Writtten evidence from Mr & Mrs D
Thorpe (ARSS 11)|
We would appreciate it if you could bring this matter
up during your committee meeting.
Too many people including ourselves have found ourselves
homeless due to the planning laws.
We speak on behalf of the individuals & families
that this has affected which is astonishingly quite a large amount
that the planning laws be relaxed so that these wonderful &
Historical buildings can be allowed to be rebuilt to aid the housing
The current process and planning rules are designed
to prevent redundant or derelict farm buildings to be recovered
and put into use for housing. This is particularly true in small
areas of Green Belt between towns.
These buildings are of local historical interest
having played an important part in the industrial development
of an area.
Amend the rules to allow disused farm buildings to
be rebuilt/converted using a specific volume of salvaged materials,
eg local period bricks.
Currently there are an enormous number of individuals
losing their planning permission because of the current very restrictive
rules typically because during the work, sections of the buildings
have collapsed. For the "Home on the farm scheme" to
succeed a more flexible approach needs to be undertaken.
A problem with old buildings is the lack of footings
leading to instability.
In some cases it is safer and more economical to
demolish and rebuild using the existing materials and original
plans. The result to the eye is a period building brought back
into use as housing which blends in with the country scene.
If the law is relaxed the rebuilding/renovation of
these buildings to their former glory, these buildings will provide
housing for many families in need of housing in many cases providing
much needed social housing.
In the Green Belt the visual impact would be identical
to the building that was there before, hundreds of years ago and
would not have any materially greater impact than the present
openness. As a matter of fact by allowing these historical barns/buildings
to be restored to their former glory it can only enhance the Green
We purchased a barn with planning permission in 2004
to convert to a family home for ourselves.
The council set down conditions which proved costly
to meet. As a result it took time due to lack of finances to meet
them. The storms of 2007 hit before the final condition had been
The planning department were notified verbally and
gave advice how to proceed.
Work began as per the verbal agreement when enforcement
officers turned up and stopped work.
Planning officers denied that storm damage had occurred
or giving advice, the planning permission was removed.
After reapplying to rebuild the barn via a full planning
application and via a Lawful development certificate (at their
suggestion) both were refused and we are in effect homeless relying
currently the goodwill and charity of the family.
Financially we are not in a position to employ solicitors
or barristers to fight our cause. So I am having to research and
prepare another planning application myself. During this research
I have been amazed to find the lack of consistency in decisions
across the country and the fact that decisions are really at the
whim of local planners. In my case one issue is the setting of
I'm sure my views accord with many people who have
found themselves in the same position as myself who would benefit
from the relaxation of the planning straight jacket and allow
what are "Historical" buildings to be rebuilt, aid the
housing shortage and minimize the erosion of land for building