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Planning case studies

Here are some more recent cases in which Ward Hadaway's Planning team has been involved.

The Situation – Redevelopment of Saw Mill, Northumberland

Client: Private Individual

We had previously obtained a series of planning permissions for the demolition of a sawmill and the erection of four holiday cottages. The deadline for the implementation of the most recent planning permission was approaching.

The Solution
There was not sufficient time to lawfully implement the planning permission. A further application was therefore submitted for the demolition of the sawmill and the erection of four holiday cottages with updated supporting information.

The Result
The application was approved.

The Situation – Enforcement Issues, Northumberland

Client: Private Individual

A breach of planning control had been identified. We were instructed to assist by a third party concerned about the breach. A concern was that if the breach of planning control continued, that in due course the breach of planning control would have become immune from enforcement action and that a Certificate of Lawfulness could be sought, in this case use as a Class C3 Dwellinghouse.

The Solution
Following our involvement, the Council served a Breach of Condition Notice to prevent immunity from continuing to accrue.

Subsequently a planning application was submitted to the Council seeking to confirm the lawfulness of the use of the building as a C3 dwelling. We were instructed to object to this application and objected on various grounds including having regard to case law that the required immunity period which we considered to be 10 years had not accrued.

Evidence was additionally submitted as to how the building had been used as a holiday home within the previous 10 year period. The Council refused the application on the basis that a 4-year period had not been demonstrated, the Council considering four years to be the relevant period.

Subsequently a further planning application was submitted with additional evidence. An objection was submitted against this application based on similar grounds to the first objection. The application was refused by the Council for similar reasons as to the first application.

An appeal was submitted against the refusal of the Certificate of Lawfulness.

The Result
The Inspector agreed with our interpretation of the law and stated that: “To benefit from the 4-year rule there must be a change to use as single dwellinghouse. If the use of the building was as a single dwellinghouse in the first place the 10-year rule, and not the 4-year rule applies”.

The Inspector went on to reference our submissions and to conclude that the required 10-year period had not been demonstrated. He therefore dismissed the appeal.

The Situation – Proposed Dwelling, Tranwell, Northumberland

Client: Private Individual

Our client wished to seek planning permission for an infill plot within Tranwell. There were various constraints on the site including numerous trees, other ecological interests and a sewage treatment works. Planning policy was also in a period of change.

The Solution
Advice was given that a planning application should be submitted before the Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan and emerging Northumberland Local Plan progressed too far through their preparation process.

A planning application was prepared and submitted seeking to respond as far as possible to the constraints which existed on the site. Amongst other things, a minimum stand-off distance was provided to mitigate against the risk of smell from the treatment works.

During the course of the application process, representations were submitted to the emerging Morpeth Neighbourhood Plan and to the emerging Northumberland Local Plan seeking to support the continue principle of development in the settlement.

The Result
The decision was taken not to appeal against the non determination of the application within its target 8 week period. Eventually notwithstanding various objections the Council approved the application subject to conditions.

The Situation – Proposed Agricultural Workers Dwelling, Durham

Client: Local Planning Authority

A planning application had been submitted to the Council seeking planning permission for an agricultural workers dwelling and two temporary static caravans. The application was part prospective and part retrospective.

The matter was both complex and controversial. The Council therefore sought from ourselves an independent planning opinion on the acceptability or otherwise of the application.

The Solution
Following assessment of the application, a report was issued advising that there were considerable uncertainties facing the applicant’s business and on the basis of the information provided that it had not been demonstrated either that there was a sufficient justification to warrant a permanent agricultural workers dwelling on the site or that there was a sufficient justification to warrant a temporary permission for the unauthorised static caravans and associated structures which had been placed on the site.

The Result
The Local Planning Authority refused the application

The Situation – Proposed Private Gypsy Site, Stockton

Client: Private Individual

Our client wished to establish on site residential accommodation close to his stables. Whilst he owned in excess of 80 horses his horse keeping was a hobby and not a business.

Prior to our involvement, a series of planning applications for houses on the site had been submitted and refused by the Council including on the basis that our client lived in a house elsewhere.

The Solution
Representations were submitted to the Traveller Plan that the Council were preparing at the time. In addition a planning application was submitted to establish a private gypsy site at the stable. This application was refused as was a subsequent re-application.

An appeal was submitted against the refusal of the second application which was heard by way of a hearing.

The Result
The appeal was allowed and planning permission was granted subject to conditions.

The Situation – Mixed use development including 370 units in Class C2 use and 210 units in Class C3 use, Hartlepool

Client: A business

Outline planning permission had been refused for a comprehensive redevelopment of a site in Hartlepool measuring approximately 11 hectares in area.

The reasons for refusal pertained to the loss of allocated employment land in Hartlepool and the impact the proposed development would have on nearby industrial uses, the Council considering it would entail a constraint.

The Solution
An appeal was submitted against the refusal of planning permission. The Planning Inspectorate stated that the appeal would be considered by way of a Public Inquiry. Subsequently the Secretary of State recovered the appeal for his determination.

The Result
The appeal was allowed subject to conditions and to a Section 106 Agreement.

The Situation – Subdivision of former care home into residential units, Newcastle

Client: Private Individual

Many years ago a number of terrace houses had been converted into a care home. This care home had closed and the buildings which comprised it were in need of re-use. The initial planning application had been withdrawn following objections by the Council.

The Solution
A series of planning applications were submitted. With one exception these applications were approved by the Council leaving only a part of the Care Home in need of planning permission for re-use.

An appeal was submitted against the Council’s refusal. This appeal was dismissed leading to another application and another appeal which was also dismissed. Subsequently a further application was submitted drawing upon the previous decisions.

The Result
The application was allowed subject to conditions.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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