• tonychorsey

A Woodman's Lodge.

Updated: Jun 25, 2020

If the planners had been based in a candy cottage we'd have been better prepared for what should have been a simple replacement dwelling application.....

This is a tired, un-insulated, former farm workers cottage that is well beyond viable repair, a fact the planners accepted, so a replacement of similar size, in the same location is a straightforward exercise right? There are times where, whatever our experience, or expertise, or knowledge tells us, that none of this counts and we need to dig in for a fight!

We started with a prelim inquiry, to establish the principle that we could extend the existing dwelling to the rear by 20% of volume, nice and simple. Sadly the case officer responded that the elevation behind the house was in fact the side and as such permitted development doesn't apply.

“It doesn't matter which side faces the road, the principle elevation is where I say it is.”

Time to advise the client of a hostile environment and prepare for battle!

There are other ways.

Our proposal was to replace a run down farm workers cottage with a new cottage, designed to be sympathetic to the rural surroundings, that would enhance the local environment. For reasons, still unknown, the case officer took against it and whatever concessions we made would not change position. It was time to go local.

The application had received no objections, rare enough in a rural village, so we canvased opinion with the Parish Council who unanimously supported our proposals. Then on to a site meeting with the ward Councillor who, quite rightly, said he would reflect the views of the parish. Despite some technical manoeuvring by the case officer, to resist, the application was called before committee recommended for refusal. We presented our case and some basic facts:

  • We were proposing the replacement of a near derelict dwelling.

  • The scale of which was within permitted development proportions.

  • It was in the same location as the existing house.

  • It had the support of the Parish and Ward Councillors

  • It had received no objections.

In the face of a quite aggressive presentation by the case officer common sense prevailed and the application was approved.

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"I believe the construction industry is undergoing a renaissance and the next few years will be the most exciting in an already diverse and interesting career"

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