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  • FIRST POST
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 9:50 PM
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    TomTom19998
    Planning permission - Effective objection
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 9:50 PM
    Planning permission - Effective objection 7th Aug 18 at 9:50 PM
    Good evening,

    I am having a bit of a time of it with my home at the moment and local planning applications. I live a few doors down from a retail unit (A1) which has for about 30 years been a carpet store. This week someone has taken the rent of it over and is applying to make it an office space (B1) the issue with that is they are looking to place around 50 desks in a unit which previously was the carpet store and storage so in total about 4 staff.

    Our street is already very busy with cars during the day as it has a school on it, another office and around 60 houses of and one side of the street is double yellow lines to allow fire trucks through.

    We have already objected as have another 15 houses on the street for quite a few reasons including the impact on privacy by the increase in people, over development of the space, noise, and the big one being highway safety concerns as they will be adding around a potential 45 cars each day to our street, then visitors and its around 20 meters from a primary school.

    The applicant for planning permission has responded to the planner that they have 14 parking spaces on the site. This is where it gets a bit confusing and where I am looking for some advice. The land and buildings consist of a large forecourt area which is conservation land, i.e it is part of a local conservation area then the buildings are right at the back of the land. It currently has 6 spaces on it outlined for parking, white lines etc. In the planning documents it suggests there is already 14 parking spots. If those parking spots aren't outlined and genuinely aren't currently used for parking can the applicant suggest in their application that they are parking purely by the fact their is space to fit a car in it? If not would they require planning permission to change it to parking given that it is a conservation area?

    Lastly the spaces on the planning permission which has 8 spots that don't currently exist actually line up against a neighboring properties wall around 5 ft up on that wall is a window, at ground height are two electricity meter boxes, and there is a further window higher up the wall.

    Can we object to them being considered parking spots given that there is a need for access to those electricity boxes and also the fact that a running car below two windows would pollute the residences (They are flats) and lastly that the building those cars would be backing onto or facing (Depending upon how you park them) is a building under conservation so any smog coming out the back of a car would be staining the building (of course if reversed in)

    As you can see we are looking for every possible way to object to this change of use so your help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for you help!
Page 1
    • sevenhills
    • By sevenhills 7th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
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    sevenhills
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    Not sure if this is in the right section, maybe it should be in the 'House Buying, Renting & Selling' section?


    Some shopping/retail centers are on the decline, will losing a retail store adversly affect the diversity of a shopping area, or is it an area that struggles to get people to rent the premises?

    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 10:24 PM
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    TomTom19998
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:24 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:24 PM
    Thank you! I shall check out if it should be moved to a more appropriate section.

    Regarding your questions, another great point of objection. Changing from A1 to B1 is robbing Peter to pay Paul both are business focused uses and both focuses of our towns local plan. Also less than 200 meters from this site they are trying to get change of use on is a current B1 site exact same floor space with parking in a mini business park which has sat unlet for 4 months now.

    Planning applications can be very frustrating when there are very few true objections which count and logic can go completely out the window.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Aug 18, 10:39 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:39 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:39 PM
    Have you spoken to the planning officer? Is there a requirement for a certain number of spaces?

    No, you can't argue about anything blocking an electricity meter. Not only is that not a material planning issue, it isn't an issue because cars are moveable objects. Nor pollution from parked cars, because they don't produce any.

    You simply want to state your concerns about the lack of available parking for x number of cars and consider what the public transport provision is in the area - how will people get to work if there aren't parking spaces available for them? If it's town centre then people could walk, for example. Public transport availability? What other parking provision is there locally - public car parks? 14 sounds pretty paltry - are there genuine other options available?

    If there is space for parking, you're not going to successfully argue that open space can't be used for parking. If one can't park on it, then what can one do? The council may ask them to mark it up, use permeable paving etc - what is there now? If it's concrete, you're on a hiding to nothing.

    You must stick to valid, material planning points to be taken seriously. If you google, you will find a list. Much won't be relevant as the building already exists. You could always do what my neighbour did and copy and paste the entire list, complete with asterisks. You'll see what I mean if the google result is the same blog as it seems to be for me right now and my neighbour back then
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 07-08-2018 at 10:48 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 10:40 PM
    The house buying board isn't more relevant. No one is buying a house.

