Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

Planning Appeals allowed

by Owen Temple on 22 February, 2013

I’ve always thought that planning applications are a bit of a one way street. If your planning application is turned down you have a fairly straightforward right of appeal – though it will often go against you. Also, if one application fails, within limits, you can revamp it and go again.

If, on the other hand, you oppose a planning application but the application is accepted, you have no right of appeal. Your only way to over-turn such a decision is by Judicial Review – not a route many people are prepared to take given both the expense and the uncertainty of the process.

I’m just reminded of that because in the next planning meeting we’ll be informed about two cases in this county council division where the original planning application was turned down, the applicant appealed, and having had their appeal upheld the matter will almost certainly be closed in their favour.

The two applications that have been appealed successfully are both on Medomsley Road.

Neither had been to the planning committee for decision – both had been decided by planning officers as a “delegated decision”.

The first was for an extension of a garden on the Fairways Estate into the farmland that borders it. The local authority had declined the retrospective application (an application for something that has already been done without the required permission), arguing that the garden encroached into open countryside and broke the continuity of the existing boundary lines. The Planning Inspector rejected those reasons on the grounds that, in his opinion the other garden boundaries to the various properties along this edge take different forms, including planting and fencing of differing age and finish so that in his view is that there is very little uniformity to this particular boundary. He took the view that the garden extension did no material harm to the character or appearance of the adjacent field and was not an unacceptable encroachment into the openness of this part of the countryside. The extended garden can therefore stay.

The second appeal related to an application to turn the old Social Services and Registrar’s Office on Medomsley Road (almost opposite the bus station) into a two bedroom bungalow and a hot food take-away. Planners had wanted to restrict the opening hours to 8am to 12 midnight Monday to Saturday and 8am to 11pm Sunday. They argued that this was needed to protect the “amenity” of nearby properties. The Planning Inspector took the view that this was a commercial area and decided a different time limit restricted to 0800 to midnight Sunday to Thursday and 0800 to 0300 the following morning on Fridays and Saturdays. These revised hours are what will apply if the development happens.


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