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Stopping a Planning Application

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    Stopping a Planning Application

    I think I've mentioned on here that a developer has acquired a small patch of land opposite our apartment block and is trying to build a three storey apartment building of three flats.

    The original application was refused in the spring but they've just put in an appeal and we've got three weeks to comment, or to put together a decent enough protest to stop this happening.

    We've got a little local coverage which is in our favour but I'm concerned that our community actions are very random and will not result in us getting the application refused again.

    I'd be grateful of any advice, no matter how small or unimportant you think it is.

    Here's a little background on this.


    Would really be grateful for any advice. Thanks.


      I have someone I can ask AE. Will get back to you


        Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
        I have someone I can ask AE. Will get back to you
        Thank you, much appreciated.


          We've had quite a few contentious development applications round here over the years, AE, some of which have been rejected or required to scale back, although many also went through. I haven't led any campaigning but these are a few observations based on those we have seen.

          Objections by individuals can influence decisions and the more there are, the more weight they may have. People may feel that the decision is a done deal or that they are alone in their objections. Awareness that others have the same misgivings and are doing something about it is a big encouragement to take the time to write an objection. This can be raised through local social media groups or by delivering flyers in the affected area. The latter don't have to have great production values to make the campaign seem like a real live thing. We have commented on a number of applications after receiving information this way.

          The other big obstacle to objecting for most people is not knowing anything about the planning system, which is fair enough. Incentives to participate here include providing the precise reference and web links so that people can find the application straight off. A short explanation of what the relevant grounds for objection are (and what to avoid) is also useful. Most councils have some information about this but other sources may flesh it out a bit; the amount of time you can spare and the space available in your proposed communication will affect how much bespoke information you generate and how much you copy or link to pre-existing material.

          This isn't very much, I'm afraid, but the single point I would emphasise is that, as not very locally involved people, we have been moved to act in similar situations on the basis of information received from local campaigners. Good luck with your situation.


            I've nothing concrete to offer you AE but I wish you the best of luck. Every rejected application for housing around here has been overturned, either on appeal to the local authority or to the Planning Inspectorate. Boris's 'Build Build Build' mantra the other day does not bode well for getting any housing applications permanently rejected.


              We fought against a service station (or as they called it a "convenience store with incidental petrol pumps) being located in a ludicrous spot (not very near us but that wasn't the point).

              I started a Facebook page on the issue which helped gather people who were opposed. made them easier to reach.

              We then tapped into expertise within that group (comms person (me), environmental expert, keen bird watcher, amateur weather buff, videographer etc) to prepare separate but complementary submissions . Given the format here, where councils get limited say and it is a separate panel with 3 "neutrals" and two local councillors we looked at precedent and existing planning constraints.

              They left us little wriggle room, so we decided to lobby as a fall back for limited opening hours knowing no major fuel companies want anything but 24-hour opening these days. In a duel strategy we went for a rewording of the local planning laws which would reclassify this type of service station so it had to go through proper planning processes not the rushed version. Approval was granted but with daytime only hours. So far (nearly two years) the project has not proceeded. The planning laws have also been amended as we suggested.

              Ahead of the hearing we put pressure on the local councillors with news stories in local paper and Facebook videos - here's what we'd lose, what about the fire risk etc.

              The key was coordinating objections, making sure we focused on what was actually a planning grounds to object and not just the (understandable) emotional objections and being the reasonable people in the room.