View Full Version : Objecting to a Planning Application

29th Sep 2008, 16:38
I am a lucky man and live in a cottage with a nice view over a field to a river. Now the grumpy bit …. I have just received notification that my neighbour’s daughter has applied for planning permission to build an “eco-dwelling” in the flipping field.

It may seem that I am being petulant but I really like the view and it was the reason that I moved here in the first place. Looking out onto an “eco-dwelling” is a really depressing thought. :(

My understating is that one cannot object to planning permission solely because it spoils ones view so, as most PPruners are world class top-notch complainers, any ideas on a tack that I should take for objecting to this plan ?

All suggestions gratefully accepted


29th Sep 2008, 16:52
It's a change of the use of the land from Agricultural to residential. They have to go through the procedure below; you can protest on the change of classification; the environmental impact etc etc.

Land use and Planning (http://www.defra.gov.uk/FARM/environment/land-use/index.htm)

29th Sep 2008, 16:54
The first thing is to find out what the local planning authority's guidelines are for the development plan for the region being considered.
If the proposed development breaches these then you have a good case conversely if it complies you have a problem.
The next is to consider whether the structure 'fits in' to the surroundings.
Then there is the impact on the services (drains and sewerage) - can they cope?
Noise and traffic are nuisances that carry weight.

Is there a 'better' location for this dwelling?
Is the field agricultural (ie part of a working farm) in which case you might be able to oppose it on 'change of use'.

Just as you might consider engaging a solicitor I recommend you to seek out a (preferably) local planning consultant (be careful that they aren't associated with the applicant) who can better identify the hurdles that have to be faced in order to obtain the necessary permission(s) and therefore the possibilities for shooting it down.

29th Sep 2008, 17:01
Firstly you have no right to a view - many people think that this is an inalienable right - but it isn't and can be taken away by a valid planning consent on neighbouring land.

You need to have the wisdom of Solomon when choosing a property if that is part of your criteria, and weighing the possibility of something occurring that could spoil your calculations - wind farms ............

You need to have sight of the local Unitary Development Plan and check the zoning and the various applied policies of the Local Planning Authority

You then need to address how the application may conflict with these adopted policies and frame your argument in that light.

Are you on your own or is this a situation where there may be others who object?

Best of luck - usually I support progress, but there are times when some plans are just plain wrong - I hope this is one - for your sake

Krystal n chips
29th Sep 2008, 18:12
As an aside, try watching the current progamme on the Beeb called..not surprisingly " The Planners are coming"......quite insightful I have to say as to how much authority ( and how self unimportant and arrogant to boot ) they have.....and are.

The planning committee....prime contenders for a one way visit to a wall come the revolution...featured recently showed nothing but contempt for one poor woman who dared to speak out of turn.....:mad: in the formalities of a planning objection.....not to mention the concrete garden that was dug up..and relaid with grass because it didn't "conform"......all told a large minefield it seems presided over by some of the most self righteous :mad: individuals you will ever encounter.

Best of luck.

29th Sep 2008, 18:32
Thanks for all of the advice so far.

ORAC – The land is currently croft land and must be de-crofted. The applicant has tried to mitigate against this by saying that she wishes to “set up an agricultural enterprise” and has identified an area for “Proposed vegetable crops”.

The area is within the Cairngorm National Park so looking at the local planning guidelines is certainly a suggestion that I will act upon ASAP. Also I’ll be giving the local planning office a ring.

In terms of “fitting in” – it almost certainly will not and this could be a valid objection. My house is one of 3 built in a very traditional local style. 15 years ago I applied to, essentially, rebuild my property. I ded get permission but the style of the frontage had to be retained. My two neighbours have had the same restrictions. One has extended extensively at the rear, the other doesn’t have space so has had to give up any plans.

I know that other neighbours are talking about submitting objections but it’s a small community and the applicants family have been there for generations so we need to wait and see.

Thanks again for the advice


29th Sep 2008, 19:07
Nimby ;)

29th Sep 2008, 19:13
I cannot imagine that many folk would welcome development that would devalue their property (if only perceptionally) . . .

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Sep 2008, 19:30
The absolutely basic fundamental legal principle is that if you want to keep the view you have to buy it.

And that only works usually. If you're really unlucky the local authority will serve a CPO on you and build on the field anyway.

