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Can anyone give advice about a council who is not enforcing planning process with a big developer?

(14 Posts)
bbcessex Thu 26-Oct-17 16:46:37

Hi all.

Are there any specialists around who may be able to give me some high level advice before I dig further?

In a nutshell: I live in an area where there is a great deal of new build development. I'm not particularly thrilled about the extent of it, especially in comparison to the lack of increase in services, but I'm not exploding.

One particular developer has just begun building approx 150 new homes on an approved, authorised site. No problem. However - they have now developed a piece of land in a separate location, across a main road and approx 250 yards away, to become their sales site until the approved build is ready in Spring 18.

This land is owned by the landowner whom they bought the main chunk from.

They have not sought planning permission at all (council has confirmed).

They have essentially created a show office, made a road, planted gardens, got lighting, put up extensive signage, etc. etc - ripping our fields, hedgerows etc in the process. When challenged, their response was 'they thought the council would show discretion'.

Me and many other local residents are livid that a massive developer has completely flouted the rules and the council has more of less said - apply retrospectively and we'll go through the process.

The process - which will be opposed, and appealed, etc. etc., will give them what they want - an operational site until early next year, when they can move on to their main one.

Does anyone know if the Council should have powers to say "Halt using that unauthorised site until a result is given?". I've been told it's not likely, but that's the only way they will be affected...

Any advice gratefully received.

woundedbutwalking Thu 26-Oct-17 16:56:49

CF developers!!! The developers of the estate we live on are rubbish the only way we have been able to get stuff sorted is by hassling local councillors & our MP. MP has eventually written to chief exec of local council so hopefully that will make it a priority for the local planners....

bbcessex Thu 26-Oct-17 17:10:03

definitely CF developers.

Good shout about local MP. I'll give that a go.

Makes my blood boil that they can just get away with it... sorry that you've had the same problem.

woundedbutwalking Thu 26-Oct-17 18:19:05

Nothing on the scale you’re dealing with but they are annoying us with retrospective planning apps for stuff that should’ve been done to start with. Luckily we have retired neighbours who are willing to put in the time & effort needed to tackle them, it’s a bloody nightmare! Definitely helps if you can get a few people together to share the load.

specialsubject Thu 26-Oct-17 19:20:11

Someone will be having sex with someone. If the mp isn't included in that, try him or her. Waste of time doing anything else.

eastlondoner Thu 26-Oct-17 20:46:21

Hi there, I work in this area. I don't think this is something you can do much about.

The Council's approach to invite a retrospective application for planning permission is usual practice for councils nationally and there's no fault legally in this approach.

Although councils have the power to take enforcement action against planning breaches they aren't legally compelled to do so. They have total discretion to decide either way. Ultimately it's very costly for Councils to take legal action on matters like this which don't cause permanent significant problems and as it would divert money from public services it's legally obliged to provide it's unlikely to meet a council's threshold for legal action.

I know that's probably not positive news but I hope it's useful.

wheresmyphone Thu 26-Oct-17 22:40:49

Can you go
To the local
Press? Local newspapers have no staff anymore so if you can present them a full story they can cut and paste it 🙄

Ct17218 Sat 28-Oct-17 12:23:37

Got a similar issue with builder directly across the road! Brought the house 3 months about and this build hadn’t started then and wasn’t declared to us! The cheeky shits have put a fence up 10ft outside of there planning permission and made parking a bloody nightmare ! When told they just said, “well this is what the gaffer wants” sod your bloody “gaffer” come Monday you utter arseholes! angry

70isaLimitNotaTarget Sat 28-Oct-17 13:17:42

Is it near a golf course at all bbc ?
If it is that development I was looking at some online plans and they have 4 sites to develop (they've developed one , there have been new traffic lights installed etc)

How the Jeff the local roads, schools, Dr services are meant to accomodate the 100s of extra population though...?

wonkylegs Sat 28-Oct-17 14:30:27

I suspect you'll get nowhere. Councils are underfunded and overstretched and therefore in cases such as this it's easier for them just to make the developer apply retrospectively- unless it's against the development plan they will then let it go through.
The money & power are now completely in the big developers hands at the moment with regards to planning. Funnily enough all the big housing developers 'advise' the government on the changes to planning policy at the moment - can't think why they think they can get away with murder.

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:21:34

Thanks all.. It is going to be a tough one, definitely.

I mean - god forbid they should build their sales showrooms on their actual site they have actual permission for?

The issue with retrospective planning is, the builder doesn't expect to get it - they just know that they can drag things out long enough to get the 3-5months window they need.

We are going to have a story for the local paper.

Very very annoying - residents are pretty accepting of new build on the whole, but it's this completely unlawful one that takes the biscuit.

70isa - no, not near a golf course in this case - shame to hear there's something similar :-(

bbcessex Sat 28-Oct-17 16:24:03

thanks EastLondoner.

I am going down the line that the developers have built on agricultural land and are using it for business. - they have also created a new road / access to highway - without any planning on any count.

You're right - the council aren't really that bothered (although they are bothered by the volume of email they've had).

We have a petition of almost 1000 names from local residents - that will be submitted, but to what value, I don't know.

bbcessex Thu 02-Nov-17 18:41:07


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 demolish 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!

AlexaAmbidextra Sun 05-Nov-17 22:15:39

bbcessex. Are you talking about Beaulieu Park? Absolute craziness. 3500 additional homes. shock

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