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Anyone know any shit-hot planning lawyers?

(23 Posts)
bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:28:00

Wrong topic - sorry - but posting for traffic hoping someone can help with guidance on a (probably hopeless) case against a big property developer.

Can anyone recommend or PM me please?

CertainHalfDesertedStreets Sat 28-Oct-17 16:30:22

I'd think carefully about whether you need a planning lawyer or a planner. They're very different things. But a planner might know more about the actual planning side if that is the issue?

Ginglealltheway Sat 28-Oct-17 16:31:59

Application or appeal?

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:33:43

Hi both - thanks.

Its to put a case to the local council to insist the take action against a (massive) developer who has build a sales site on land they have no planning for, rather than position it on the development site that they do actually have permission for.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:34:14

apologies for all the typos !

QuiltingFlower Sat 28-Oct-17 16:39:28

IMHO get the local press and parish council to take interest. Developers don't like poor PR and your parish /district council should be taking notice of what is happening on their patch. Local papers need local news items and photos, as does regional tv. Make a noise, get other local residents involved. Good luck

bigbluebus Sat 28-Oct-17 16:49:18

I'm afraid some of these big builders are in the back pockets of the planning departments, so you would end up spending money and by the time you got anywhere, the development would be nearly finished and the site office due to be dismantled.

Locally, we have a development that has been started for 13 houses for which the builders don't have planning permission at all. The applied for outline PP, which was granted, but this has now expired. Full Planning consent was applied for the day the diggers moved in on the land. The consultation period is still open - I have the letter on my kitchen worktop. The have levelled the ground, ripped out the hedge adjoining the road and cut back the land as they have to widen the road. The Parish Council have brought it to the attention of the LA Planning Dept that work has already commenced without permission and the response was basically "that's fine"! The work continues.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:55:59

bigbluebus - you have my sympathies - it's enraging but sadly I'm not at all surprised :-( I imagine if you tried for a single-storey extension, it would be a different response..

Quilting yes, good suggestions. We're on that - Parish Council are on side; local press are primed too.

bigbluebus Sat 28-Oct-17 17:04:23

bbcessex. The fact is in our case, they probably will get the planning permission anyway but it's the fact that it is just a pisstake flouting of the rules which everyone else is expected to abide by.

Re the Parish Council - seems they have ignored ours anyway. You need to try contacting the Councillor who heads up the Planning Committee and/or your local County Councillor (rather than the paid employees of the council)

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 17:10:29

Thanks *BigBlueBus - ours may / may not get planning, but completing agree, it's the blatant flouting of the rules that is so gaulling.

kiwiquest Sat 28-Oct-17 17:30:39

Have you actually spoken to the planning officer or the planning enforcement officer at the Council. They should be the first port of call. Are you 100% sure they haven't put a separate application for temporary use of the extra land for sales?? Second stage would be to speak to a local Councillor. Third would be a planning consultant (not a barrister) who might look into it in more detail make representations to the Head of Planning if officers are not demonstrating due diligence.
I'm a bit confused as to whether you are trying to object to the main development or not? I assume you have already. If the application is refused and the Developer submits for Appeal you can form a Rule 6 party and present your evidence to support the refusal. However be aware that should you behave unreasonably the developer could seek costs against you so only go down that road if you are sure you have a good case.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 17:42:37

Hi Kiwi.

The main development site is approved and build underway.

I have met with local councillor(s) and local planning has confirmed that the developer has not put any application in place. They have now has requested that they do so and given them 4 weeks. If developer does not submit within 4 weeks then they 'will take action' - what action, unclear.

Developer is opening the Sales Showroom (on the unauthorised site) next weekend - and knows that they can drag out the process for at least a few months, by which time they will have got what they want out of it.

Local residents want planning to issue a 'stop' notice and insist developer moves sales showroom to site 300 yards away, where they do actually have approval.

kiwiquest Sat 28-Oct-17 18:25:57

Ok so Developer has 4 weeks to submit a retrospective planning application which will then have a further 8 weeks of consultation, more if they drag it out and you are right they easily could. If the Council are trying to deal with it informally then it suggests that in planning terms it may well be immaterial if the sales site is there or 300m away. I appreciate as a resident your view might be different. Is it causing a massive issue for you in terms of traffic or noise??
I assume if the Developer does not submit in 4 weeks that would be when they would issue an enforcement and potentially also a stop notice.
I think I would try and find a local planning consultant who might write to the council on your behalf. Although from the sound of it the bigger ship has sailed and although it is irksome and annoying that they are doing this it is something relatively short lived. Unless for some reason this was making life unbearable I'm not I'd bother personally. But if enjoy fighting the good fight then by all means, crack on.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 18:44:09

Thanks very much indeed for your input Kiwi - very much appreciated.

The unauthorised site is 300 yards as the crow flies, but 2 roads. They've created access to the highway, even though two residents onthe same (semi-rural) road have been denied permission to create dropped kerbs because of 'detrimental impact to the highway'.

Its on agricultural land which backs on to a natural reserve.

The 'Calls for Sites' submission shows 'a' developer has suggested the land the unauthorised use is now on is suitable for 300+ houses over the next 5 years.

Completely accept that the outcome is likely to be 'builder will prevail' but I feel unwilling to let them continue without even a spanner in their works.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 18:44:34

Thanks again for your information, it's very helpful (even to reinforce futility!).

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 18:45:10

*Should read "two roads away" from the authorised site.

TonTonMacoute Sat 28-Oct-17 19:01:18

Have pmd you

kiwiquest Sat 28-Oct-17 19:32:47

Hmmm this adds something. The highway access may be your key. It is illegal to make any alterations to the public highway without the formal consent of the highway authority (the highway authority is sometimes the local authority and sometimes the county council). I would try and find the relevant highways officer and speak to them. They might be more supportive than planning. Highway safety is something that makes planners nervous. They could potentially serve a separate enforcement action on the access from the rest of the use of the site iyswim.

iknowimcoming Sat 28-Oct-17 19:44:35

Is the sales showroom a portacabin type building? If so it may be deemed as a temporary structure and may not need planning officially - just a thought ....

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 20:03:41

Hiya Iknowimcoming - yes, the showroom is a portacabin although they've made it into a swish type thing.

They have, however, cleared approx 500sq mtres of field / removed hedgerows, kirbs, tarmaced and created a sweeping-style road, lighting, long rows of signage etc.

The council has conceded that planning is needed and that they will intervene if the builder does not apply for it.

I guess the issue is - the builder knows this... for whatever reason, they don't wish to put the sales site on the authorised land, and want to use this site for as long as possible until they're ready.

ScissorBoo Sat 28-Oct-17 20:09:50

This does sound like a slippery slop and agree that highways access is the key.

artisancraftbeer Sat 28-Oct-17 20:13:57

You don’t need a lawyer :-) you need the press and mp and lots and lots of it. The developer might be playing a game to get planning for the larger site but it will backfire on them very very badly if the highway authority intervene and say it’s inappropriate to develop that site at all.

If you can get natural England or the cpre involved, do much the better. Good luck.

bbcessex Thu 02-Nov-17 18:36:25


Can I just share some great news - WE WON!!

artisancraftbeer - you were spot on. We went to the newspapers, radio, Facebook, Twitter, online petition..

And today, the developer has been served with a notice to demolition within 7 days.

They've had such bad publicity that they've held their hands up and already started to remove and resite.

Thanks everyone, for all their advice. Anyone want to buy any placards - they're going spare!

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