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  • Refurbish/Develop

    Planning committe handled my case incorrectly!

    Anybody know who I can put my complaint to?  Have a couple of councilors on my side but the chair of the Planning Committee has not responded to my query about how my application was dealt with on the night.  I was applicant wanting to vary a car capping legal agreement pertaining to a new build family home development.  I was wanting permission to be allowed visitors permits for residents living in a Car Parking Zone (CPZ).  Rules on the council's former website said any resident living in a CPZ was entitled to purchase visitors permits.  However according to Highways department a car capped residence under Section 106 means that right is taken away and that this can not be relaxed as it will have untold effect on major car capping polices of T20 and T21 ( Council is Royal Borough of Kingston).  As the application was to refuse and as no one had objected I was not allowed to speak.  On the night however, a Highways Officer was representing the council responding to the Planing Committee in the usual impartial manner.  But when it came to my case - he was highly defensive and aggressive about the questions arising from several of the Councilors..  This was of course as he was acting then as both the objector and as member of the panel on the committee.  I therefore should have been allowed to speak and put my case forward. 

     

    There are two Councilors present that night who still support my case. 

     

    As the application went through as refuse on the night is there a way to challenge the conduct of the proceedings.

    Who can I complain to with regards how matters were conducted? 

     

    In addition to this matter there seems to be no regulation or system in place to challenge planning laws that have such blanket agreements like car capping schemes, that perhaps no longer suit certain situations.  Eg Car capping is to stop flat conversions and larger developments from bringing excess traffic to built up/congested areas.  My case related to a single family dwelling where visitors to the home (eg elderly grandparents) have no means of parking their cars, except on 4 hour restricted parking meter bays.  How does a family go out for a day's outing I ask?  We only wanted a couple of books of visitor permits.  Ten books are normally allocated to any resident living in a CPZ!!!

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    Jane Skynner
    janeskynner.com
    @janeskynner

    Hi Jane,

    It might be worth contacting Standards for England who deal with the Codes of Conduct relating to councils. I have seen reference to this body when folk have complained about committees in the past but I can't remember where exactly I read it.

     

    Hope this helps

     

    Marcus

     

     

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    Hi Jane,

    sorry to hear about your problem with your council. Perhaps I can give you some pointers from a councillors viewpoint.

     

    You say that

    As the application was to refuse and as no one had objected I was not allowed to speak.

    That is incorrect. As long as the matter is referred to committee, whether for approval or refusal, the applicant if present, should be allowed 3 minutes to speak.Then any of the committee members could then ask you questions, if they so wanted to better understand the situation before making a decision.

     

    As that was not done, and you were not given the opportunity, this committee has broken the a standard rule.

     

    Are any of the two councillors that are in support actually your local councillor? The rules also allow your local councillor to speak on your behalf at the meeting.

     

    The planning committee comprises only of elected members/councillors. Officers come along to provide information and guidance (on law and regs) to the committee but are not members of the committee and do not vote. So, I'm at a loss to understand how the Highways officer could be a member of the panel. That is not right.

     

    All that said, I think you have three options:

    1. resubmit the application, with any ammendments necessary. Talk to your local elected member, get him/her on your side, and ask that s/he refer the matter to committee again.  This time, s/he should also attend the meeting and speak on your behalf. But you both need to be able to understand the rules in its entirety, what is allowed and what isn't, and your councillor can talk to the planning officer(s) responsible to ensure that your application falls in line with guidelines.

     

    2. make a formal complaint via the Council's official complaints procedure. You will have to contact customer services to find out what the exact procedure is. Send a copy of the complaint to the Planning Portfolio Holder (who is the elected councillor responsible for that department), with a cover letter explaining your position and why you are taking the step.

     

    3. Ultimately, if you get no joy, and you know you are entitled to this service, then put in an appeal to the planning inspectorate.

     

    But try those options in that order.

     

    Good luck.

     

    blog: https://www.GrumpyOldLandlord.com, twitter: @GrumpyLandlord; facebook: Grumpy Old Landlord

     

     

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    .
    The profit of knowledge is in its application
    TumiHawkins.com
    You say its a single family house, so if you have a front garden, pave over it. (Use the new permeable paving blocks so you don't need to apply for planning permission.) Only AFTER this is done, apply for permission to have the curb lowered. (If you apply before doing the drive you may not get it)
    If you have a small front garden and need to park 2 cars but only have space for 1, then get one of these. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlFZAgTfte8
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    Hi Tumi

     

    Thanks for this reply.  I have only just got around to trying to do something about this.  As it was a variation to a Section 106 agreement I have no right of appeal.  The legal agreement was concerning a car capping policy that I am told now comes under a large policy T1 and T2 I think.  Are these policies local to the boroughs?  This involves Royal Borough of Kingston.  The Highways officer was not on the panel of planning committee but as you say he was advising panel.  As this was a Section 106 matter, he was acting and speaking as a defendant would as he was the Planning Department and I was up against RBK Planning Department in effect.  However I was advised prior that there is a very strict rule that if your case is not being objected to then the applicant cannot speak at the committee meeting.  Therefore he carried on saying what he liked to the committee, as he was on the panel and therefore took advantage of his position and situation. Some parts were biased and in one case an untruth - and when I tried to defend myself the Chairman of the committee said I had to remain quiet.  I have no idea if the two Councillors are my local Councillors?  How do I find out?

