:44
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If your council refuses the application and it goes to appeal and is passed then Your council (LPA) will have to pay the costs of the appeal with your money ! The planning laws have also been changed in recent years in effect taking away some power from LPA's . making it easier for large developments to go ahead quickly . The real problem is that the appeal is generally rubber stamped by a person that knows nothing about the area other than what is on the paper in front of him. You may be able to force a change of the plans for the better , planning gain and get your council to apply for improvements to the local community through 108 agreements if you get enough local residents to write in and pester the local councilors but I doubt that you will be able to stop the development altogether as the government want to build houses at any cost . Good luck with your fight.

Tom Sharp 210/02/2017 10:05:50
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3554 forum posts
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A planning agent of my acquaintance was telling me recently that the government has totally changed it's rules on planning. All that he had learnt on planning over the past thirty years had to go out the window and he has had to start all over again.

BackinBlack10/02/2017 10:13:10
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If planning has been granted you really will find it difficult to overturn. The only chances are if you can show that significant facts used in determining the application are wrong or there is clear evidence of corruption.The time to act is during the period before the application goes to committee. Objections have to fall within the permitted reasons in the planning laws/regulations.

Piers Bowlan10/02/2017 10:52:55
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Sorry to hear about your problem Martin. Generally new developments have to fit within the current neighbourhood plan, drawn up by the parish council, assuming the plan is complete and approved. The plan identifies suitable plots that are earmarked for future development. The theory is that if the proposal does not comply with the plan it should be thrown out by the council. However I know of a case where a developer with deep pockets successfully appealed against a council's decision on the basis that the plan had not fulfilled the full requirements of 'consultation'. It sounds like you need to organise yourself into a group if you want to fight this decision and get some professional help, which sadly will cost money, although the council should advise you what you can do.

Martin Dance 110/02/2017 11:14:34
200 forum posts
33 photos

Whatever the governments policy is on housing development at the moment this proposal falls outside it? My understanding is that it is a holiday development not a proposal for permanent dwellings for families and therefore adds nothing to the national housing stock. Perhaps the developer should be 'persuaded' that some of the duplex apartments have to be affordable homes.

Tomtom3910/02/2017 11:26:39
683 forum posts
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Martin,

Sign of the times. We have a similar situation on green belt land adjoining my village. A previous application for 12 houses was initially rejected and so was the subsequent appeal. Four years later a further application for 40 plus units was submitted . Council rejected it. Went to Secretary of State and it has been approved(in total disregard to our village building plan) . The issue as I have been advised is that there is a substantial housing shortage ! Yes I'm a NIMBY . The argument that the current and proposed infrastructure changes cant cope with the extra housing has fallen on deaf ears. Waiting to win the lottery so I can buy my own island!

Andy4810/02/2017 11:55:15
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I live in a very small village. While a number of houses have been knocked down and rebuilt over recent years, mine is the only new build house allowed in the village since the war, built in the 60's. It was built and lived in by the then local MP. Says it all!

Martin Harris10/02/2017 12:14:49
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Does that make you an accessory after the fact?

ted hughes10/02/2017 12:19:40
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466 forum posts

We need 250k new homes at least each year.

They can't all be built in inner cities or brownfield sites.

Unless we want more New Towns, we have to accept our villages will have to have new, affordable estates built on them:**LINK**

buster prop10/02/2017 12:22:00
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You have my sympathy Martin. We are trying to stop a developer putting 200+ houses close to our village. Their first application was rejected but they have come back with a slightly changed application. Back to writing letters and going to meetings but I think the developers will win in the end. Unfortunately many people near here think it's a done deal and opposing it is a waste of time. We don't have so much of a housing shortage in this country as an over population problem. Good luck!

Martin Harris10/02/2017 12:24:47
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8893 forum posts
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Posted by ted hughes on 10/02/2017 12:19:40:

We need 250k new homes at least each year.

They can't all be built in inner cities or brownfield sites.

Unless we want more New Towns, we have to accept our villages will have to have new, affordable estates built on them:**LINK**

But where's the logic in relocating people into rural areas when the jobs are elsewhere - more travel, congestion and pollution...

Colin Leighfield10/02/2017 12:43:01
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Very hard to fight these things in the current politicised "need more houses" climate. It doesn't necessarily end when they start building either. We had an example a few years ago of a developer making an offer that couldn't be refused to the owners of two beautiful houses nearby overlooking the golf course. They planned to demolish them and replace with a block of posh apartments to sell for very silly prices. They wouldn't have bought them unless they were confident that they would get planning approval. Despite the locals getting organised to object, they (including us) lost. However, when building started an eagle-eyed neighbour kept an eye on it and realised that they were building higher than the agreement alllwed for. He stuck his nose in and discovered that they were trying to squeeze in more apartments than had been permitted! He brought it to the attention of the local authority and to be fair, they went straight in and forced the builder to partly demolish what had been done and return to the precise terms of the authorisation. Very satisfying, it certainly would have put a dent in his profit expectations!

The point is, if it does go through, don't acknowledge total defeat. It might finish up even worse than you expect if you don't remain vigilant to the bitter end. Good luck.

Martin Harris10/02/2017 15:27:14
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I'm afraid that money always talks. I live on the edge of a large town and was told that as the county boundary/green belt coincided with the edge of the building it would never be developed further.

We now have massive pressure from the neighbouring county and large development companies to develop a large amount of land across the boundary, many miles from the nearest town in their county and effectively extending the town - putting massive pressure on the local infrastructure as transport links and services are all proposed to be via our town. Apparently they are doing it as a favour to the town so it can meet its development targets??? This won't extend to receiving the council tax of course. Planning "consultations" and invitations to comment have been extended but I'm quite confident that overwhelming local opposition will ultimately count for nothing.

We're told that net immigration is insignificant and family sizes have decreased to the point where we need to import labour - why then, do we need such a massive increase in housing? Apart from new builds on green field sites, how many larger houses/gardens in towns have been redeveloped into multiple flats? Maybe we're needing to build to accommodate the builders who have migrated here to build the new properties...and why wouldn't the large building corporations want to encourage such a self-perpetuating cycle? Whatever the reality, I fear that self-interest is the biggest driver in all this.

Edited By Martin Harris on 10/02/2017 15:30:39

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