East Dorset District Council and Wiltshire Council: Darryl Howells, a director of Pure Town Planning is celebrating after receiving three separate Section 73 planning application decisions, (approving the developments) from two different Councils in one “Super Monday”.

A Section 73 application of the Town & Country Planning Act allows an applicant to vary or remove planning condition(s) imposed on a decision notice.  Once approved the Council then issues a second decision notice, thereby giving the applicant a choice to which planning permission to implement. These two cases give two good examples of when a Section 73 application might be useful: firstly to vary a condition that listed drawings numbers so a slightly revised scheme could be built (often known as a minor amendment application); and secondly to seek relief of planning conditions that were imposed unreasonably or are no longer necessary.

First in East Dorset, a new client had previously received planning permission for the erection of a chalet bungalow however the internal layout limited the accommodation within the roof and positioned the bathroom and a bedroom on the ground floor, which is less than ideal.  With Darryl’s assistance, the applicant now has planning permission for a larger chalet bungalow with all the bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, including a new master bedroom that will be facilitated by a larger roof extension and prominent gable to the street scene.  Darryl’s arguments convinced the Senior Planning Officer that there was no material harm caused to visual amenities, and concerns regarding increased overlooking could be mitigated by the imposition of an oriel window on the front elevation.  The Section 73 application was subsequently approved under delegated powers.

Over in Wiltshire, an existing client purchased a new site which came with planning permission (won at appeal by Pure Town Planning) for the change of use of a public house to 2no. 3 bedroom dwellings and the erection of 1no. 2 bedroom dwelling in the rear of the site.  The Planning Inspector had imposed two conditions at the request of the Council, but Darryl considered them to be inappropriate and unnecessary, namely the need to construct the detached house to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH); and the need for the converted public house to residential to comply with BREEAM homes standard of ‘Very Good’.

In respect of the CSH condition, Darryl successfully argued that the relevant planning policy no longer dealt with CSH so the condition was unnecessary.  The second condition was argued by Darryl suggesting that BREEAM is usually imposed on commercial units and therefore requiring the converted pub to housing to be built to BREEAM standards was not supported by policy and would make the scheme unviable.  In respect of both Section 73 applications, the planning officer supported the arguments and issued new decision notices without the planning conditions for CSH or BREEAM imposed.

If you have received planning permission and there are conditions imposed that you do not agree or you have a scheme approved and question whether it is the best it could be, then please get in touch with a planning consultant from Pure Town Planning where we will offer you a free consultation and advice to how we can improve the scheme, or improve its viability and profit.