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

27th February 2011: “For what it’s worth, here’s my prediction. Planning consent will be given with all previous decisions deemed irrelevant”. Well, as of today, (17th June 2011), a part of this developer’s application has been approved as I’d predicted. Mystic Dick strikes again: God, I’m good!

Full blog from February 2011
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.

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