We were approached by the owners of a site in Llanfairfechan to assist with an application on land adjacent to their house. They had previously attempted to gain permission for a variety of different residential schemes on their land without success, and they asked us to advise them on the best approach to gaining planning permission. After discussions with them on their ambitions for the site it was decided to pursue an application on part of their garden for a single dwelling as it provided ample space to accommodate a single property.

We then assisted them with securing the services of a local Architectural Consultant and due to the impact of trees on the plot an Arboriculturalist. His advice was crucial in ensuring that protected and other trees on the site were preserved and retained. Following submission of the application we also advised and assisted with securing specialist advice to overcome concerns from the Council and Welsh Water on how drainage of surface water could be achieved for the scheme.

The result was that after many years of abortive applications our clients gained a valuable permission for an attractive dwelling on the site, much to their delight.

A Certificate of Lawful Use has been granted by Anglesey County Council following many months of submissions and providing evidence. Initially, the Council served an Enforcement Notice on our client indicating that the residential use rights had been lost. A subsequent appeal revealed that there was substantial evidence in support and the Council were advised to withdraw the Enforcement Notice by their legal team. A revised re-submitted application was considered by the Council and a Certificate of Lawful Use was finally granted in May 2015 after a two year battle.

 

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Owen Devenport were recently engaged by long term clients, North Wales Police, to assist with an application to vary a condition to allow the use of their firing range by other authorised organisations such as gun clubs, rather than restricting its use to just the Force and other emergency services.

The application submission required that we provide a detailed report highlighting that the proposal would not change the character of the use, and instead would allow more effective use of the firing range and would provide income to offset its cost to the tax payer. Detailed information was also provided on the controls that would be put in place to manage the use of the site by other organisations, and following discussions with Officers a suitable set of measures was agreed with the application recommended for approval by Officers at the Planning Committee.

During discussion of the application at the Committee concerns from local residents as to the potential increased risk and fear of gun crime were raised by Councillors, which resulted in the Committee voting to refuse the application. However, following the Committee meeting the Authority’s Planning Officers contacted us expressing their concerns with the decision and the potential for an award of costs against the Authority in any subsequent appeal. We endorsed these views and raised our concerns as to the quality of the decision, and subsequently the application was returned to Committee where Councillors sensibly opted to approve the application.

Our clients own a converted outbuilding in the open countryside but was clearly too small for their family requirements. An initial application was submitted by themselves which was promptly refused as being too large. Upon our instruction we argued that a smaller extension would be the direction to go rather than fight a refused permission. They agreed and redesigned the extension. Even though we spoke at committee on their behalf and the planning officer was 'sympathetic' to the family's needs this second application was also refused. A third submission was also turned down on the basis that it was too large. A fourth application however was finally approved and whilst not fully meeting the clients' requirements it does give them hope that in the future they could apply to extend again to achieve their ambitions. The clients' tenacity paid off here, but it was disappointing that slavish adherence to a subjective design policy was not interpreted in a more sympathetic manner. 

Owen Devenport were contacted by a client who had demolished an existing house and begun work on building a replacement dwelling but had done so unaware of the need for Planning Permission and Listed Building Consent.

Having examined the detailed information and photographs collected by our client it became clear that he had undertaken the work in good faith, and that the existing dwelling was of no historic interest due to its poor quality and the fact that it appeared to have been extensively re-built in the last 20-25 years by the previous owner. It was also clear that the replacement building that our client intended to erect would be a substantial improvement from the pre-existing building. This case was put to the Council along with an argument that the staging of the works meant that the existing use of the site had been retained.

Following the initial submission extensive discussions were held with the Authority that required detailed input and pressure from ourselves to persuade the Planning Officers of the merits of the case, and assistance with negotiations on amendments to the design and an agreed scheme of works to preserve the remaining historic elements of the building in order to secure the support of the Council’s Conservation Officer.

This resulted in our client gaining retrospective Planning and Listed Building Consent to retain and complete the house, where previously he had faced the prospect of losing the residential use of the site and the requirement to demolish his partially constructed home.