    There's enough on there already that should be on here. A bugbear of mine is the poor wording of this board title and the ability of guides to move threads from here into a tiny, virtually unused sub-board, but the inability to move one single thread out of House Buying over to here.

    I am poorly, and grouchy. Apologies.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 11:00 PM
    • 17 Posts
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    TomTom19998
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:00 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:00 PM
    Thanks so much Doozer that is a great help I see the point in all you have said with the exception of parked cars and carbon monoxide damaging a conservation property / polluting an adjacent property.

    I have seen one objection in which it was accepted as material in an office context as it was discussed that many people sit in their car prior to entering the office, while having calls and (sadly) while eating lunch. I would with a fair mind on it say would you really leave the engine running if you did that however if its winter and cold then maybe? I agree its a weak point.

    I think better points could be that by placing parking spots there you are then parking cars looking directly into the window of the house, which is a privacy and loss of amenity.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Aug 18, 11:06 PM
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    Doozergirl
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:06 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:06 PM
    Have you read your local plan, specifically about your area? What does that say about the types of use they encourage? Sometimes land can be delegated as something (retail, homes) and so changing it goes against the local plan. Is there an area of town that they want to specifically encourage to contain offices?

    The local plan is a great place to find good points.

    Has someone spoken to the local councillor? One would assume, if the planning officer were minded to recommend approval, that it will be called into planning committee with that number of objections. You want your councillor onside to ensure that they call it in, if it isn't already.

    Those objecting will get three minutes to speak - betwen you all, so only one spokesperson is needed. Be emotive then and play the trump cards with decent explanation, rather than a list of objections that will already be available in the officer's report.
    Last edited by Doozergirl; 07-08-2018 at 11:10 PM.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 11:10 PM
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    TomTom19998
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:10 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:10 PM
    I should have also said I haven't contacted planning about this particular set of objections because when I did it last time they then relayed them to the developer who changed the planning submission to reduce the number of desks... this was after I pointed out there was more desk in the office than houses on the street!

    One other thing you might know, or maybe you don't. If they are making a change to an element of the building which would previously not have passed planning regs but was done a long time ago can you now because they are changing it object? The issue is a fire escape which is blocking light to the houses and is inside the 25 degree angle from center of bottom window.
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 11:12 PM
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    TomTom19998
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:12 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 11:12 PM
    Yeah I have looked at it. They do call out specific areas which are already good for offices but also in the plan point out the need for more offices in the town (not great news on the face of it) however they also then go out to say we also need to protect shops so ... swings and round abouts!

    One thing they did do on our street recently however was allow a B1 to become residential, after article 4 objection on their part.

    Yup spoken to the local Councillor it's being called in already I believe but the developer recently changed it from an original 72 desks to now 48 stating the original was an accident. Oddly on the planning application they also ticked than no non residential land needed a change of use despite the application being for a change of use!
    Last edited by TomTom19998; 07-08-2018 at 11:14 PM.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Aug 18, 11:14 PM
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    Doozergirl
    What element are they changing? Are they making it bigger? If it's just a refurb to something that's been there for 30 years it's a bit late to object

    Anything objection will appear on the planning portal for the developer to see. You are time bound by a deadline, whereas they can submit variations. That can be useful in finding compromise.

    I appreciate that changing the number of desks is completely arbitrary and can't be enforced.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • D_M_E
    • By D_M_E 7th Aug 18, 11:17 PM
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    D_M_E
    50 desks and only 4 people - that leaves room for another 46 employees at least - far too few parking spaces for 40 or 50 vehicles, never mind any visitors as well.
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 7th Aug 18, 11:24 PM
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    TomTom19998
    They are actually attaching some stairs to a fire escape which a previous owner built the walkway too but no stairs! Realistically it doesn't look like they will increase the height of it any but it does already block light ... no fire escape would mean no office.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 7th Aug 18, 11:45 PM
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    Doozergirl
    They are actually attaching some stairs to a fire escape which a previous owner built the walkway too but no stairs! Realistically it doesn't look like they will increase the height of it any but it does already block light ... no fire escape would mean no office.
    Originally posted by TomTom19998
    It's a 45 degree angle, by the way. Within a certain distance, which varies with local authorities. My local one would be 21 metres for two storeys.

