Working with Creative Architects Ltd and after several long months working with High Peak Borough Council, planning permission has been granted to demolish a single storey stable building with a three bedroom bungalow. The Council agreed that the proposal accorded with Government guidelines with regards to the redevelopment of previously developed land in the Green Belt. The bungalow allows the applicant to downsize from a nearby property and for her family to live close.
Despite ongoing discussion about the proposed planning conditions the Council imposed fifteen planning conditions which in our opinion many failed to meet the six planning tests. An appeal against some of the planning conditions was lodged.
A Full Award of Costs has been awarded and permission granted to vary and delete planning conditions relating the bungalow.
Environmental Health conditions relating to dust, fires and emissions were not considered reasonable as they are more appropriately dealt with under other legislation. A condition relating to an asbestos survey was withdrawn by the Council.
Conditions were amended to ensure that development could start without any pre-development conditions and some were amended for precision.
As is so often the case the Council imposed a condition that removed permitted development rights for extensions, alterations and outbuildings on the basis of its impact on the openness of the Green Belt and on the basis of protecting the character of the area. Such a condition is contrary to Government advice which states that planning conditions should not be used to restrict national permitted development rights unless there is clear justification to do so.
The Inspector concluded:
“I note that the approved dwelling resulted in a reduction in floor area and volume compared to the existing buildings, thus it was determined that it did not have a greater impact on the openness of the Green Belt than the existing development. However, extensions and other alterations/additions which could be carried out to the approved dwelling under PD rights would be relatively limited in this instance, given its setback positioning within the site and its close relationship to the side and rear boundaries. My attention has not been drawn to any specific extensions or alterations which could occur and any harm that may subsequently result. As such, I am not convinced that the removal of the PD rights included within the condition are necessary to preserve the openness of the Green Belt.”
In respect of the Full Award of Costs the Inspector came to the following conclusion:
“Paragraph 049 of the PPG sets out a list of types of behaviour which may give rise to a substantial award of costs against a local planning authority. This includes imposing conditions which are not necessary, relevant to planning and to the development to be permitted, enforceable, precise and reasonable in all other respects.
My findings above lead me to conclude that the imposition of the aforementioned conditions, either in their entirety or their specific wording, were against national guidance in that they were either unnecessary, unreasonable or not precise."
Accordingly, the Council behaved unreasonably which resulted in the applicant incurring unnecessary and wasted expense through the subsequent appeal to challenge this decision and the expense of making the costs application. A full award of costs is therefore justified.”
Despite engagement with the Planning Officer about the suggested conditions during the course of the application none of the conditions were amended and this resulted in the planning appeal.
This is a case where the Council was unwilling to enter into negotiations regarding draft planning conditions and did not assess each condition against the strict criteria imposed through paragraph 049 of the PPG.