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Does anyone have any experience of appealing a planning decision? Planning novices here!

(11 Posts)
duchesse Wed 07-Sep-11 09:33:01

We have just lodged an appeal with the planning inspectorate against our local authority's decision to refuse a planning application on our house (to build a rear extension to allow us to build another bedroom that we really need, and to to extend the garage to allow us to build space for a biomass boiler and associated installations and wood-drying areas). Yesterday we received a letter (by email!) informing that our application was valid and that our appeal would be looked at. There was also an alarming paragraph about costs being potentially awarded to one side or the other.

Do you know if they are more or less likely to allow an appeal to proceed if on the face of it seems that there are grounds for appeal? And have you ever of householders being asked to pay costs in these types of situation?

Thank you very much in advance.

tyler80 Wed 07-Sep-11 11:48:12

What were the reasons for refusal? Why do you think it should be allowed on appeal?

That it is valid just refers to the fact that all the paperwork is present, it has no bearing on the likely success of the appeal.

Costs can be awarded against either side and this does happen. What were the reasons for refusal? Why do you think it should be allowed on appeal?

That it is valid just refers to the fact that all the paperwork is present, it has no bearing on the likely success of the appeal.

Costs can be awarded against either side and this does happen.

tyler80 Wed 07-Sep-11 11:52:05

Their is a guide to costs here

duchesse Wed 07-Sep-11 11:56:36

Thank you for your questions tyler.

There were several factual inaccuracies (not present in our planning application) stated in the full refusal report that almost certainly influenced the decision-making process -related to distance from public highway, visibility of the buildings, choice of materials etc. How these inaccuracies were introduced is a mystery. No allowance was made for the fact that our improvements are specifically to allow us to switch to a source of renewable energy, contrary to current guidelines to planning authorities. Our house was designated a "non-designated heritage asset" after we'd applied for planning permission, despite decades of being "mucked around with" by previous owners (such that it really does no longer look as it would have when it was built) making their claim that our alterations would be excessive specious at best and disingenuous at worst. Our designs will not substantially alter the original footprint of the house but will make it immensely more liveable in.

What it boiled down to was that the local conservation officer (who we never imagined would need to be involved re the above) didn't like our designs and her opinion was the only one that was taken into account.

mistlethrush Wed 07-Sep-11 11:57:13

Duchesse - basically the letter you've got acknowledges that you've sent the right paperwork in to lodge the appeal - doesn't have any bearing on the outcome.

In terms of costs, it depends on the reasons that the application was refused. If your new bedroom is going to, for instance, loom over the side boundary to your property, look into next door's house / garden and shade it for the entire day, and they've refused it on the basis that its deterimental to the amenity of the neighbouring property and therefore contrary to policies x, y and z - there may be some chance of getting costs awarded against you. However, if the application was refused because the Planning Officer didn't like the way you shook his/her hand when they came on site and they've got no policy reason for refusing it, there is a chance that you could win costs against the Council.

duchesse Wed 07-Sep-11 12:11:03

We didn't even see the PO when she came on site as she made no appointment but turned up out of the blue when I'd taken my daughter to a grade exam. She took some photos of the side of our house from our neighbour's drive and then subsequently claimed it was "the lane" in all subsequent documents. We live in a very rural area, and our nearest neighbours at present are 130m away across a field. They are the only people who can even see the rear of our hose and they have no objection to our extension as the current rear lean-to is a shoddy 1970s build which our plans would significantly tidy up.

mistlethrush Wed 07-Sep-11 12:19:40

Have you gone for a hearing or written reps? If written reps, have you put in your full statement yet?

duchesse Wed 07-Sep-11 12:26:11

We went for written representations and made a very full statement that drew on the local council's own policies.

mistlethrush Wed 07-Sep-11 12:27:57

Sounds good then. Best of luck with it.

duchesse Mon 24-Oct-11 22:58:16

We lost on appeal, but judging by the wording of the decision it was far more of a close thing than the original planning decision had been. Bizarrely they objected to us covering over the very much mucked about with rear gable end of our house, which currently contains two very unsympathetic 1970s windows that would never have been there originally. Ho-hum, back to the drawing board. May have to get an architect more heavily involved this time...

sunnylabsmum Tue 25-Oct-11 21:39:49

We had our plans for updating our 70's chalet bungalow remodelled thrown out because the planning officer didn;t like it and said a gable front was not in keeping with the road- (despite 3 doors away having an extension with a gable front). The designs they wanted us to have were bland and uninspiring whereas ours sympathetically echoed the slanting roofs of the original. We took the decision to appeal the decision and resubmitted the exact same plans with a comment on the environmental sustainability of it. We had had no objections from neighbours or parish council at the original plans and none on the appeal either. A woman came from Bristol to Cambs to look at it and agreed to our plans- incidentally as they had quoted in their case legislation which they hadn;t even adopted!!!
Good luck with your appeal
We are now going through building control and getting quotes...the mess will start next year.

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