    If what they are adding falls within that then you may well be onto something. It's already affecting amenity, no one should be making it worse. It's certainly worth putting down and placing some focus on it.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 8th Aug 18, 9:20 AM
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    TomTom19998
    Hi Doozer its 45 degree when the buildings are side by side such as building a conservatory in your back yard and it overhanging the property in front.

    Its 25 degree when the properties look at one another which ours end up doing as it wraps around



    Window to fire escape is around 12 meters apart so trying to get 25 degrees on that would be very tough with a two story building.
    • Doozergirl
    • By Doozergirl 8th Aug 18, 11:13 AM
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    Doozergirl
    Ah, okay. I was picturing it the other way.
    Everything that is supposed to be in heaven is already here on earth.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Aug 18, 3:43 PM
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    lincroft1710
    Do a little bit of thinking outside the box!

    There are plenty of offices where there are far, far fewer parking spaces than employees, I've worked in a few myself! Also some councils now restrict the number of parking spaces for new office developments, trying to persuade office workers to walk, cycle or use public transport or be forced to use expensive council run car parks.

    If pp is refused and it is uneconomic or pointless to drastically reduce the number of desks, what will happen to the building? Many redundant commercial buildings are often either demolished and replaced by high density apartments or if suitable converted into equally high density apartments. You are not going to get a new user where there are only 4 people.

    this post has been repeated on your other thread
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 8th Aug 18, 6:23 PM
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    TomTom19998
    Hi Lin although that is true regarding offices vs parking spaces very few are in a residential area surrounded by houses, most have good transport links out to for example a business park.

    If planning permission is refused then shop may go back to being a shop? It has been for 40 years prior to now and likely will continue to be after the planning permission. Worry about the alternative in order not to object is borrowing worries from tomorrow to keep yourself busy today.

    Regarding not getting a new user where it is only 4 people again thats speculating, what if the same style of business moved back in to the shop? Its changed hands 3 times in that 40 yr period, from a garden center, to a carpet store and a kitchen showroom. None of them had more than 5 staff.
    • lincroft1710
    • By lincroft1710 8th Aug 18, 8:50 PM
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    lincroft1710
    If planning permission is refused then shop may go back to being a shop? It has been for 40 years prior to now and likely will continue to be after the planning permission. Worry about the alternative in order not to object is borrowing worries from tomorrow to keep yourself busy today.

    Regarding not getting a new user where it is only 4 people again thats speculating, what if the same style of business moved back in to the shop? Its changed hands 3 times in that 40 yr period, from a garden center, to a carpet store and a kitchen showroom. None of them had more than 5 staff.
    Originally posted by TomTom19998
    What is the likelihood of the premises being used again as retail, bearing in mind pp is being sought for a non retail use? Why are there no retail takers?
    • TomTom19998
    • By TomTom19998 9th Aug 18, 8:52 AM
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    TomTom19998
    The previous tenant left on for example the Friday (a retail tenant) within two weeks there planning permission was in for an office. It wasn't like it had time to be marketed for retail use I would suggest.
    • Aylesbury Duck
    • By Aylesbury Duck 9th Aug 18, 11:11 AM
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    Aylesbury Duck
    Exactly what lincroft is describing has happened and continues to happen all over my old town of Aylesbury. Small and medium-sized retail and business premises have been turned into blocks of flats and where perhaps a handful of cars and the odd commercial vehicle parked, came and went, there are now dozens of cars double parked on streets, pavements and verges. Those not able to park outside their new homes have simply clogged up the neighbouring roads.

    I can see TomTom's point about borrowing worries from tomorrow but maybe this is a tactic by the owner to establish the non-viability of the land for commercial purposes and to progress to its most lucrative use, which will almost certainly be residential. You're caught between objecting on reasonable grounds to what is currently being proposed but at the same time you may be unwittingly be supporting the intended use of the site in the longer term. As you say, you can only deal with the here and now but I wouldn't be surprised if this plays out differently.
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