We were engaged by the neighbour of a private school in an exclusive part of London to investigate the development of leisure and sporting facilities right next to their house on land that had previously been kept as a screen of woodland. These had been installed without permission, the school attempting to ‘slip in’ the facilities under the cover of another permission nearby. Having investigated the recent history of permissions we are able to find a technicality that proved this equipment did not have consent, and that the local council had incorrectly concluded that no action could be taken. Reluctant to admit this error we were forced to seek scrutiny of the process from local elected ward members, which did produce a new planning application and a chance for the key issues to be aired properly. This was subsequently refused, leading to significant improvement to our client’s amenity and comfort in their own home.
This was especially pleasing in that our client had faced intense pressure from both the school and their own planning consultancy – one of the ‘major’ corporate firms, who seemed to take the view that their views could not be wrong. To our clients this felt like all parties were lined up against them, until our evidence and actions demonstrated without question that fundamental errors in the application of planning law had allowed this to happen, and could not be allowed to stand uncorrected.
Orbis was approached via a firm of solicitors whose clients were concerned about the impacts of a potential development of holiday homes in the small courtyard development where they lived peacefully. We were able to understand our clients concerns, explain the basics of how the officer at the authority will be considering the case and then develop a strategy based on the areas of weakness in the applicant’s proposal. Having done this, our client’s were pleased when the applicant took out the majority of proposed works that would have impacted upon them in order to allow his proposal to gain consent. A win-win situation in the end.
This case shows the value of employing our public sector knowledge in assisting you in your concerns and objections concerning neigbouring developments.