Planning permission has just been granted by a local planning authority for a new house in the open countryside – without any form of occupancy condition.
Normally such permissions would be viewed as being contrary to established national and local planning policies for the protection of the countryside.
However in this instance our client already lived on the site in a caravan that had been on site for more than 10 years. Prism had already established the legality of this by obtaining a Certificate of Lawful Development or CLEUD. This certificate became a material consideration in the determination of a recent planning application for a new dwelling on the site.
Prism Planning presented a comprehensive planning statement with the submission, supported by appeal precedents relating to how CLEUDs had been taken on board in similar situations around the country. As a result, the LPA were convinced the case was robust and granted planning permission for a permanent dwelling.
A very nice outcome for the client and a successful win for Prism!
We recently succeeded in winning an appeal against the non-determination of an application that had been submitted to Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council for a small residential development within the grounds of a care home at Redmarshall. We had been advised by the case officer that it was likely that the application would be refused on the grounds that the proposed site is in an unsustainable location for additional residential development, in view of the settlement having limited services and provisions, thereby requiring occupants to travel for employment, education, retail and recreational uses. To save time for our client we submitted the appeal ahead of waiting for the Council to refuse planning permission.
Prism Planning had been engaged to project manage the planning application and sought to work constructively with officers of the Council for what was acknowledged to be a proposal that the Council would be unlikely to welcome with open arms. Having worked with planning officers for a considerable period of time, revising plans to accord with officer advice/requests, it was galling to see the application heading towards being refused for an ‘in principle’ reason. Furthermore, we had submitted a comprehensive argument why the proposal should be accepted as constituting sustainable development. We also argued that due to their proximity, Redmarshall and the nearby village of Carlton, should be considered as one settlement when determining planning applications (Stockton regard Carlton as a sustainable settlement). It became clear that the planning officer had a closed mind to our arguments and therefore submitting the appeal was the only sensible option.
It was pleasing to read in the decision from The Planning Inspectorate that the Inspector accepted the strength of our case, to the extent that he agreed with us on every relevant planning issue. In particular, he agreed with us that Redmarshall and Carlton should be considered as a single entity for planning purposes. He also agreed that the Council’s Villages Study (Planning the Future or Rural Villages in Stockton, 2014) should only be afforded very limited weight in his decision as it is not an adopted planning document, having been prepared as part of the evidence base for the Council’s Regeneration & Environment Local Plan, itself not yet adopted.
Another factor in the decision was that the Council cannot demonstrate a 5-year housing land supply, as required by central government, and the proposed development would make an important, albeit limited, contribution towards meeting the deficit.
We might not win every planning appeal, and wouldn’t expect to, but we have a good feel on the prospects of success when clients seek our assistance to contest a refusal of planning permission and can advise accordingly. If you have been refused planning permission recently and would like to discuss how best to proceed, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away.
On 26th November we were successful is securing a new outline planning permission for housing development of 46 houses on the edge of a village within Redcar & Cleveland, but not without a fight. We had been successful in obtaining the original permission in September 2013, granted for a shorted two year period, on the basis that the Council did not have a 5 year housing land supply and that on every other account the proposed development was acceptable. Unfortunately, our client had been unable to sell the site and instructed us to submit a second application shortly before the original expired.
In the meantime circumstances changed insofar as the Council now consider that they can demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply and that housing policies could now be taken into account when considering the second application. We were advised that on the basis that the site lies outside of the village development limits the application was likely to be refused. This came as rather disappointing but not totally unexpected news. All was not lost, however.
As it stood, the application was a delegated matter and could have been refused by officers without reference to Planning Committee. We believed that we would have a reasonable chance of securing planning permission if the application was considered by the Council’s Planning Committee but we needed to have it referred there first. There were two opportunities: our client could speak with his local Councillors and ask if one of them would exercise their right to have the application referred to Committee; and/or speak with those residents who had supported the original application and ask them to write in again to express their support for the new application. These tactics worked on both accounts, a local councillor who had supported the original application asked that the application be decided by the Planning Committee and registered to speak in support of the application and a sufficient number of letters of support were subsequently submitted to the Council that would have triggered referral to Committee in any case.
So far, so good. We now faced the task of convincing Members of the Planning Committee to over-turn the officer recommendation for refusal and approve the application. We were helped by the local councillor speaking in support of the application. Our Director, Rod Hepplewhite, then addressed the meeting arguing that the benefits of the proposed housing far outweighed the single issue that the site lies outside the village limits and that the application should be refused on this basis given that the Council can now demonstrate a 5 year housing land supply. Thankfully, our case was listened to and one by one Committee Members voiced their support for the development, saying that it had been acknowledged that there were no technical grounds for refusal and that no convincing argument had been put forward by officers why the application should be refused. The application was approved unanimously, which came as a massive relief to our client and was very pleasing for Prism Planning.
We at Prism Planning like to see ourselves as the North East’s planning problem solvers. If you think we could assist you with a planning issue, we’re only a phone call or an e-mail away.
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.
Prism Planning has secured a positive end to a long running saga over 2 proposed wind turbines in County Durham. The application, on land near to Fishburn International Airport, had been the subject of concerns from Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) over the potential impact of the turbines on the operation of their air traffic control radar.
