Planning Applications, PD and the like (General Chat)

On the ecology survey saga, I've been told by the eco company that anything carried out now would be invalid for the LPA's purposes and that I should book between May-September next year... which throws up all sorts of problems as the LPA probably won't consider the application(s) without it... What a mess! Dx
A PEA can be done at any time of year, this is the bare minimum for a planning application. If the PEA states that further reports are required then the council may refuse the application but at least you can show the enforcement team that you are trying. If you then need to reapply when the surveys are complete then providing that is within 12 months you get a free-go.

Get a PEA done and get your application in. Worry about the rest as and when it comes up.
 

Landrover

Member
Can anyone tell me what my first steps would be in selling a couple of building plots, what do I need to do In regards to getting planning permission, it's along time since I applied for planning so I'm sure it's changed ! How detailed do the plans need to be to get basic planning to be able to sell the site ? What else planning wise would I need ? Not the legal stuff just planning info please

Thanks in advance
 
Can anyone tell me what my first steps would be in selling a couple of building plots, what do I need to do In regards to getting planning permission, it's along time since I applied for planning so I'm sure it's changed ! How detailed do the plans need to be to get basic planning to be able to sell the site ? What else planning wise would I need ? Not the legal stuff just planning info please

Thanks in advance
Really it all depends on how much you want to invest, the more you invest at planning stage the better value for the plots.

There are three options for planning - Planning in Principle (PiP), Outline and Full (in assending order). Each one will require more information than the former but less information for the purchaser to supply at a later date and therefore less risk meaning you can ask more for the plots.

PiP isn't much more than a pre-app. A block plan and a covering letter is sufficient and as the name suggests it will determine whether in principle planning for a dwelling would be acceptable. It leaves all techincal details, consultations etc open for another time. Obviously this is the cheapest option for you but puts a great deal of risk and cost onto the purchaser, this would be reflected in the plot price.

Outline is the middle option - one we don't advocate unless on large sites, on smaller sites you might as well go the whole hog and put a full application in. An outline application allows you to "reserve matters" for a later application. There are 5 matters than can be reserved (Access, Appearance, Landscaping, Layout, Scale), you must address at least one as part of the outline application and you must reserve at least one for a subsequent application. Most commonly Landscaping is reserved but if you are selling self build plots you may wish to reserve Appearance and Landscaping to allow for personal prefeence but define the others so access is defined and so is the overall bulk and mass of the building.

Full Planning will generally get you the best value for your plot - the purchaser will have confidence in the scheme, they will know what they are getting. If you can also satisfy the pre-commencement conditions and commence work therefore making the planning permission extant you will secure the permission forever more.

I hope that helps.
 

Dookist

Member
A PEA can be done at any time of year, this is the bare minimum for a planning application. If the PEA states that further reports are required then the council may refuse the application but at least you can show the enforcement team that you are trying. If you then need to reapply when the surveys are complete then providing that is within 12 months you get a free-go.

Get a PEA done and get your application in. Worry about the rest as and when it comes up.
Yes... but £650!! Dx
 

Dookist

Member
That's cheap
Not cheap to me... it may as well be £6k... I think I may just give up.
What I don't understand is ...why I need to prove there are bats here? I'm not carrying out any work on the site, just asking to retain a building that's being used as a roost & which will probably be demolished if enforcement action is taken. So sad.
Most applications are people trying to deny the presence of bats...in which case, I can see why the LPA needs to check it out....but this is barmy.
Dx
 
Not cheap to me... it may as well be £6k... I think I may just give up.
What I don't understand is ...why I need to prove there are bats here? I'm not carrying out any work on the site, just asking to retain a building that's being used as a roost & which will probably be demolished if enforcement action is taken. So sad.
Most applications are people trying to deny the presence of bats...in which case, I can see why the LPA needs to check it out....but this is barmy.
Dx
In your case it is a double edged sword. If the ecologist finds protected species in or around your unlawful structure the LPA may have difficulty enforcing it's removal BUT if the ecologist finds that you may have inadvertently harmed the habitat of protected species you may not only have planning enforcement on your case you may also face criminal charges.
Either way it is a national requirement and is no negotiable to have a PEA accompanying a planning application where there may be protected species involved.
 

