Detailed assessment and analysis of an extensive evidence base followed by effective presentation of the key facts were central to us securing retrospective planning permission for 2x residential developments on a backland site in Uttlesford, Essex.
Retrospective planning permission – preparing a suitable planning strategy
We were approached to assist as our client was keen to regularise the planning position for two dwellings in their rear garden. There are several ways to apply for planning permission for retrospective uses, however, ascertaining the best planning route forward is very much dependant on the site specifics, length of time that development has been in existence and what material evidence can be supplied to substantiate any of the above.
In cases like these, we like to engage with the client to both understand their longer-term aspirations as well as get a feel for the quantity, type and quality of documentation they may have in order to support any application. That way we can give better advice on what planning strategy may be the best way to proceed and lead to a more positive outcome.
Initially this means that we will need to spend a reasonable amount of time liaising with the client to establish and review any documentation and records they have. This can be a time-consuming process, but it means that we don’t waste time further down the line if the appropriate information is not available or in the correct format.
Certificate of Lawfulness for 2 dwellings
In this instance, after a site visit and review of initial documentation, we felt that a Certificate of Lawfulness would be the best route. As Certificate of Lawfulness (CoL) applications are reviewed not only by the Local Planning Authority but also their legal teams, it is imperative that clear, detailed records are collated, rationalised and summarised as part of the application preparation, to give the case officer the required level of information in as easily digestible manner as possible.
We are well versed in these types of applications and following a detailed review of the case, we prepared a CoL application for each property. We collated the documentary evidence including statutory declarations, prepared a detailed written commentary to support each application and presented the evidence in a visually accessible Gantt Chart, so that the case officer could see at a glance the robust quality of the documents before them.
We successfully demonstrated that the relevant legislative threshold of “on the balance of probability” was reached. This means that the evidence we present should give the LPA the confidence that in the balance of probability, the use/building/etc has been such for a particular amount of time. In this instance it was that the two premises had been in residential use for more than 4 years.
We engaged proactively with the Local Planning Authority during the determination period and our client was thrilled with the outcome of the two tandem planning applications, as both were approved within the 12-week decision deadline.
We are so pleased that we have been able to regularise the planning position for our client, and future proof 2 residential dwellings for both our client and their family.
If you have a development, be it commercial or residential, that requires retrospective planning permission and want to know how best to approach it, contact the team via email@example.com to see how we can help and to receive a tailor-made fee quote for your project.