Prism Planning has continued its unbroken record of success with equestrian projects by winning another appeal for an equestrian workers dwelling.
Our clients had set up Stotfold Crest Rising Centre near Elwick, several years ago, under the expert guidance of Lesley Perry. Following a bad wrist fracture which hasn’t properly healed, Lesley decided she needed to take more of a backseat role and hand over the reins (!) to her daughter, Anne Marie, a top level equestrian in her own right who has competed at international level and is without doubt an Olympic contender for Tokyo.
The proposal submitted to Hartlepool Council involved the construction of new, high quality stables, a horse walker and a new house for Anne Marie and her family, in accordance with currently applicable case law on the subject which was cited at length to the Council.
Despite warm support from the Parish Council, who could see the benefits to the area in having Anne Marie set up her base in the north east, officers from the Council decided to ignore relevant case law and refused permission, arguing it was contrary to the Local Plan.
A hearing was held into the case in August, and the Planning Inspectors decision allowing the scheme was made public last week. In her appeal decision, the independent inspector noted that the humanitarian principles embodied in the High Court cases cited by Prism in support of the application were relevant to the case and should have been taken on board more fully by the Council. She was also critical of the Councils attempts to remove permitted rights from the proposed new dwelling and restored those rights, along with the main permission.
Prism are naturally delighted with the outcome.
Over the 10 years we have been in existence, we have fought several key battles over equestrian development -the most recent case being the promotion of an all weather international show jumping arena in the Green Belt at Gateshead for Philippa Curry, a former UK Show jumping Coach of the Year. Philippa’s proposals were due to be rejected by officers but following a committee speech by Steve Barker of Prism, members of the planning committee voted to approve her application.
Have an equestrian project or issue -we can probably help -and have a track record to prove it.
Prism have just been successful in getting planning permission, at appeal, for a new livery worker’s dwelling at an established livery yard in Maltby, Stockton on Tees.
The appeal followed what was initially a case of non-determination, in which the Council had ‘dithered’ for many weeks over the application deadline. In exasperation, Prism eventually appealed after the Council had taken more than twice as long to formulate its view. After the appeal was lodged, the Council then made up its mind and decided it should have supported the case.
However, although the Council approved the revised application submitted by Prism, they imposed so many conditions that were unnecessary that Prism advised the clients that the Council’s conduct was unreasonable. The appeal therefore continued. The Planning Inspector stated that not only should the council have approved the original application, they should have given a simple approval with minimal conditions when they did eventually do the right thing. That they didn’t was patently unreasonable. The Inspector then went on to take the unusual step of awarding our clients all of their costs back from pursuing the original appeal.
Without lodging the appeal, it is doubtful whether the Council would ever have reached the right decision and the ruling confirmed that Prism’s original assessment of the situation was absolutely correct. It was the 4th such similar decision in this particular Council area and one of many similar wins that Prism has had for this type of case across the north of England.
When you need advice on equine planning matters, Prism have the demonstrable experience and proven track record to give sound advice with positive results.
Approval was recently granted at planning committee in Hartlepool for a former workers dwelling to have its agricultural occupancy condition removed. This was the last stage of a careful application process which Prism Planning has great experience of.
The property had been marketed to prove there were no suitable occupiers in the area. We had carried out the minimum period required for marketing and written a strong application thoroughly demonstrating the condition was not required. We worked with a surveyor ensuring that the property was marketed correctly, including setting out a price agreed by the LPA. We also scrutinised offers coming forward from interested parties to ensure they were from lawful applicants who would meet the condition.
After submission we discussed the application with the Case Officer and ensured everything was on track. We used our expertise in agricultural conditions and searching appeal precedents to clarify to the LPA the definition of agriculture. Prism Planning attended Planning Committee and spoke in favour of the application advocating for removal of condition to be approved. Care was taken to point out material facts of the case and demonstrate the collaborative nature with the LPA.
The results were that Hartlepool Planning Committee unanimously agreed with the officer recommendation and the application was approved. We worked closely with the Client ensuring the case put forward was an accurate representation of the local history. If you are looking at a removing a condition and seeking expert guidance please feel free to contact us, Prism Planning prides itself on its successes, consequently we only progress cases we believe have a strong chance of success so we will be open and honest about your chances.
Prism Planning are celebrating two important new wins at appeal, following an Inspector’s ruling that converting two separate outbuildings, one a garage and one a barn to provide two new dwellings is sustainable development.
The buildings in question were a former barn and a new garage associated with a large farmhouse in Cowpen Bewley. The scheme required full planning permission rather than prior notification, in part because the main house on the site is listed. Despite being refused, both sites were within the limits to development.
Although the Council were in housing shortfall, they had previously refused consent for the two conversions because they decided the village was not a sustainable location for new housing.
At an informal hearing in June, Prism, assisted by David Hardy of Squire Patton Boggs
, had argued before an Inspector that the Council’s approach to sustainability was too narrow and failed to look at the range of services and employment opportunities around the village, both in Billingham and the nearby Industrial Estate.
The Inspector agreed, finding both schemes to be of good design, sympathetic to the character of the area and in sustainable locations. The Inspector accepted that people in such locations were likely to have a degree of reliance upon private cars but clearly felt that sustainability was a wider concept than just about how people get their weekly shopping back from the supermarket!
