The Planning and Architecture departmentat Sheldon Bosley Knight is celebrating after receiving Planning Inspectorate approval of an appeal against Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s refusal of a change of use application.
The application, for the change of use of two pig units to storage and distribution, was initially refused. Conversion of a building for business purposes is considered acceptable in principle, subject to location, character, historic or architectural merit, being suitable for the proposed use and having been in existence for at least ten years. The refusal claimed that “the buildings, subject to this application, have evidently not been in existence for ten years and the development is therefore contrary to policy.”
Planning permission for the two units was granted in August 2011, giving a timescale of nearly eight years of sole agricultural use. In our Appeal Representations, we accepted that the ten year period hadn’t been met by two years. We argued that planning judgement should be applied to the buildings, and that any extension for the use of supplying further livestock would not be successful due to odour and environmental health concerns.
The inspector concluded that although failing to meet the policy conditions, it met other requirements through the location and character being suitable for the proposed use. The conversion would help to secure managed economic growth and contribute to the maintenance of sustainable communities in the district. It would also maintain the vitality of rural communities and strengthen rural economy, in accordance with policy and provisions of the framework. It was found that the proposal represented an appropriate use for the buildings with regard to local and national policies which seek to protect the countryside.
Congratulations to our planning and architecture team, who showed hard work and dedication to the appeal on behalf of our client. The Town Planner for this case was Lucy Pierce, while the Architectural Technician was Nadia Amietszajew.
Hosted by Deer Park Hall & Business Centre near Pershore, the Seminar was Chaired by James Walton, Director of Sheldon Bosley Knight, who gave the welcome address and introduced the speakers.
Daniel Jackson, Director from our Stratford office explained the Class Q permitted development rules and gave some examples, followed by Daniel O’Donnell of Rosconn who gave the audience an insight into Promotion Agreements. Tony Rowland, Director from our Evesham office discussed the aspects of commercial letting of agricultural buildings followed by Douglas Godwin of Parkinson Wright who addressed the potential legal pitfalls.
It was a very informative morning with plenty of opportunity for Q&A from the audience who were all keen to learn about the diversification opportunities for agricultural buildings.
Sheldon Bosley Knight would like to thank all those attended, and Deer Park for providing the venue and refreshments.
For more information or advice regarding rural diversification options, please contact our Planning Team on 01789 387887.
On the 15th of August 2019 the Planning & Architecture Department at Sheldon Bosley Knight received Planning Inspectorate approval of an appeal against Stratford on Avon District Council’s refusal of a Householder Application.
The application for rear single storey and side pitched roof extensions to a dwelling in the Conservation Area was initially refused by the Stratford Planning Committee against the recommendations of two Case Officers and the Conservation Officer on reasons of overbearing and visual impacts on the neighbouring listed dwelling.
Although the committee accepted that the single storey extension and other minor alterations were acceptable, members disagreed on the impact of the pitched roof extension and refused the proposed scheme in its entirety.
In our Appeal Representations we were able to convincingly argue that the proposed pitch roof addition to the existing side extension would not result in a greater overbearing impact in terms of overshadowing and loss of light than the existing protrusion.
Supported by the Case Officer and Conservation Officer reports and recommendations that the character and appearance of the proposed development would preserve and enhance the Conservation Area, we maintained that the pitched roof extension would not compromise the amenity of the neighbours.
Sectional drawings of the existing and proposed elevations were produced to reinforce our claim.
The Inspector concluded that the pitched roof extension would not adversely impact the amenity of the neighbouring property and the proposed alterations and additions would not appear overly dominant or intrusive and allowed the appeal.
The Town Planner for this case was Natasha Blackmore da Silva and the Architectural Technician was Nadia Amietszajew.
If you have property that you would like to extend and would like to explore the options available, please contact the Planning and Architecture Team on 01789 292310 or visit the Planning and Architectural pages of our website.
On the 29th of July 2019 the Planning & Architecture Department at Sheldon Bosley Knight received approval for a Certificate of Lawfulness Application to allow an agriculturally tied dwelling to be occupied in breach of the condition indefinitely.
The bungalow had received planning consent in 1985 as a market gardener’s dwelling with occupancy restricted to those employed or last employed in agriculture. Under a legal mechanism within the planning framework it is permissible to apply to continue to occupy a dwelling subject to an occupancy condition in breach of this restriction if you can provide evidence that this has already been done continuously for a period in excess of ten years.
Evidence from the Applicants, the previous owner and the tenant was provided and consolidated into a Statutory Declaration by the Planning Department at Sheldon Bosley Knight to support a continuous breach for the past twelve years in excess of the ten year minimum requirement. This information when counter signed by a solicitor became a legal document which was used to support the Certificate of Lawful Existing Use application to Wychavon District Council.
Wychavon District Council concluded that on balance the information provided demonstrated that the property had been occupied in breach of the agricultural condition for a continuous period in excess of ten years and, in the absence of any contradictory evidence, they approved the application.
If you have property with occupancy restrictions and would like to explore the options available, please contact the Planning and Architecture Team on 01789 387887 or visit the Planning and Architectural pages of our website.
