Our clients had purchased the main property, a bungalow, with the chalet in place within its grounds. This had been there for a number of years but had never had planning permission for holiday letting. The owners innocently let the chalet for holiday purposes but were halted following intervention by the Local Planning Authority. Owen Devenport were instructed to prepare an application to retain the holiday use of the chalet, which had been in situ for some 35 years. The LPA refused permission in spite of considerable supporting evidence, and so the clients promptly instructed an appeal.
The Planning Inspector in allowing the appeal noted that past uses had been made of the chalet for residential letting and holiday letting and agreed with us that the chalet would remain whatever the outcome of the appeal and as such there would be no difference to the character of the landscape. He also noted that the area was characterised by a number of caravan parks and that the Council's arguments(and their policies) were aimed at preventing new caravan parks as opposed to single chalets with a history of holiday letting stretching back a number of years. The delighted clients were relieved and can now continue their holiday letting business.
Halen Môn were in the throes of constructing their new factory unit, when they realised that permission for the old one, which was a temporary permission, was about to expire. This would, technically, have left them with a factory without permission and another not completed. They turned to Owen Devenport for advice and an application was made to extend the temporary permission to enable the company to continue trading without having to rush the completion of their state of the art manufacturing plant. Permission was actually given for another full 5 year term, although Halen Môn want to move in to their new unit, understandably, as soon as possible.
The client wanted to sell his farm which had for many years had two chalets/caravans on site. These were used for holiday letting, family stays and so on, but did not have planning permission. Furthermore bearing in mind the site's location in open countryside such permission would not be forthcoming. Owen Devenport advised that the best way forward would be to secure a Lawful Use Certificate, having regard to the evidence that was available.
Consequently the client was asked to prepare Statutory Declarations and from other third parties who could testify to the existence of the chalets/caravans being on site and in use for more than 10 years. After suggestions from Owen Devenport the final documents were prepared and submitted as part of a formal application for a Lawful Use Certificate. After many months of deliberation the LPA finally agreed that 'on the balance of probability' these units had been on site for more than10 years for the uses described and a Certificate was issued securing their immunity from enforcement action. These units could be replaced with same size units that conform with the definition of a caravan and the facilities can be upgraded, which potentially adds value to the property. Although a long wait, the client was finally very pleased with the outcome.
This client wanted to redevelop his site, which was a brownfield site and a long established vehicle dismantling and recycling business. Outline plans were prepared for a mixed use development of housing and a small retail convenience store. The application was initially faced with numerous objections, including issues surrounding purported contamination, drainage and sewerage, affordable housing issues, landscaping and environmental health. What seemed like insurmountable issues, were each tackled by Owen Devenport one-by-one and expert advice was sought where results were proving difficult to achieve through negotiation and mediation.
In the end, after months of post submission discussions and consultation the decision to approve this outline development was made by Conwy County Borough Council. This was an example of the Company's ability to work with officers of the Authority and to secure an approval through successful co-ordination and agreement. Our client now has a valuable permission that will enable him to move forward with plans to relocate to a more suitable environment for his business
Owen Devenport were asked to advise an existing farming enterprise to put together a case for a second farm dwelling. The existing farm was a large dairy unit with significant investment having taken place in recent months. Although there was an existing farmhouse, the case was made out that there was sufficient work around the farm to warrant a second dwelling.
Owen Devenport then worked closely with the clients, who were experienced farmers themselves to put forward the case in compliance with the tests set out in TAN 6. After much effort and co-ordinating all information an application was submitted with full detailed plans. The LPA scrutinised the information carefully and the issue of whether the dwelling's size would render it an 'affordable' dwelling in line with policy was an issue that had to be dealt with.
The design was also a point of contention and after much consultation the final size and design were agreed which matched the clients' ambitions for him and his young family and was in compliance with policy on such dwellings. Planning permission was finally secured and this successful milk producing enterprise is now a family run business with everyone on site.
Our client was served with an Enforcement Notice (EN) alleging that he had constructed his chalet (his home) within the past 4 years without the benefit of planning permission. He was asked to ultimately pull down the family home which would have devastated the client and his family. He sought the advice of Owen Devenport prior to the Enforcement Notice being issued and the client was advised to amass evidence to prove that the building had been substantially completed more than 4 years ago and thus make it immune from Enforcement Action by the Local Planning Authority.
This resulted in an appeal against the EN which had to be dealt with by means of a Public Inquiry. Such was the mountain of evidence we had gathered this one day Inquiry turned into a three day Inquiry. The evidence in support was considered consistent and true and our client was supported at Inquiry by a Barrister from King's Chambers in Manchester - instructed by Owen Devenport Ltd.
In his decision the Inspector gave substantial weight to the appellant's evidence which "paints a consistent picture" . He went on to state that the appellant's evidence was sufficiently precise and unambiguous and that the Council's evidence was such that it did not undermine or contradict that put to the Inquiry by the appellant's team.
A truly relieved and delighted client (and his family) received the decision, quashing the EN stating that it was too late to pursue Enforcement action and so the building as a dwelling house can remain. This was a protracted and sensitive case which had far reaching repercussions not only for the appellant but also for the Council.