Planning approved for a replacement 3x bed dwelling near East Grinstead

Dan-wood-House 2017

Our recent planning approval sought the replacement of an existing modular dwelling with a larger property and is a prime example of how our strategic approach adds value to development schemes.

The importance of a good planning strategy:

The complexities surrounding this particular case date back over a number of years and this most recent approval signifies the second stage in a strategic planning approach.

Phase one related to the existing modular building, that was constructed without planning permission in 2003 and has been used as an independent dwelling since that time. We successfully applied for a Certificate of Lawfulness in 2017 to regularise the existence of a dwelling at the site.

Following this successful application, we subsequently engaged with the Council in pre-application discussions, which fed into phase 2 of the strategy, which sought to replace the existing modular building with a new, larger, 3x bed independent dwelling.

Overcoming site constraints:

The planning for this application was further complicated by several site specific and planning policy constraints, including:

  • Proximity to an ancient woodland and partial inclusion within an identified buffer zone, where development is resisted by the Council. Through continual dialogue with the Council, the design and site layout evolved during the application process to respond to this position. We were also able to argue that this policy constraint could be relaxed given the use of the site as a dwelling since 2003.
  • An adopted local policy that resists the loss of small homes. However, we successfully convinced the Council that their emerging local plan policy in relation to replacement dwellings carried sufficient weight in this case to enable a step away from the existing policy.
  • Due to its rural setting, the site is a considerable distance from main roads and we received an objection from Highways in respect to waste collection. However, we demonstrated that a pragmatic approach was required, considering the existing residential arrangement which dates back over 15 years.

The planning balance:

Planning is often about the balance between competing issues, and overcoming constraints. In this case, a staged planning approach established the presence of existing dwelling and then allowed it to be replaced with a more suitable dwelling, however other site specific issues still needed to be resolved. Given the complicated site constraints a good and open dialogue was required with the Council to ensure that a positive decision was made. We are delighted that this application has now been approved.

About us:

Plainview Planning is an independent planning consultancy. We work on exciting and challenging projects across England, ranging from planning applications and appeals to large developments and commercial new builds. If you have a project and would like our expertise then contact the team today on