It’s a very good win for the applicant and Prism Planning and a vindication of our approach and hard work. Our satisfaction at the positive outcome is however tinged with a note of regret that we had to have the matter considered at appeal in the first place when the case for approval was so overwhelmingly positive, as the Inspector recognised.
Since the new General Permitted Development Order was published in April 2015 there has been a number of areas that have been open to interpretation by councils, leading to appeals and new guidance published by the Planning Guidance Suite as clarification. Such occurrences increase costs and timeframes for clients.
One such issue is the matter of repairs and internal alterations made to a barn and if they would be considered to be new structural elements of the building. The barn in question had a recent new internal wall (part of room used for lambing) which would become external once existing parts of the barn were demolished. We expertly navigated this complex issue gaining permission for our Client for the conversion of a barn to a dwelling.
We argued that this wall should not fall outside of permitted development as the works had already been carried out under the 1990 Town and Country Planning Act as part of maintenance, improvement or other alteration. Our argument was successful resulting in an early approval ahead of the usual 56 day window.
Prism Planning has considerable experience with Prior Notifications with a strong success rate under the Class Q conversions. If you are planning a barn conversion and think that you might have an issue or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact use for an initial informal discussion on the subject.
Horse owning clients of Prism will be celebrating today after a local planning authority granted permission for a private ménage area on farmland adjacent to their house in North Yorkshire. The Council imposed conditions preventing any commercial use and unusually required an archaeological evaluation of the site before works commenced. This is not a normal requirement of most developments and was imposed because of the possibility of finding remains on the site from a historic settlement long since abandoned.
It’s very pleasing to have got the development through without any delay or prolonged debate about the need for the development and confirms Prism’s specialism in successfully undertaking equestrian related projects. Previous projects have involved riding stables, commercial ménage as well as private ménage, domestic stabling and specialist worker’s accommodation.
A special meeting of Ryedale Planning Committee last night approved a planning application Prism Planning submitted to improve the efficiency of the Anaerobic Digestion plant under construction at Sand Hutton to enable it to inject additional biogas into the local network. There was strong local interest in the application, following the recent successful appeal submitted by Prism and this resulted in a special meeting being convened, solely to consider this proposal.
Following the initial appeal, technical work carried out with the network operator established a greater capacity in the local gas network than previously established. The approved plant would be able to bridge the gap with only a modest increase in the feedstock going in.
By a majority vote, the committee accepted the officer’s recommendation to support the scheme, despite concerns being expressed by some local residents. The application we presented clearly put forward the argument that our client was entitled to grow the extra crop on the farm and that there would be no increase in smell or noises as a result of the proposal. The crop would not need to go onto the local highway network so there were no traffic implications.
It’s slightly bizarre that some local residents remained implacably opposed to the idea of generating renewable energy on their doorstep and some very misleading allegations about the possible impacts of the development were put forward in an effort to try to mislead the planning committee. Fortunately, the submission we had put forward clearly highlighted the proper planning considerations and the planning committee, after due deliberation, gave consent for the amendment.
A farmer is celebrating success by working with Prism following a successful application for converting a barn which had a strange twist at the end.
Earlier this year the government introduced new rights to convert barns to dwellings without needing planning permission, subject to certain constraints and limitations. One of these concerned the need to formally undertake a consultation process with the LPA. In theory this allowed the Authority to say no in very exceptional circumstances, but only if they did so within a prescribed time limit.
These rights have not been welcomed by many planning authorities, causing the Government to have to issue new guidance encouraging authorities to stop blocking acceptable proposals so frequently.
In our client’s case, the LPA tried to block the proposals simply because they considered the proposed garden area too large but failed to issue their notice within the prescribed period.
Following further representations by Prism the LPA concerned now accept their ‘refusal’ was ill founded and more importantly was issued out of time in any event, meaning the farmer is able to proceed with his scheme as he wished. The name of the unfortunate Planning Authority will not be published to save embarrassed faces!
Anyone considering the conversion of an agricultural building should consider the benefit of specialist advice from companies such as Prism who have a clear track record of success in this specialist area.
The Government have just issued new guidance on the conversion of redundant agricultural buildings that have made the process of getting consent a whole lot easier.
In theory the conversion of barns has been something that the government has been supporting, having introduced new permitted development rights to allow it in April 2014.
Although the rules appear to be straightforward, practical experience of their implementation has been mixed with a number of Councils trying to evade implementing the rules as the government has intended. A number of cases have also fallen at appeal with Inspectors taking an extreme interpretation of the rules and refusing to allow conversions for isolated buildings.
The problems have been highlighted recently by the Country Landowners Association who drew the government’s attention to the way that the rules have been blatantly misinterpreted by resistant Councils.
Today the government have responded issuing a swathe of guidance that should make exercising the new rules an easier and more straightforward task. Cynics may view it as blatant electioneering. This may well be the case but if it makes the task of getting barns converted, then we at Prism will welcome the changes.
We have managed to obtain permission to convert a number of barns to dwellings and not all of the buildings have been old historic structures. It is an area of planning law we know quite well so if you have a potential project why not get in touch?