Planning applications – expert advice for community and residents associations

Ethical Partnership are pleased to announce that we have been appointed to advise a residents association in Leeds.

The community are concerned about proposals to build up to 140 new houses within the green belt and approached us to advise them on the robustness of the arguments being made by the applicants.

The application proposes the construction of up to 140 new houses in the green belt. Our advice is that this proposal constitutes ‘inappropriate development’ and this is, by definition, harmful to the green belt. We have submitted a letter of objection indicating that this proposal should not be approved except in very special circumstances (NPPF, para 87).

The National Planning Policy Framework states that when considering any planning application, local planning authorities should ensure that substantial weight is given to any harm to the green belt. ‘Very special circumstances’ will not exist unless the potential harm to the green belt, by reason of inappropriateness, and any other harm, is clearly outweighed by other considerations.

We have listened to the concerns of the community, carefully reviewed the many documents submitted and concluded that we do not believe that the evidence is sufficient to demonstrate very special circumstances. We have subsequently prepared a letter of objection which identifies the inconsistencies, gaps and ambiguities in the information submitted.

Our letter of objection provides a clear rebuttal of the very special circumstances which are claimed by the applicant to outweigh to the harm to the green belt.

We will be meeting with the case officer shortly to reinforce the objection.

We are unable to discuss the scheme in detail, however we regularly act for charities, residents associations and local communities in helping them to understand complex planning applications and how they can best respond.

Please contact us to discuss any planning application where you feel we may be able to assist your group both understand it and make representations.

Please contact us.