29th Sep 2008, 20:03
Well, best of luck Beagle, we have just had our local councillors overturn the recommendation of the councils' planning dept and approve a whacking great horse riding complex,complete with sand school, car park and house for groom within 10m of our house!
Council wanted to refuse it, but they rode rough shod over all the objections and approved it anyway! I'll look forward to our summers in the garden accompanied by the lovely scent of manure, and the birdsong drowned out by little Tarquin and Arabella yelling at each other...still it could be worse, my neighbour will have the car park overlooking her pool terrace...

29th Sep 2008, 20:03
As others have said the best way to object is to base any comment on established Planning and local policy.

Objections written with reference to perceived non- compliance with policy are examined and considered. The remainder are so much hot air and carry very little weight to either the Officers or Planning Commitee.

Being on the other side if you will its always interesting to read objections or listen to them during public exhibitions.

So object as you have the right to do so, but do it correctly and it will be considered, it might be heeded, but not always.

29th Sep 2008, 20:03
Check out the Local Plan for your council. This should have a reasonably clear policy on the standard citeria for approving development. eg if the land is designated Green Belt (say) then the usual Local Plan guideline will normally only grant building on the footprint of an existing structure unless there are 'exceptional' reasons otherwise. In these cases it's the applicant that needs to jump through the hoops regardless of whether there are objectors.

If you (and the field in question) are formally within the CNP then I would expect the Local Plan for any dependent council to have effectively a 'Green Belt' policy to development in that area - I'm not sure if there isn't a specific policy at Edinburgh for the CNP that is independent of any local authority.

Of course exceptional circumstances must include the 'leverage' that the applicant may be able to exert on the local coonslors - and they are, to a T in my experience, pretty weak minded, weak principled and malleable little souls.

29th Sep 2008, 20:45
One important point (although this might not be universal) is that unless there is a minimum number of objections (I was told four) they don't get considered or even looked at.
Of course exceptional circumstances must include the 'leverage' that the applicant may be able to exert on the local coonslorsRound here there's something called 'planning gain' which typically means a sum of money to provide a facility such as a children's play area (not necessarily at the same location). This 'gain' may be depending on the developer having sold a majority of the properties (so it comes at the end of the development). If the developer elects for bankruptcy then they escape the payment . . .

29th Sep 2008, 20:53
Not sure about that, G-CPTN.

When our neighbours wanted to extend their property both sideways and rearwards some years ago, we were the only objectors and it was refused.

Scumbag O'Riley
29th Sep 2008, 22:13
As has already been advised, go get the national and local planning documents, study them, and put together a well researched and respectful argument as to why the application should be refused.

The problem is that the regulations are frequently ignored and it's common for things to be made up as they go along.

Also unfortunately a bit of money in the right direction can have more weight than anything written by the legistalture.

If it's a National Park then it should be incredibly difficult to build something new unless it is in one of a very few number of exceptions. It doesn't always work out like this for reasons given above.

The implementation of planning regulations is rotten but probably not easy to clean up.

Union Jack
29th Sep 2008, 23:24
And, in view of the apparent proximity to a river - especially if it is a salmon river! - don't forget to check what Scottish Water have to say about the possibility of sewage or other environmental contamination.


PS Always assuming that you are "watertight" yourselves!

Gertrude the Wombat
29th Sep 2008, 23:28
Also unfortunately a bit of money in the right direction can have more weight than anything written by the legistalture.Yes, people (usually of the Daily Wail "reading" right-wing-nutter Nimby persuasion, but not always) do say that from time to time ...

... but when challenged to take their evidence to the police they tend to wander off and do something else instead. B o l l o c k s, basically.

29th Sep 2008, 23:47
Sounds like it's the same the World over. Just lost a view 'cos the neighbour didn't follow the rules, and the Council didn't make him - wot's that about money changing hands ? Have been expensively advised that we have a genuine case for appeal, just put $100,000 on the counter to start with, and be prepared to lose. The old adage " You can't fight City Hall" is all to true, sadly.

Presently embroiled in an area sewage plant application by Council, it's clear that they have made their minds up and are only going through the incredibly expensive submissions and hearings process to make it look legal and block any possible route for future appeal.

I've threatened to return to UK, buy 100 acres of Ilkely Moor, and dig a moat and drawbridge. I've been advised to buy a Pakistani dictionary first.

30th Sep 2008, 00:06
My daughter works in the Planning Department of a large local council (England) and assures me that they have so few enforcement officers that they only bother to chase up cases where the neighbours complain, so… be a squeaky wheel!

Good luck Beagle!

