A Plan To Negotiate (Part ll) Or The Plans of Mice and Developers

Last October I wrote about the ‘touchy’ subject of planning. I say touchy because more often than not obtaining planning permission anywhere these days can be a lengthy, personal and costly affair. Frustration can be added to that list, especially if ones dreams can be shattered at the stroke of a pen, and yet, for good or evil, a decision is a decision and that’s that. Unless of course one has unlimited resources in manpower, incentive, cash and business acumen. This would at least allow for greater flexibility and persistence the likes of which most of us can only dream. I am of course referring to the property developer. It seems that they have an uncanny knack of finding parcels of land which have already had planning decisions made about their future, both at parish and borough levels, yet through their aforementioned resources manage somehow to find ways of seeing opportunities where others fear to tread. Let me give you a genuine example. A man decides to apply for planning permission to build five houses on a piece of land. After a great deal of thought, even objections by neighbours to the detailed plans, the authorities reduce the ambitions of the man to allow for the building of three bungalows. All is agreed. The man and his neighbours are now happy. Before any building or development of the land can take place the man sadly dies, leaving all his worldly goods to his family. They then decide to sell the house, including any planning consent, and after several months, all of the property is sold. The buyer is a developer. The new owner has of course, no intention of living on the property, and ones natural assumption is that they might begin work on the aforementioned bungalows, from which a tidy profit might be made. However, they have plans of their own. They immediately clear the land of all debris in preparation for development then begin drawing up the master plan. To build five new homes: four bungalows and a one and a half storey (whatever that is) house. Now, what puzzles me is which part of ‘three bungalows’ don’t they understand? Ah, I’m forgetting, developers don’t think like you and me, they’re much cleverer. They send out letters to nearby residents telling them that the original planning consent for the construction of the three bungalows did not apply to the whole site, allowing them to submit a new application for the rest. Perhaps I’m being disingenuous. Maybe someone at the developers made a mistake in buying the land not realising that only three bungalows not five new properties could be built which, let’s face it, would be one almighty financial faux pas! Confused? I am. I suppose we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Yet, for what it’s worth, here’s my prediction. Planning consent will be given with all previous decisions deemed irrelevant. And they say there’s a slump in the housing market. Don’t you believe it!   Well, for what its worth, here’s an update:        

GRETTON   PARISH   COUNCIL

 Minutes of the Meeting held on Monday 14th March at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.

Planning:-

        11/00060/DPA – Proposed residential development of 4 chalet bungalows and 1 detached house.

 The meeting was attended by villagers and neighbours concerned in this scheme.  The objections centred around the fact that a similar application had been refused (08/00106/OUT) and subsequently permission was granted for a maximum of three bungalows (09/00150/OUT).  The present proposals are unsuitable for the following reasons and these will form the basis of the reply to Corby BC.

1        The visual impact of the number and style of houses would have a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of properties occupied by near neighbours with a loss of privacy.

2        Access to the proposed development, which is already used by a large number of existing residents and as a right of way to properties in High Street, would create an unacceptable amount of congestion and problems arising out of access and egress to and from Kirby Road.

3        Inadequate off road parking for visitors and overnight guests.

4        Inadequate access for emergency and refuse vehicles and concern over on-going maintenance of the access road to ensure its continuance.

5        General concern regarding adequate drainage facilities

6        General concern regarding contamination of the site.

       11/00061/DPA – Land at Orchard Lane

 Once again objections centred around changes to agreed plans.  Permission had been granted for a single storey bungalow with a maximum of two bedrooms (10/00120/DPA).  However the new application is for a three bedroom bungalow with some rooms in the roof.

 Parish Council will reply to Corby BC in the following terms:-

1          The inclusion of windows in the roof would have a detrimental effect on the enjoyment of properties occupied by near neighbours with a loss of privacy

2          Inadequate off road parking for visitors and overnight guests.

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