Agricultural-restriction

Owen Devenport were instructed by a national company of Solicitors to deal with a problem relating to an old Section 52 Agreement restricting occupancy of a dwelling in Merthyr Tydfil. The recent purchasers of the property could not comply with the condition/restriction and the LPA were threatening enforcement action. The purchasers were not made aware of the existence of the restrictive occupancy Agreement. We were instructed to argue the case for the removal of the Agreement and set about doing some research into the planning history. This 6-bedroomed (and by now) run down property was never used for the purposes it was intended from the moment it was built. Clearly there was never a justification for the property originally but had been in existence since the mid 80's. Following a detailed submission it was later discovered that in fact the building had been erected in the wrong position in any event and therefore had been built without planning permission.

However having been completed more than 10 years previously (or indeed four years it could be argued) the LPA conceded that there was nothing they could do and the property and its occupation by non-agricultural workers was immune from enforcement action. Whist this was not initially the case being put forward the end result was the same and the clients can now complete their renovation of this rural property and know that their investment is safe.

kitchen

Owen Devenport were initially engaged to prepare a Lawful Use application for a kitchen manufacturer, Celfiderw. The business had been established in a rural location for a number of years and had grown into the successful business it was today - but, without planning permission. We applied for a Lawful Use Certificate and that was granted on the evidence produced.

A further application was now needed to cater for further expansion now that the use had been established. This proved to be less than straight forward as the buildings, although not Listed, were seen as being locally important with a distinctive character. A long drawn out negotiation period followed, with many changes argued for and against. Ultimately the client obtained his consent which will allow him to develop the business further. This was an example of where Owen Devenport had to mediate between our clients ' ambitions and the LPA's demands.

The client was running a successful and established agricultural buildings' business and as his father was retiring he needed a dwelling to be on site to carry on the business. He engaged Owen Devenport, through his Architectural Designer to prepare an application for a bona fide Rural Enterprise dwelling. All the right criteria were in place including the location of the proposed dwelling. However we met with opposition from the officers and so the matter went to Committee. We invoked our right to speak at committee on behalf of our client and with the support of the local Member the recommendation of refusal was (correctly in our view) overturned in favour of the proposal.

This was a properly constituted application for a Rural Enterprise dwelling for a local person with a young family - exactly the type of person this policy was aimed towards. We are pleased that in spite of (unfounded) opposition our services proved successful in this instance

Our clients were referred to us by local Architects, Russell-Hughes of Anglesey. They had secured permission for an extension to a dwelling, but this had included a condition for a Management Plan to be submitted for a shared Septic Tank. However, the septic tank did not belong to our clients, although they had full rights to use the facility. Neighbour objections were proving a barrier and we sought to negotiate with the LPA that the condition was, under the circumstances, unreasonable. After a great deal of deliberation an application to delete that condition was successful and finally the clients could proceed to build their extension without the unworkable and overly restrictive condition. All conditions on planning approvals must meet six tests, if they fail just one of those tests then they are deemed unreasonable and should be removed.

Llanbedrog

A Cheshire firm of Architects wanted to instruct a local company of Town Planners with experience of dealing with Gwynedd Council. Owen Devenport were recommended and were duly instructed. The scheme was to erect a new single dwelling on a plot in Llanbedrog. This was unusual in that it was on an estate of properties built during the 1970's and would be the first new development on this estate. In advising the Architects, and in accordance with the clients' ambitions, plans were drawn of a contemporary low level single storey dwelling, which would also potentially affect the setting of a Listed Building, sited to the rear of the proposed plot.

The Planning Support Statement prepared by Owen Devenport dealt with all the issues and was used by the Architects who submitted the application on behalf of their client. There followed some discussions on design, and the plans were duly amended. The client had also submitted, through his Architects, an application to extend the adjoining dwelling, which he also owned. As a consequence two applications were before the officers and following discussions on matters of design, the principle of both developments was agreed and subsequently both applications were approved. The delighted client has permission for a single plot in a much sought after established development in Llanbedrog, being only a stroll away from the beach.

Llanbedrog2

We were asked to assess the likelihood of obtaining planning permission on a plot which was outside the development boundary of a village in Anglesey. Normally we would advise against pursuing these types of applications unless there was good reason to do otherwise. We assessed the location of this plot in relation to the built development and concluded that there would be no material harm should this plot be developed. Consequently plans were drawn up of the type of detached property the client wanted and his Architects, Matthew Jones of Deganwy prepared plans for a substantial property that was suited to this edge of village location.

The application was duly submitted and the only real obstacle was the site's location physically outside the adopted development boundary. Owen Devenport put together a submission whereby it was suggested that whilst that might be the case there would be no harm to visual amenities and in fact the plot should have been included within the development boundary when it was initially drawn up.

After some time in discussions with the planning officer, he concluded that these were sound arguments and presented the application to Committee. They agreed with the officer's recommendation of approval and the client now has permission to build an exceptional detached property in a private location on the outskirts of the village.