30th Sep 2008, 00:20
Indeed there was a recent local case where a builder demolished significant portions of a building for which the planning permission only covered the construction of an additional add-on extension. Although 'warned' about what was happening, there was nobody available to enforce the 'no demolition' until long after the event, at which stage 'rebuilding' (to a different plan) was already in progress, so no action was taken (especially as this would involve extra work for the planning department).

30th Sep 2008, 01:40
The "usage" she describes in her application sounds as though it could easily become some kind a commune very quickly with the Great Unwashed sandal wearing bearded ones setting up camp!
I imagine she has sought advice on how to word her application too.

If it should go through you may want to keep a very close eye on the development of the property, no caravans, no tents or temporary structures, indeed as many caveats as you can think of that would prevent some kind of hippy establishment.

30th Sep 2008, 05:03
I will support your objection. Here is a draft of my evidence:

1. I live in New Zealand, a country whose planning laws are less restrictive than those of the UK.

2. The UK is about the same size as New Zealand. Its population is 20 times that of New Zealand. Yet its countryside is equally attractive. Many would argue that it is more attractive.

3. The current state of the UK countryside is, in my opinion, a result of the restrictive planning laws.

4. The current state of the UK countryside earns the UK millions of pounds each year from tourism. I have completed four driving tours of the UK, and loved every one. Numerous New Zealanders and Australians are in a similar situation.

5. [Optional bit.] If, on my next driving tour, I decide to take in the Cairngorm National Park, I don't want to be greeted with the sight of a bunch of naked cloth-eared tree-huggers performing some stupid pagan rain-dance.

6. I respectfully submit that these pricks should be told to f*ck off.

Effluent Man
30th Sep 2008, 09:25
As an ex-member of a Planning Committee my observation was that the majority of objections were based on a dislike of the applicant rather than the scheme.

What I would suggest is this: Ask yourself,if this application was exactly the same but was for my daughter would I still object? If the answer is no then I would say don't object to it.Clearly there are many cases where a proposal will prejudice people's quality of life. A superstore,a sewage works or an airport.However most don't fall into these categories and the most harm that tree huggers are likely to occasion is the playing of didgeridoos at unsocial hours.

I have built a bungalow in my back garden and I am currently considering an application to build one in the front.It will still leave my house with double the garden that developers provide on a similar sized property.My neighbours will object again...but they know what they can do.

30th Sep 2008, 13:47
Some would say that having a public house (or similar licensed premises such as a nightclub) next to your dwelling is potentially one of the worst situations.
Of course should the proposed site become the centre of unlicensed activity such as a 'festival' then that might eclipse the complainant's worst nightmare.

30th Sep 2008, 15:47
See if you can find some Great Crested Newts or similar endangered species in the field.......

Gertrude the Wombat
30th Sep 2008, 17:45
My daughter works in the Planning Department of a large local council (England) and assures me that they have so few enforcement officers that they only bother to chase up cases where the neighbours complain
Sounds right to me, ours don't have time to wander round looking for violations either.

1st Oct 2008, 13:58
We lived in Barton under Needwood and had a clear view out over Station Road to the fields and trees beyond. The council decided to display a huge erection right opposite our front window - a pile of stones with a "Welcome to Barton under Needwood" sign on the top. We objected, not on the grounds that it would spoil our view (not allowed) but that it was a traffic hazard. We received a letter to say they took note of our objection but were going ahead as planned. The cement had hardly dried on the phallic object when a vast passing gravel truck demolished it.

The council built a rather more modest and almost unobtrusive replacement. Is it still there one wonders?

1st Oct 2008, 14:55
Just out of interest, how much did you have to pay the truck driver? :p:p

BAMRA wake up
1st Oct 2008, 21:19
We lived in Barton under Needwood

Blacksheep, have a virtual stroll round here, no obvious roadside sign though,

SK1818 :: Browse :: Geograph British Isles - photograph every grid square! (http://www.geograph.org.uk/browse.php?p=286476)

1st Oct 2008, 22:07
Try zooming-in on this:- Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world! (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=52.7629956&lon=-1.7250252&z=16&l=0&m=h&v=2)

Might be hidden by trees:- Wikimapia - Let's describe the whole world! (http://wikimapia.org/#lat=52.7663617&lon=-1.7326561&z=19&l=0&m=s&v=2)

2nd Oct 2008, 08:32
Our old house is in that Wiki picture, just above and to the left of the "B5016" sign on Station Road. The offending object is visible directly across the road below the "B5016" sign. I notice the present occupants have demolished the wall, dug up the front garden and made it into a car park for two cars.