Dookist

Member
In your case it is a double edged sword. If the ecologist finds protected species in or around your unlawful structure the LPA may have difficulty enforcing it's removal BUT if the ecologist finds that you may have inadvertently harmed the habitat of protected species you may not only have planning enforcement on your case you may also face criminal charges.
Either way it is a national requirement and is no negotiable to have a PEA accompanying a planning application where there may be protected species involved.
A previous landowner has definitely interfered with a bat roost in the pumping station...probably someone who wanted to put in a planning application. I found a huge pile of bat droppings which would have taken years and years to pile up so high... then I found the access barred by chicken wire, which I removed... In an effort to mitigate the effects of this vandalism, I attached several boxes and slowly the bats are returning...My good turn has come back to bite me!
I shall have to bite the bullet and amalgamate the two applications into a single one... that will save me almost £300 which I can put towards the PRA. Dx
 

Dookist

Member
In carrying out some research in relation to the FRA, I came across this & found it very helpful.
I also found details showing that my LPA got a good telling off by the EA when they messed up spectactularly with their proposal to put a large development on flood zone 3 but without the essential Sequential/exception testing...
Which made me feel a lot better about my stuggle to understand how it all works and why I need these tests when there's a flood zone 1 within 50m of the site! (Just turn right out of the gate and walk across the road to the church)... Anyway.... Dx

How to Carry Out the Sequential Test​

At a national level guidance on how to carry out the sequential test is very wooly / vague / nebulous. However there is some guide guidance available in some areas at a local level, and where this does occur it is a godsend / blessing / bonus.


Without a good set of rule on how to carry out the sequential test you are left at the mercy of whoever is assessing your sequential test report. That could be you local planning authority (LPA) or the Environment Agency (EA). Hopefully not the latter.


The test requires that other sites in the area are checked to see if they are viable alternatives, to the site you are proposing. In reality this is crazy because most of our clients already own the piece of land they are trying to develop, and so to consider alternatives is . . . not realistic.


Thankfully in areas where LPAs have a good set of rules there are a list of criteria, which an alternate site must meet to become a viable alternative. These might include area, planning status, geo-locality and in short this results in most development sites in the area being found to be unsuitable.


If you are looking to undertake this work yourself, it can be done if you have the time. Bristol City Council have the best guidance I know of, perhaps use that if your LPA does not publish its own guidance on sequential testing. However, if you would rather we carry out your sequential test on your behalf then please get in touch.


Please feel free to contact the office for an informal discussion regarding your requirements.


How is the Sequential Test Applied?​


The sequential test is applied in very different ways depending on who is dealing with the application. It is left to the "local authority" to choose alternative site search criteria. This introduces a massive amount of subjectivity in to the process. Some planning officers may be very pragmatic in their application of the sequential test, whilst other . . . not so.


The problem on the whole is the complete lack of guidance on how the sequential test should be applied. With the exception of 2 administrative areas that SWEL know of(see below), the NPPF is followed to the letter, which states that the entire administrative area (i.e. district council) should be considered for the alternative site search area. This introduces a number of problems, but first let us consider some of the other assessment criteria which are sometimes used: such as size and proximity to public services.


Size​


A small garden infill plot could not be considered as a reasonable alternative to a large multi-residential development.


Value​


If you have a single plot valued at 200,000, then a 1,000,000 site is not likely to be considered a reasonable alternative.


Public Services​


Distance to public transport hubs might also be considered. If you site is within 100 meters of a bus stop of train station, then this is a positive sustainability feature that you could use to compare it against other perhaps less sustainable options.