On June 25th 2019 the Planning & Architecture Department at Sheldon Bosley Knight received planning consent for the erection of 4 dwellings on a site of former garages in Stratford upon Avon.
The site had recently been featured in the Stratford Herald after local residents raised concerns that the dilapidated garages, which were boarded up and covered in graffiti, were becoming a hub for antisocial behaviour and drug taking and that the Council, by refusing a previous application to redevelop the site in 2017, were obstructing progress and exacerbating this issue.
Sheldon Bosley Knight were tasked with preparing a revised scheme in response to the similar 2017 application for 5 units on the site. The new scheme included 4 units; three 3-bedroom and one 2-bedroom, which were a mixture of semi-detached and detached properties.
Previously the Council had been concerned that adequate garden space could not be achieved for each of the proposed dwellings. We re-designed the layout of the scheme to give each proposed dwelling a garden area well in excess of the Council’s guidelines thereby removing the only reason for refusal.
Working closely with Stratford on Avon District Council we created a scheme that was policy compliant and made the best use of the site. There were no objections to the scheme and it was approved under Delegated Powers.
For more information about the Sheldon Bosley Knight Planning Department please contact the team on 01789 387887 or visit the Planning and Architectural pages of our website.
Sheldon Bosley Knight are delighted to welcome Lucy Pierce who joins the Planning & Architecture Team as Town Planner.
Director Daniel Jackson said, “We’re really pleased to announce the addition of Lucy Pierce to the team. Lucy joins us following stints with a number of Local Planning Authorities in the area including, Stratford, Warwick, South Northants and Redditch/Bromsgrove. Prior to that, Lucy spent 5 years in the private sector. We are excited to bolster the team here at Stratford and have the benefit of Lucy’s knowledge and experience”.
Whilst undertaking her Geography studies at St Mary’s University in Twickenham, Lucy undertook a work placement at Richmond Council and discovered her vocation. She says “I’m very excited to be joining the Planning and Architecture team in Stratford. Returning to the private sector will give me the opportunity to work with clients and see their sites before the planning ball starts rolling, in turn offering advice and input to their desired scheme resulting in a positive outcome with a great scheme.”
She continued, “I decided on the move to Sheldon Bosley Knight as I will be involved in some really interesting projects that are well designed and thought out to suit and enhance the environment they will potentially be within.”
The Sheldon Bosley Knight Planning & Architecture team are skilled and experienced professionals in projects of all sizes and types; we can assist you whatever your needs. From initial, informal planning advice, through to the preparation, submission and monitoring of planning applications and appeals, we are here to guide you through the ever more complicated world of planning. Often we can give you a ‘yes or no’ steer on the merits of a project in a matter of minutes.
Sheldon Bosley Knight were delighted to sponsor the recent Diversification via Development Seminar hosted by Warwickshire Rural Hub on Tuesday 30th April.
The Seminar provided an opportunity for farmers and landowners to learn more about the options available to them for converting farm buildings to residential use. Daniel Jackson, Director of Sheldon Bosley Knight and an Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute, was joined by two other local experts who between them covered the planning, finance and tax implications of rural diversification.
Daniel explained the Class Q Permitted Development rights that were introduced in 2014 and which apply to buildings that were in agricultural use on 20th March 2013.
He gave some examples of Class Q applications and discussed the common pitfalls to be aware of including the maximum floor space that can be developed, the number of dwellings allowed and the deadline for completion of the building.
Daniel and his planning team have worked on a number of successful Class Q applications and he emphasised the importance of seeking professional advice for anybody considering Class Q development given the strict criteria that applies.
The audience also heard from Daniel O’Donnell from Rosconn Strategic Land who discussed the role of Promotion Agreements and their value to the landowner, and Mark Dickin of Ellacotts explained the all important tax implications.
The seminar was very well attended with over 85 guests who enjoyed networking over hot bacon baps and the opportunity to ask questions of the speakers.
Natasha Blackmore Da Silva, Assistant Planner at Sheldon Bosley Knight, recently spent a day at Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) as part of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)’s ‘Chief Planners of Tomorrow’ Initiative that provides young planners with the opportunity to experience public sector planning from a ‘behind the scenes’ perspective. In this blog, Natasha shares some thoughts and experiences about her brief time in the public sector…..
The main purpose of my day was to engage with public sector planners and gain insight into the decisions and challenges the senior management team face trying to balance public services, fiscal constraints, the expectations of stakeholders and the effects of politics.
I had the opportunity to engage not only with the planning team but also the senior management team and the directors.
“If you want to change the culture, you will have to start by changing the organisation.” Mary Douglas.
The way we use the planning authority is changing – more applications than ever are being submitted online, correspondence is via email, and the telephone has become the primary means of communication. It only follows that these changes should prompt planning authorities to change the way they are run. The senior management team at B&NES call this a “Culture Change” and it is more difficult than you think to provide planning advice for a modern and ever changing world.