     

    I do not know what to do.  As I said the two Councillors were on my side.  And all we wanted was for the car capped scheme to allow a resident of one family home to be granted the right to buy visitors parking permits.  The residents of the property in a car parking zone accept they have no right to a car parking permit for their vehicle, but if visitors come with their car, they can only make use of restricted 4 hours parking meters at either end of the road.  So what do say Grandma and Grandad do if they come down for along weekend and want to take the family up to London for a sight- seeing day out?  Do they take two cars in to London??!  Why cant they have a scratch card visitor parking voucher which lasts the day and the two families go in on the train!  That is all I was asking for!  They say if this is allowed it sets a precedent to all other car-capped schemes.  Surely a lawyer could phrase a clause that it happens on in the case of a single residential home of say 3 or more bedrooms and with a restricted amount of visitor parking permit books per year.  Say 4 instead of the usual number of 10 allowed per year. 

    Give me a call if you can.  I will call you back.  07970 515410 Tumi Hawkins said:

    Hi Jane,

    sorry to hear about your problem with your council. Perhaps I can give you some pointers from a councillors viewpoint.

     

    You say that

    As the application was to refuse and as no one had objected I was not allowed to speak.

    That is incorrect. As long as the matter is referred to committee, whether for approval or refusal, the applicant if present, should be allowed 3 minutes to speak.Then any of the committee members could then ask you questions, if they so wanted to better understand the situation before making a decision.

     

    As that was not done, and you were not given the opportunity, this committee has broken the a standard rule.

     

    Are any of the two councillors that are in support actually your local councillor? The rules also allow your local councillor to speak on your behalf at the meeting.

     

    The planning committee comprises only of elected members/councillors. Officers come along to provide information and guidance (on law and regs) to the committee but are not members of the committee and do not vote. So, I'm at a loss to understand how the Highways officer could be a member of the panel. That is not right.

     

    All that said, I think you have three options:

    1. resubmit the application, with any ammendments necessary. Talk to your local elected member, get him/her on your side, and ask that s/he refer the matter to committee again.  This time, s/he should also attend the meeting and speak on your behalf. But you both need to be able to understand the rules in its entirety, what is allowed and what isn't, and your councillor can talk to the planning officer(s) responsible to ensure that your application falls in line with guidelines.

     

    2. make a formal complaint via the Council's official complaints procedure. You will have to contact customer services to find out what the exact procedure is. Send a copy of the complaint to the Planning Portfolio Holder (who is the elected councillor responsible for that department), with a cover letter explaining your position and why you are taking the step.

     

    3. Ultimately, if you get no joy, and you know you are entitled to this service, then put in an appeal to the planning inspectorate.

     

    But try those options in that order.

     

    Good luck.

     

    blog: https://www.GrumpyOldLandlord.com, twitter: @GrumpyLandlord; facebook: Grumpy Old Landlord

     

     

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    Jane Skynner
    janeskynner.com
    @janeskynner

    Hi Nick - thanks for this.  The problem is that this applied to my last development and so we lost the money retained when we lost the case.  So I have already lost money and now the property is sold I am doing this just because I care.  Hence my time to get back to this matter and Tumi's original advice.  Any more advice further to this?

    Bw

    Jane

    Nick Parkin said:

    Jane,

     

    I haven't read your post or the replies properly - that's because I don't need to. The general principle is that council's can't do just what they want, they have to be reasonable, and they can be forced to follow the law. It just happens that the current government is changing that under their "localism" bill, but it isn't law yet, and until it is councils can be forced to be fair. I can say this with some authority because I went up against Westminster City Council with all their resources, and challenged their decisions 5 times. Eventually I won. It did cost me a lot of money, but I put my rents up 10% & it covered the cost. The Council Tax payers cover the cost of the Council's appeals, and your costs if the council loses, so there are no losers.

     

    Get a consultant and appeal - I've heard a "Trevor Dennington" mentioned on several threads? I would actually recommend someone local to you - I used a local guy, and basically it's a money making machine - the council planners leave and set up their own businesses & they get your applications through with no problem because they know the planners making the decisions.

    Kind Regards
    Nick

    Pimlico Flats

    View Nick Parkin's profile on LinkedIn

     

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    Jane Skynner
    janeskynner.com
    @janeskynner

    Hi Jane - I have just joined this Group in my capacity as a freelance Planning Consultant. If you are selling the property, the new owners could challenge (appeal) on the parking-permit issue, but they would need to re-apply for PP first WITHOUT the S106. Assuming the Council refuse then they have the vehicle to appeal!!! Take a look at my website: https://www.planningpropertysolutions.co.uk for more info' on my 20+ years background in both the public and private sectors.

     

    I would add that Nicks views on Council X-planners is very synical; as a former Council Planner - the fact I know and  submit Planning Applications for clients in ALL London Councils and elsewhere across the S.East holds absolutely NO sway at all - The Royal Town Planning Institute (Iam MRTPI) Code of Conduct requires ALL it's members to 'act with honesty and integrity', so I would be careful in what you are saying Nick.

     

    However, Jane, by all means give me a bell to discuss in the Real-world: TEL: 01258 880219 or 07979 335570. I travel into London most weeks, so could visit.   Nick Parkin said:

    Jane,

     

    As I said, I didn't read the detail, still haven't, but I see this is Kensington & Chelsea ........

     

    The bottom line is that council employees disregard the law unless you do something to force them to obey it. They like the situation that they make the law and are above the law, and unfortunately it takes money and expertise to challenge this.

     

    My personal solution has been to employ experts, and on this subject I would recommend anyone with problems to join the Guild of Landlords. All the legal support you could ever want for £80, it's a no brainer.

    Kind RegardsNick

    Pimlico Flats
    View Nick Parkin's profile on LinkedIn 

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