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Any planning experts or property lawyers who could help me with a query?

(5 Posts)
NataliaOsipova Wed 11-Oct-17 12:20:35

Situation in a nutshell is this. We applied for a Certificate of Lawfulness for a small extension. Council had said it would be fine. Architects drew it up within the limits. Council then refused it. When I went into see the Planning Officer and we looked at the plans, we saw that she had incorrectly identified the original wall and therefore it actually should have been passed.

My question is - what can be done now? We left it that she would speak to colleagues her end, but I'd be really grateful if anyone with any experience or legal knowledge of this could give me any insight into the process or advice as to the best course of action. Can the council legally reverse a decision? Can we resubmit on the same plans? Or are we better off to appeal? If so, does the appeal inspector consider only the reasons for rejection given by the Council, or does that mean that someone else has to consider the whole thing afresh?

Would be really grateful for any insight.

Seeline Wed 11-Oct-17 12:28:54

I assume this is for a proposed extension, rather than existing?

I would have thought that the Council should accept a re-submission (free of charge) and re-determine the application. I would make sure you speak to the HEad of the Department to make sure all the facts are known if you don't hear anything from the planning officer. It is unusual such mistakes are made, as it is never just one person actually making the decision, they always have to be signed off by a senior officer.

You could appeal the decision, but the Inspectorate seem to be taking an age over appeals at the moment. A planning inspector would re-examine the whole case, and you would be able to put your case against the council in writing for him to consider.

NataliaOsipova Wed 11-Oct-17 12:33:15

Hi Seeline - thank you. Yes, it's for a proposed extension.

It's annoying for a number of reasons! We used the Pre application advice service and got a letter back from one Planning Officer saying (unequivocally) that it was fine - but it wasn't the same Planning Officer who looked at the application.

Looking back at the refusal notice, it was signed off by a senior officer. I suppose our architects could have marked the original wall more clearly on the plans, but the fact that we'd been through it all at the pre app stage probably led them to believe that they'd already had all the relevant information.

Seeline Wed 11-Oct-17 12:39:09

I would definitely keep hounding the Council until you get a satisfactory outcome. Preferably by speaking to a senior officer or the Head of Department. If you're not getting anywhere it might be worth speaking to your local councillor. They might not understand the technicalities, but should be able to ask questions of the relevant people!

NataliaOsipova Wed 11-Oct-17 12:44:03

That's a good idea - hadn't thought about the councillor angle. Presumably the council want to avoid having to go through an appeal if possible?

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