Which County, City or Borough has Good Guidance on the Sequential Test?​


Many of the assessment criteria (other than search area) stem from the Excellent guide published by Bristol City Council. This is the only solid guidance SWEL know of. Other authorities have defined search areas that break down their administrative area in to smaller sections. The Lake District National Park for example have a set of discrete areas within their boundary such as "north east" and "central".


Any guidance given in writing from your local authority is a bonus since, there is so little guidance around!


Choosing Your Sequential Test Search Area?​


In general you will not get to choose. The area is chosen by the planning authority. There is no harm in suggesting a search area, or SWEL preparing your sequential test using our own search area, but you should expect in 25% - 50% of cases that this will be contested.


Example: In a recent report in Salford (Manchester) we were asked to consider a 1km search radius, despite this overlapping in to several wards of Salford. In other cases we might asked to consider a planning authorities enforcement area, such as Westminster City Council.


Regeneration Areas are commonly used as a search area, we have used regeneration areas for reports in South-end-on-Sea and Rochford District Council Areas


Sequential Test at Planning Appeal​


We have had 1 appeal case to date that have in centered around the sequential test. In this instance South Gloucestershire Council insisted on the use of a very broad sequential test search criteria which consisted of any alternative land within flood zone 1 in the whole of South Gloucestershire! We considered this to be wholly unreasonable, but to our surprise the appeal inspector supported this view.


This demonstrates the futility of trying to appeal against sequential testing decisions, and also the fact that the local authority have supreme power in determining the outcome of the sequential test.


Sites with Planning as a Reasonable Alternative​


North Somerset Council (by Example) will not consider sites with planning granted as reasonably alternative. I would query why sites with planning consent cannot be considered, and as a result any site without planning could therefore be considered. The planning process depends on so many different aspects meshing together for a project to be successful, so by considering a site without planning one is comparing a partially known site, to an unknown one. Even if a site without planning were deliverable with regards to sequential test assessment criteria, then it could be undeliverable when considering any number of any other factors such as transport, drainage, feasibility, noise etc. which would not be apparent at the time of carrying out the test. Bearing these factors in mind, would it not be fair to include a list of criteria for the assessment of alternative sites that make account for these unknowns.


Sequential Test Problems​


We perhaps 3 or 4 times year received phone calls from exasperated individuals or company representatives who are have problems passing the sequential test. These normally fall within 2 categories:


1 - Concept Error​


Proposed: Trying to build a large industrial build next to a small house, or building a small house next to a large industrial building. Building a house which is too large when compared to surrounding houses. i.e. Trying to get planning for something that is unrealistic.


2 - Personal Differences​


Applicant or Landowner has had a "difference of opinion" with planning officer. This could involve lost tempers (farmers usually), strategic crying (ladies usually) or trying to throw the planner's own rule book at them (retired army officers usually).


Either of the above situations may cause the planning officer to play their trump card: The Sequential Test. Outside of Bristol they are rule maker and rule keeper, and that leaves the applicant, and us if involved, in a very sticky place.


So however you are actually feeling about your planning application never loose you temper / cool / respect (pretend if needed) for your planning officer, it is counter productive, and will cost you hard cash. Don't do it!
 

Dookist

Member
Update:

I don't know what's happened to the people who said they'd send me a quote for the FRA ...they have not been back despite me sending them a couple of messages...they must be very busy... an acknowledgement would be nice, though. I think I'll have to do it myself at this rate.

I can see from the Environmental Agency's map that I'm in flood zone 3 (defended)... but that flood zone 1 is just 20m from my entrance...
(No idea where flood zone 2 is)...

I was very confused about the Sequential/Exception test but then found some advice which stated that these would automatically be passed for a change of use of an existing building... something to do with "regeneration".

