Winchester City Council: Pure Town Planning recently won a planning appeal to overturn a refusal of planning permission by Winchester City Council.
The appeal site was a countryside cottage and smallholding. Our client was seeking to replace an old milking shed with a new multi-purpose domestic outbuilding on the same position and almost the same size. The Council’s refusal of planning consent centred around their concern that the new outbuilding, given its size, would be “tantamount to a new dwelling in the countryside”. They also, at the very last minute, raised the issue of possible bats within the old building – something which should have been highlighted right at the start of the application process (probably before it was registered).
Our client approached Pure Town Planning for advice, wondering whether to try and negotiate a new scheme with the Council or to appeal. Our advice was to appeal – we could see the prospects looked good so there didn’t seem much point compromising just yet.
Our first task was arrange for the existing building to be surveyed for bats. Whilst evidence of low-key bat use was found, our bat consultant drew up a mitigation plan to deal with the issue. We appealed the refusal with the bat survey and mitigation plan and a strong argument that the Council’s concerns about permitting a new dwelling in the countryside were completely unfounded. In the decision the Inspector was clearly persuaded by the merits of our case and granted full planning permission much to our client’s delight.
If your application seems to be heading towards refusal, do not rush to withdraw it as the planning officer’s will suggest, instead talk to Pure Town Planning first. Withdrawing a planning application rarely has any benefits for the applicant and means you always forgo the right of appeal. If you already have the refusal then contact Pure Town Planning for an honest view of your prospects on appeal. Remember for householder applications you only have 12 weeks in which to lodge an appeal – not the usual 6 months.