A recent appeal decision has led an Inspector to dismiss a condition restricting ownership of approved 'open market' dwellings in Abersoch. The development at Abersoch Land and Sea was initially approved for 9 dwellings, 3 of which were to be 'affordable' dwellings. However Gwynedd Council wanted to impose a condition restricting occupancy on the 6 remaining dwellings, which meant they could not be used as second or holiday homes.

Our client wished to replace a smaller property with a larger contemporary dwelling in a picturesque part of Rhoscolyn on Anglesey. However because the property had been built in the 40's, and there was no record of it ever having planning permission, the Council insisted upon an application for a Certificate of Lawful Use being made before they would entertain a replacement dwelling application. This was duly carried out with legal evidence submitted in support. A Lawful Use Certificate was eventually granted, and the replacement application then submitted. After due consideration the application was granted and now the client has permission to demolish the original small property and replace it with a sustainable and permanent residential property. The development permitted is fully in accordance with planning policy and the whole process was successfully negotiated by the team at Owen Devenport.
Following a refusal of planning permission for the conversion of a former boiler house at Llanbedr Hall, Llanbedr D.C. into a dwelling. The unsuccesful applicant sought advice from Owen Devenport. It was agreed that an appeal by means of Written Representations would be appropriate as the issues seemed straighforward. An appeal was therefore conducted, with the issues being whether reasonable attempts had been made to secure a business re-use, effect on potential occupiers and also upon protected species. Following a site inspection the Planning Inspector allowed the appeal, indicating that all these matters had been covered in the application, with all reasonable attempts made to market the property, an ecological report had been provided and the living accommodation planned was entirely adequate. The success allowed the client five years in which to implement his permission.

Planning permission had been given for 2 dwellings, subject to a Section 106 agreement that one of the dwellings was to be affordable. Our client, a local builder, wanted to purchase the site but without the restriction (The Section 106 had not been signed). We advised that an application for 2 open market houses would be appropriate and that a viability assessment should be made showing that even 1 affordable dwelling on this site would be unviable.

Following the resubmission and Viability Assessment the Local Planning Authority agreed and granted permission for 2 unencumbered residential properties, and without restricting occupancy to local people either.

 

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Our clients’ family owned a small traditional cottage in a sensitive costal location. They wished to move to live there and bring up their own family. The existing cottage was far too small and it was unviable to extend further as previous unsympathetic conversions had rendered parts of the cottage unstable. The LPA were approached and pre-application discussions were instigated. A replacement dwelling was advocated and the design team produced a proposal that was both contemporary and sympathetic to the sites’ setting in the countryside.

The application was finally approved as a replacement dwelling with all Design and Housing policies being complied with. However the site was formerly in the hands of the National Trust, who had to approve the design. They have not, and we are now in negotiation with the Trust to find an acceptable compromise.

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Our clients have built their own home in the full knowledge of the Section 106 Agreement that restricted occupancy to local persons. At the time of near completion they sought to obtain a mortgage but the banks were unwilling to lend because of the restrictive occupancy condition.

Our clients made an impassioned plea (and formal application) to the Local Planning Authority to discharge the Section 106. The LPA refused and we were brought on board to advise. We advised that an appeal would be worthwhile as there were so many precedents that had seen these types of Agreements discharged in the past.

An appeal was duly lodged and a Hearing requested. In the meantime the LPA, having lost an identical appeal (as they surely would have in our case anyway), changed their minds on our client’s application and referred the matter back to committee. The LPA subsequently approved the discharge of the Section 106, but had allowed an appeal to be lodged and all work done up to the date of the Hearing.

The appeal has been withdrawn and a costs application against the Council is pending…

 

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