cottage-appeal

A small Listed Cottage in Gwynedd was denied permission to extend on the grounds that it would double the size of the property and thereby harm the character of the original building.

The Architect advised that Owen Devenport be instructed to conduct an appeal and the company were duly retained to act on the applicant's behalf.

The scheme would indeed double the size of this modest building with a contemporary glass link separating the 'new' from the 'old'.

It was an ambitious scheme but it was our opinion that it made a clear statement through preserving in its entirety the existing cottage but then allowing it to be a viable proposition through a modern extension.

The Planning Inspector felt that there would be a significant risk that if an extension is not built then the Listed Building would fall into disuse and disrepair at some time in the future. We were also given the opportunity to prove that the existing building could not be used as holiday accommodation because of its size, let alone a permanent residence.

The Inspector agreed with our arguments and a delighted client has now received planning permission and Listed Building consent for this extension, with details of the glass link reserved for future approval.

metal-fab

A rural metal fabrication business was having to relocate to another site and the owner also needed to be on site to deal with emergency calls, secure the safety of his equipment and he needed to be in a rural location to serve the majority of his customer base - being local farmers. The client already had a site that had had permission for an agricultural shed, but he now wanted a new shed for the fabrication business as well as a rural enterprise dwelling. The LPA were originally opposed to the proposal citing poor access and questioning the need for such a dwelling in such a location. However further discussions took place with the highway authority and passing places were agreed in order to mitigate any possible increase in danger to highway safety. Substantial evidence was submitted in order to persuade the Authority that this was a bona fide rural based enterprise with a genuine need for a dwelling associated with that business. The planning committee paid a site visit and when returned to the committee the application was finally approved, saving the client's business and ensuring a long term future for him and  his family.

A rural based car and bus hire company is being run by two ladies both with young families. The business is situated in a rural community and provides essential transport for those who live in the community including school and hospital transport. Now well established, but having only one dwelling on site there was a clear need for a second family dwelling but an application for a rural enterprise dwelling had already been turned down before the applicant (see testimonial from Kerry Pepperell) turned to Owen Devenport for advice. The siting was amended and the evidence was also more substantial to ensure that the relevant tests for a rural enterprise dwelling were being met. A robust application was then submitted and the LPA requested further evidence during the course of their consideration of the application. The rural location of the depot was a crucial part of the argument in favour of the proposal, and to this end the planning committee conducted a site visit. After the site visit the matter went to committee where planning approval was given, much to the delight of our client, her business partner and of course their young families.

agri-unit-expunged

A derelict property was originally converted into a dwelling in the 1980's with an agricultural occupancy condition  which was also backed up by a Section 52 legal agreement that also restricted occupancy in this way. The client wanted to remove the restriction as this affected value and the ability to sell the property. Indeed neither he or the original owner had ever worked in agriculture. Following a Legal Opinion from a Planning Barrister, instructed through Owen Devenport it was decided to request that the legal agreement be discharged, particularly in the light of later evidence that brought to attention a recent permission allowing the conversion without any of the original occupancy restrictions. It was clear that the legal agreement served no planning purpose and the Local Planning Authority had little option but to discharge the restriction. The dwelling is now totally unencumbered and retains a proper open market value.

The operators of a successful rural enterprise, Llaniestyn Autos, wanted to apply for planning permission to replace their existing caravan/chalet on the site. This had been given permission over 10 years ago and was linked to the business  There was a case that the proposal was merely replacing an existing residential unit for another and that it was in line with the thrust of policy governing rural enterprise dwellings. An application was submitted with all the necessary evidence and statements concerning policy, but the proposal, surprisingly, met with resistance from the officers of the Local Planning Authority. However after persuasive arguments and assistance from their local Councillor, the Council finally granted permission. The result will be a much improved structure, far more sustainable than the old caravan/chalet and a more comfortable family home for the applicant and his young family. It was difficult to undestand what the objection was from officers, but fortunately common sense prevailed and the client was delighted with the outcome.

imperial-hotel

An appeal against Conwy County Borough Council was successful for the redevelopment of the famous old Imperial Hotel in the centre of Colwyn Bay. Having been empty on the upper floors for years the building was rapidly deteriorating and had not been used as a hotel for some 30 years. Nevertheless the Council, somewhat to the bemusement of our client (and ourselves) wanted it retained as a hotel and were objecting on conservation and regeneration grounds for the conversion of the upper floors into residential accommodation.

The owner decided not to wait for the Council's decision and opted to appeal against the Council's 'non-determination' of the application.  The matter went to an Informal Hearing and in the lead up to the Hearing itself the Council's officers indicated that if the appeal was successful they would insist upon a 'commuted sum' of money for their Open Space provision. This equated to a figure of £6,800.

The opportunity arose however to question this payment and the need for such a large sum of money towards a residential facility so close to very many other open spaces and play areas. Even though the appellant agreed to prepare a legal undertaking should this sum of money be necessary the Planning Inspector agreed with our arguments, not only on the acceptability of the development itself but also on the lack of evidence justifying the need for this payment of funds to the Council. The appeal was allowed and the commuted sum payment was set aside, resulting in an important and significant victory for our client.