Maintaining its efficiency and capacity in the face of the modern world means changing the way the department is run day-to-day. The Council is increasingly encouraging employees to work from home when possible to avoid unnecessary commutes into the city and the consequential vehicular pollution.
My first meeting of the day involved reviewing the Department’s ‘Home Working’ Protocols to ensure that both employees and customers were getting the most from the exercise. This included automated responses on emails indicating alternative numbers to call, accessing emails online from home, and performance reviews. The Managers note that it has taken a while for local authorities to realise that planning agents and applicants don’t care if you’re not in the office as long as they can get hold of you.
It’s more than just determining planning applications
Like many private sector planners I was under the misapprehension that planners spend their whole day at their desks deciding the fate of our applications. However, I have learnt that this is far from true and there is much more to being a public sector planner than just determining applications.
Over the course of one day I was presented with only a fraction of the challenges and issues that the senior management team faces. Some are planning related, for example, new policies and information that need to be taken into consideration when determining applications; others are more administrative challenges such as confidentiality issues and website navigation problems.
It was also interesting to see how B&NES tries to engage with service users on other platforms, for instance, the Agents Forum which allows agents to provide feedback on how the planning service could be improved. .
The second part of my day involved a case busting session in which the whole planning team discussed recent case law and policy amendments that could affect how they interpret the wording of policy when making decisions.
We also reviewed a few recent appeal decisions that the senior managers felt were important for all team members not only to be aware of but also to understand the decision fully and use to support their future decisions.
A word with the Director
My meeting with Lisa Bartlett, Director of Development & Public Protection, offered me some final nuggets of wisdom. The main thing she wanted me to take away from the day was that ‘Communication is Key’. This is not as simple as it seems, but it is important that public sector planners try their best to communicate sufficiently due to the large number of people planning decisions can impact directly and indirectly.
Bath Spa is a truly fascinating place with a mix of listed buildings, heritage assets, and modern structures. It is only logical that the planning department would walk the fine line of protecting the past whilst also preparing Bath for a modern and more forward thinking world.
I am grateful to the RTPI for arranging this opportunity and to Lisa Bartlett and the senior managers at B&NES for sharing their time and wisdom. It was a privilege to participate in such an incredible educational opportunity and I hope that this initiative continues to expand so that more young planners can benefit.
The SBK Planning Team were successful in gaining planning permission under Class Q of the Permitted Development Order for the conversion of a small agricultural building on the Walton Estate to a dwelling.
This project required our comprehensive support including initial planning advice and consultation, drawing up of the designs, preparation of the application and submission of the plans to Stratford District Council for approval – our full service!
Do you have a similar building that you are considering for conversion and would like some advice?
If so, please give the team a call on 01789 292310.
Here at SBK, our Planning and Architectural team are on the front line dealing with a variety of planning works, large and small. Here’s a snapshot of what’s going on at the moment:
Planning Application Fee Increases and Permission in Principle
The Government has now introduced a 20% increase in planning application fees. This came into effect as at January 17th. The regulations introducing the fee increase were approved by the House of Lords’ Grand Committee in December 2017. Under the previous fee schedule a full application for a single dwelling would incur a fee of £385, this has now increased to £462 under the new fee regime.
The regulations also included an order to allow developers to submit applications to local planning authorities for Permission in Principle (PiP). It splits the application process in two, so that the residential development can secure PiP first, achieving full consent through further technical details consent at a later date. The aim is to provide a more streamlined fast-track planning process, in the hopes of speeding up housing delivery.
As part of Theresa May’s January 2018 cabinet reshuffle Sajid Javid has gained a new title and will be known in future as the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, his department will be similarly renamed.
In addition Brexiteer Dominic Raab has been appointed as the new housing minister. His track record is strongly pro-Green Belt, illustrating that any weakening of Green Belt protection by the Government is off the table.
News Closer to Home
The Bellway Homes planning application for 99 units at Bordon Hill, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon was refused by Stratford District Council last week. The proposed scheme included the provision of 35 affordable residential units in line with Core Strategy policy.
The scheme was refused by the Case Officer on a number of grounds including its location outside of the defined Built-up Area Boundary of Stratford-upon-Avon and its negative impact on the open countryside.
The District Council still maintains that it can demonstrate a Five Year Housing Land Supply of 6.67 years as calculated at 31st March 2017.
Likewise, the Kler Group were also dismissed at appeal for their scheme of up to 240 dwellings for similar reasons. It’s clear that Stratford District currently have a robust development plan to resist speculative schemes, but with a heavy reliance on Long Marston Airfield and Gaydon Lighthorne Heath to deliver houses going forward, it will be interesting to see how long this will last.
A wave of neighbourhood plans in Stratford District are set to be formally adopted or progress to referendum. When formally adopted, Neighbourhood Plans carry significant weight in planning decisions.
We’re all very busy at the moment with a cluster of new instructions coming through during January.
Recent highlights include approvals for a modern barn conversion in North Warwickshire, (pictured) which was approved earlier this week, as well as approval for a new dwelling in Alderminster for a private client designed by our architectural team (pictured above).
If you have any planning requirements, large or small, give us a call on 01789 292310.