Over several years various attempts were made to resolve the problems at DTVA which also affected several other schemes and projects around the County. During this time, wind power also fell out of favour with the current government who have introduced a series of obstacles across the commercial and planning worlds to try and prevent on shore wind power from coming forward.
Notwithstanding those obstacles, Durham County Council agreed with Prism that this scheme was one of the few remaining proposals that involved proposed turbines being located in the right area and recommended that consent be granted. Our Managing Director spoke at the planning meeting and after a long debate, the committee voted in favour of the scheme, to the surprise and relief of our clients!
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.
We recently attended Durham County Council’s Planning Committee (Central & East) to speak on behalf of a client in support of his application for a single house on a former allotment plot in Easington Colliery.
The application was recommended for approval and our client had been offered the opportunity of speaking at the meeting. Due to other commitments our client was unable to attend the meeting and his architectural designer, who had prepared and submitted the application, was hesitant about speaking at the meeting.
Our advice was sought; should our client be represented at the meeting and if so could we attend the meeting and speak in support of the application. We advised that it is always best that someone speaks in support of an application, even when the officer recommendation is for approval, otherwise you run the risk of objectors speaking and without the applicant being represented the Committee may show favour to the objectors and refuse the application against officer recommendation.
As it turned out the advice we gave our client was opportune as the application reported before ours also referred to a site in Easington Lane, was highly controversial and a lot of local residents attended the meeting at County Hall and one of their local Councillors (not a Planning Committee Member) spoke on their behalf and spoke very well. The same Councillor then spoke against our application. We then had the opportunity to speak in support of the proposal and the officer recommendation. Thankfully, when taken to the vote a majority of the Committee voted to approve the application and our client obtained the planning permission he sought. Would the same have happened had we not spoken in support of the proposal? We’ll never know but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
If you have a planning application about to go before Planning Committee and would like to seek advice we’re only a phone call or an e-mail away.
Prism had a busy day speaking at the regions planning committees last week, starting the morning at Hartlepool where they were successful in getting permission for 39 executive dwellings on a greenfield site as phase 1 of the High Tunstall development. It is hoped that later phases will go on to deliver around 1,000 homes for the town over the next 20 years or so once new access points on to the A19 have been resolved as strategic issues. Prism have a planning application lodged to help with this process so this was an important and useful start of the project which also saw a car park being provided to the local primary school to alleviate congestion, paid for by the developer.
A frantic lunch stop then saw us racing off to the planning committee at Stockton where a speech was made that led to consent being granted for a brownfield scheme of 9 new dwellings, (4 houses and 5 flats) on the site of a former public house at Yarm. Extensive negotiations on design and vehicle turning movements had taken place to get to an amended scheme that the LPA were happy with.
A busy day for all concerned but a very successful one for Prism and our clients.
Prism represented a client this week on a site with a rather chequered history with a number of applications and appeals refused. The scheme involved conversion of outbuildings to a dwelling in an unusually large back garden. Given the history, officers were not supportive!
The client was understandably dubious of his success going into the Planning Committee as there was opposition from the officers based on precedence. The client had already begun some of the work on the site, arguing he was justly entitled to build an annexe without the necessary planning permission.
The case went to a committee meeting and Prism were given the opportunity to speak on behalf of their client and present his argument. Due to the contentious nature of the application this was not an easy task and was met with questions, and a subsequent debate. After consideration, the application was granted approval by a narrow but most welcome margin. This slightly surprising result was a victory for both Prism and their client who after a long time is able to start to build his home. The task of convincing people of the merit of the application was not an easy one, therefore this win was a surprising but extremely exciting win for Prism and a testament to the value of having a logical, well-presented argument.
We recently attended Durham County Council’s Planning Committee (South & West) to speak on behalf of clients and their neighbours against an application by the owner of a coffee shop in Gainford, County Durham, seeking an extension of the permitted opening hours until 9.00pm on 35 days per year.
The premises, which were converted to a coffee shop in 2005 with opening hours restricted to between 8.30am and 6.00pm, had been the subject of a series of applications seeking to extend the opening hours beyond 6.00pm. Every application had been refused with and one being the subject of a planning appeal, which was dismissed.
The application was refused with councillors voting unanimously to support the officer recommendation that the application be refused. Our concern, which was shared by the Council, was that extending opening hours into the evening would lead to an unreasonable level of additional noise and disturbance being suffered by the occupiers of nearby residential properties at a time when they might reasonably expect to be able to enjoy peace and quiet in their homes. In refusing the latest application, councillors made it clear that they saw no reason for departing from their long-held views, supported by The Planning Inspectorate, that later opening of the coffee shop was unacceptable due to the proximity of a number of nearby residential properties.
This planning application was refused by Planning Committee and we took the opportunity of attending the meeting to address the Committee and voice our client’s objections to the application. Durham County Council allow objectors to speak for up to 5 minutes, some Councils only allow 3 minutes. Either way it is important to summarise the main issues into a bullet point type format in order to have the greatest impact upon the Planning Committee.
Objections letters that are sent to the planning officer can be longer but are best prepared short and to the point. More importantly, issues raised should be ‘material planning issues’, i.e. matters that can be properly considered in the context of deciding planning applications and relevant to the subject of the planning application.
If you are notified or become aware of a planning application with which you want to object and would like to discuss being professionally represented in submitting an objection letter to the Council and/or speaking at Planning Committee, we are only a phone call or an e-mail away.