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That old chestnut again!

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That old chestnut again!

Postby vushtrri » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:43 am

Now I know this subject has been covered in one form if another but your views either opinionated or factual would be appreciated, there seems to be some differences of opinion on the subject including those contained in the blogs of Martin Goodall......

31 days ago the planning people stamped my Prior Notification as having been received regarding the siting of a 20' ISO on my 6.8 acre site for forestry purposes. I included a site map etc and a covering letter that gave no reference to anything other that that which I intended to do..ie forestry! A few weeks ago they asked for clarification on one or two matters...nothing heard since and thus we are 3 days over the 28 day period.....
Should I wait to hear one way or another or say sod it and go ahead with our plans?
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby Wendelspanswick » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:09 pm

Take a look on their website for planning applications, find yours and if there is no decision than they have not objected in the timeframe so you can go ahead.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby vushtrri » Tue Apr 21, 2015 6:42 pm

Rang the planning office only to be told that the actual date that I had to be notified by was May 13th which would actually make it 53 days. I stated that it should be 28 days which would mean I should have been informed last week.....Ah well the lady that is dealing is off and the 28 days relates to Agricultural a Prior Notifications whereas yours is Forestry........

I then rattled off the spiel given on the gov planning portal to which she replied.....I'll get her to ring you on Thursday. Further search of the net found this case which went to the Court of Appeal

Case: Murrell v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and Another [2010] EWCA Civ 1367

Facts: This case clarifies the all-important question of when time starts to run when a prior notification application is submitted to a local planning authority (LPA). The claimants in the case ran a farm in Norfolk and proposed to erect a cattle shelter which was permitted development under the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) Order 1995 (the Order). They complied with the condition in the Order by applying to the LPA for a determination as to whether prior approval was required in relation to the siting, design and external appearance of the building. The LPA determined that prior approval was needed and refused approval. The LPA’s decision was appealed and the Inspector dismissed the same. The claimants then challenged the Inspector’s decision in the High Court and appealed to the Court of Appeal when the challenge was dismissed.

The Court of Appeal considered two issues:

whether the LPA’s determination had been made more than 28 days from the date of receipt of a valid application; if it had been, the subsequent refusal would not have legal effect.
whether the LPA had failed to take into account Annex E of PPG7 or had misinterpreted it.
Held: The Court held that the Order did not render the 28 day time period dependent on a decision by the LPA to accept the application as valid. The question of whether an application was valid was an objective question of law. The Court considered that the application complied with statutory requirements and the 28 day period therefore ran from that date. The fact that the claimants submitted plans in a new form on the LPA’s request did not “stop the clock running”. The Court therefore held that the Inspector should have allowed the appeal on the basis that the claimants had accrued permission for the proposed development on the 28th day.

Note: This case helpfully provides certainty to farmers and landowners applying for schemes under prior notification that the 28 day period runs from the submission of a valid application.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby Wendelspanswick » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:23 pm

I read that case as well, so a precedent has been set and you are well within your rights to continue!
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby vushtrri » Wed May 13, 2015 7:05 pm

Well I had a letter today stating that my Prior Approval notice had been refused and I must go for a full planning application.. The daft thing is, if you read the Town and Country Planning spiel it says the LPA has to notify you if any decision within 28 days....however whilst researching on the net, elsewhere it states that with regards to the Handling of each case, if it is to be refused and full planning is required, it reverts to 56 days..... Talk about the left hand not knowing what the right is doing...so I guess it's back to square one and see what they will agree to.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby Wendelspanswick » Thu May 14, 2015 9:03 am

But surely they have to refuse it within the 28 days?
Have you had a look on the Field To Farm website.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby vushtrri » Thu May 14, 2015 9:55 am

.This is what annex E then states.........all rather ambiguous and confusing to say the least!


E17 The 28 day determination period runs from the date of receipt of the written description of the proposed development by the local planning authority. If the local planning authority give notice that prior approval is required they will then have the normal 8 week period from the receipt of the submitted details to issue their decision, or such longer period as may be agreed in writing (see Article 21 of the Town and Country Planning (General Development Procedure) Order 1995. Development undertaken in breach of the conditions imposed by the Order or by the local planning authority may be the subject of enforcement action.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby Wendelspanswick » Thu May 14, 2015 11:39 am

I read that as:
If the local planning authority give notice that prior approval is required (in the 28 day period), they will then have the normal 8 week period from the receipt of the submitted details to issue their decision.

I am sure another LPD tried this on, I seem to remember reading about it on the Field To Farm forum.
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby vushtrri » Fri May 15, 2015 7:44 pm

Well finally managed to get through and speak to the person dealing with the application and in short....rather abrupt and cold to begin with and I definitely seemed to get the impression that those buying small plots are regarded as a nuisance and don't really want to work the land forestry wise but just want to play or as the person said...use the land as a hobby. I assured the person that working the land I have with the amount if work that is needed after so many years of undermanagement will be far more than a hobby. The refusal I had stated that they did not dee the nature of the work I intend to carry out there, coupled with the size of my plot as bringing my application within the remit of permitted development. On asking what size of plot would be considered as requiring 'forestry work'.....well we can't really say. On asking what may be considered appropriate for my acreage and plans...ie would a three sided shed be deemed acceptable in which to store equipment etc I was told I would have to submit another app with a management plan with a report from a qualified person stating that they agreed with my management plan and that the work was required. It ended with me saying that basically I should chuck a beam between two trees and sling a tarp over it if I wish to carry out work in the wood. I can fully understand where the person was coming from with regards to unsightly shelters appearing in woods that have been split up, but the fact is, many large woods/ forests have been split up and sold and now there is an opportunity for these bits of land to be managed properly and for people to get enjoyment from them. Personally if the law said that each owner of a plot if forest of x amount acres is allowed to place a wooden shed/ workshop non residential use...it would solve a lot of problems.
I then queried the fact that they had applied a 53 day time period as opposed to the 28 day statutory period stipulated in the TCP act...(apparently there was a glitch on the system )..and that as the law stands I could if I wished place my desired shelter on the land. The person acknowledged that I was indeed entitled to do so by default. I stated that I wished to work with the LPA, wanted to do things correctly and not to get people's back up.....I just wanted to have some form of storage shed on the land to leave a few things and shelter......so that's it...I'll have a rethink and buy a big tarp!
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Re: That old chestnut again!

Postby wrekin » Tue May 19, 2015 9:26 pm

I would go ahead with your original plan. That's what you wanted to do and now what you are legally entitled to do. These people have no interest in your woodland except when it crosses their desk. It's not like falling out with neighbours or locals. Councils rely on people not wanting to stand up to them, and the next person this one does it to may not have access to the information you do.

I would write to them and get them to acknowledge that they have not replied to your notification within the required period from when they received it, and that in law you are entitled to proceed without planning permission. I would complain that they sent you a misleading letter which ignored this and ask that they assure you they will rectify their procedures or you will go to the Local Government Ombudsman (which is a free service.) I would make a nuisance of myself until they gave me something in writing acknowledging I can go ahead.

If you send something in writing enclosing the material you've quoted here, I expect it will get passed up the chain internally to someone who knows the only sensible response is to just acknowledge the fortuitous legal situation you're now in right away :)

It is remarkable how common it is for councils to assume that the clock is reset by them wanting maps to be coloured in differently or whatever. It happened to me twice (although what arrived late in both cases were the decisions that I wanted.)
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