Sometimes we’re not involved in a project from the start, but we’re there when needed! We don’t tend to take on cases for objecting groups but in this case we couldn’t say no…
Last week Planning House appeared at Durham’s Planning Committee on behalf of a client who’s planning consultant could not represent them as they had another commitment. In general Councils will not change the date of a Planning Committee meeting if an interested party cannot attend.
Whilst not involved from the start of the application process we were contacted last week to support a group of neighbours objecting to a planning application. In this case the application revolves around works to 2 barns within an agricultural unit for the purposes of keeping livestock (pigs). The resulting noise, smells, spraying of livestock waste would inevitably have a detrimental impact on the residential amenity of the local residents and impact on the environment and local woodland.
The farm will house up to 650 pigs and the barn is 40 metres away from the nearest neighbouring house, with another 9 homes within 400 metres.
Local Planning Authorities can only take into account ‘material planning considerations’ when looking at comments and objections to a development proposal. View our guide to What are Material Planning Considerations?
What we did…
We quickly became au fair with the issues over a weekend and represented the clients at the Committee, presenting a compelling case for Councillors sitting on the Planning Committee to consider. Most of the time we do advocate that interested parties represent themselves at these meetings, however in this case the client wanted professional assistance.
Whilst the application was recommended for approval by Durham County Councils Planning Team we presented the case against the development during the proceedings and much to the delight of the client the application was refused.
The original planning consultant presented a robust written case for the third party group, with us provided additional support verbally.
There is the opportunity open to the applicant to appeal the decision, so whilst a victory was secured at the Committee this may not be the end of the process for the third party group.
Planning Committees can be daunting for people who have never had to engage in them, in our blog How Planning Applications are Decided – Delegated v Committee we provide basic information about what you can expect during a planning committee.
If an appeal is progressed, knowing the appeal process is beneficial, we’re published a Free eBook on Basics of Appeals.