The LPA has also gone quiet since I asked if a scoping PEA would allow for a decision on my application. (I don't see how it possibly can)....
If that's the case and there are no time limits on making a decision, then it would be much more sensible to wait until May, as the reptiles have gone to ground now to hibernate... bats still active as of last night. Dx
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
NFFN Member
Yesterday the work @George from SJM Planning has been doing on our barn PD application came to an end with East herts DC granting conditional approval for the conversion of our 80 x 60 hay barn into 2 dwellings. (y)

Last year we applied under GPDO Part Q to turn this:

DJI_0168.JPG


with this outlook (London is just over the hill behind the trees)
20210522_130501.jpg


into this pair of dwellings

1634210671393.png


We were refused. The barn was originally erected in 2003 under full planning permission (because it was within 3km of an aerodrome) with these conditions:

1634210904519.png


The planning officer, very usefully, wrote a long and complete report on the application demonstrating that it met all of the conditions required for Part Q approval but that he considered that the above condition 2 on the original planning removed PD rights and so our application was invalid, we had been caught by the Dunnett investments test case.

We went away and did LOTS of homework, eventually finding this little gem:

In September 2016 an appeal was made against the refusal by North Herts DC to remove a planning condition which had itself removed PD rights from a barn at Knebworth. The planning inspector upheld the appeal on the grounds that PD rights are only to be removed in exceptional circumstances and that, in removing the rights, the council had failed in this case to prove such exceptional circumstances.

We submitted an application, based on that appeal judgement, for the removal of the second condition from our barns' original planning permission. Our decision was due on April 1st this year but the council sat on it as they didn't quite know what to do. Eventually, after considerable pressure was applied we received approval in August, freeing us to re-apply for Part Q.

Yesterday that application succeded.

It has been a long road but well worth it.
 
Yesterday the work @George from SJM Planning has been doing on our barn PD application came to an end with East herts DC granting conditional approval for the conversion of our 80 x 60 hay barn into 2 dwellings. (y)

Last year we applied under GPDO Part Q to turn this:

View attachment 991227

with this outlook (London is just over the hill behind the trees)
View attachment 991230

into this pair of dwellings

View attachment 991231

We were refused. The barn was originally erected in 2003 under full planning permission (because it was within 3km of an aerodrome) with these conditions:

View attachment 991232

The planning officer, very usefully, wrote a long and complete report on the application demonstrating that it met all of the conditions required for Part Q approval but that he considered that the above condition 2 on the original planning removed PD rights and so our application was invalid, we had been caught by the Dunnett investments test case.

We went away and did LOTS of homework, eventually finding this little gem:

In September 2016 an appeal was made against the refusal by North Herts DC to remove a planning condition which had itself removed PD rights from a barn at Knebworth. The planning inspector upheld the appeal on the grounds that PD rights are only to be removed in exceptional circumstances and that, in removing the rights, the council had failed in this case to prove such exceptional circumstances.

We submitted an application, based on that appeal judgement, for the removal of the second condition from our barns' original planning permission. Our decision was due on April 1st this year but the council sat on it as they didn't quite know what to do. Eventually, after considerable pressure was applied we received approval in August, freeing us to re-apply for Part Q.

Yesterday that application succeded.

It has been a long road but well worth it.
It's been a pleasure to work with you @holwellcourtfarm. Perseverance and sticking to our guns was the key - when an obstacle is put on front of you it is not necessarily the end of the road.
 

NI agri-food stakeholder groups discuss climate change bill with committee

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Written by Richard Halleron from Agriland

The Livestock and Meat Commission (LMC) recently submitted oral evidence to members of the Stormont Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (AERA) committee on the content and potential impact of the Northern Ireland Climate Change Bill (No.2).

This draft legislation was recently introduced to the Northern Ireland Assembly by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in conjunction with agriculture minister, Edwin Poots.

“We were accompanied by representatives from a wide range of food industry bodies, including the Northern Ireland Meat Exporters’ Association,the Ulster Farmers’ Union [UFU], Northern...
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