In the Home section of today’s Sunday Times, journalist Martina Lees provides a detailed analysis of a crisis in the planning system. The article (which can be read here) features our detailed research on the proportion of planning applications approved by various councils up and down the country, the delays in the approval of some applications and the erratic nature of many of the decisions.
The newspaper spoke to a number of our clients, several of whom have had a particularly rough time with planning or enforcement issues. Marina Sergides (in Enfield) recounts how she was forced to enter into a legal agreement (as a cost of £1,500) to secure payment of a education contribution of £1,200, even though she had already paid the contribution in question. Corina Painter (in Barnet) recounts how she was pursued by the council’s enforcement team despite following Just Planning’s advice to convert her mother’s greenhouse into an outbuilding and therefore having committed no breach of planning control. In both Corina’s and Marina’s cases, the council only backed down when they took formal legal action against them. Not all householders have the wherewithal to take their planning problems this far.
Just Planning works mostly with homeowners and small developers who have found themselves in difficulties with council planners. In some cases, they have been refused planning permission and they sense that the decision is unfair. In others, they have been waiting months (or even years) for a decision and cannot even get the case officer on the telephone. In many cases, they have been issued with an Enforcement Notice and may have to demolish part of their home. All of our consultants have worked in local councils as case officers and know exactly how the planning system works. We can help solve your planning problems, either through discussions with the council, amendments to your scheme or through a planning appeal.
If you are having difficulties with a planning issue, please do not hesitate to contact us for some free advice.