Our client had converted a former stable building into a house, without having first got the benefit of planning permission, through a misunderstanding in how to draw down permitted development rights. This hadn’t gone down well with the planning authority, for understandable reasons, with an appeal against their initial refusal of planning permission being unsuccessful.
In looking at the reasons why the Inspector initially agreed with the Council, Prism considered that there was scope to mitigate the harm that the Inspector had cited. We brought in a professional Landscape Architect, Guy Rawlinson and with his help, devised a new landscape mitigation plan. We then went further a crafted a unique legal agreement, or Unilateral Undertaking, relating to the way in which the landscape could be managed if consent were granted. A second, revised application was submitted.
Unfortunately, the Council maintained its initial stance and went on to refuse the second application, escalating matters by also serving our client with an enforcement notice. The Council had seemingly ignored both our landscape plan and our legal agreement.
At the second appeal, the new Inspector commended the landscape assessment and plan and criticised the Council for ignoring the Unilateral Undertaking that Prism had carefully prepared, finding it robust and fit for purpose. He was critical of the Council’s opposition to the development and granted our client consent to remain in occupation with his family, subject to complying with the legal agreement and undertaking additional planting.
Our client can look forward to spending Christmas in his own home, not hunting for a new one!
Whilst it is never a good idea to carry out development without planning permission, if you do find yourself in a tricky situation, come and talk to us as soon as possible. As this case makes clear, if there is a solution to be found, we specialise in finding it! Don’t give up until you’ve talked to Prism.