Planning consultant rip off

Planning consultant rip off

Postby MaYoGaL » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:06 am

I need advice and would be very grateful if anyone can help. In a nutshell i Feel I've beed done by our Engineer/planning consultant :( We bought some land subject to planning.... signed the contracts giving us 6mths to get the planning. We went to a company who specialise in house design and planning... they subcontracted the house design to an archetct whom we worked with and had a satisfactory design together in 3 weeks, but the engineering company strung us along for 3 months, then demanded an upfront payment of over 8k which is way over the top in this west of Ireland town. As they had delayed us so much we couldn't go elsewhere or we risked loosing the land!! So we payed up. when the three months were up the council sought a 3 month extension and when we enquired deeper we were told that we should withdraw our application as it will be refused. Apparently there are plans to re route a national primary road from our town to a neighbouring one & where is it going? RIGHT THROUGH OUR SITE. :mad: I feel our engineer whom we went to for advice and professional service to help us obtain planning should have known this as it is published in a glossy brochure by the county council since 2006. I feel a mug that i didn't know but surely they should have known as after all that is their bussiness. Infact I think they may have known ... hence the upfront payment which is not usual for this compay!! Along with the poor or non-advice there were blaring errors on our houseplans which they submitted to the county council on our behalf.... which i only seen myself when i looked up our file in the council offices. What can we do now??? Have we any comeback??? or do they just get away with it and do the next poor mug that comes along???
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby keating » Mon Feb 11, 2008 12:44 am

What professional bodies did the Engineering and Planning Consultantants and the Architects belong to?
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby JB » Mon Feb 11, 2008 7:30 pm

Can understand your frustration with the Engineer, but I'd also ask questions of the owner of the lands - if it's been in this glossy brochure since 2006 surely the landowner must have known and surely he/she shouldn't have offered that site for sale.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby DOC » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:11 pm

I would ask had you a solicitor involved? You say you bought the land subject to planning - if you had a solicotor involved in the 'purchase' they would usually do a planning search and it would/could have been qucikly established that the site was a non-runner.

I would also agree fully with JB - why was the site for sale in the first place - surely the owners new about the road???

Not trying to defend your engineer/planning consultant in any way, but you presneted them with a site for which you wanted a design for a house - o.k. they missed out that there was a road to go through the site - but I would really put some of the onus/blame back on the vendor? This sounds like a real case of buyer beware.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby PVC King » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:32 pm

You have my sympathy and no doubt would have the sympathy of an ambulance chaser whose first consultation would be free; has to be worth a go because at least one professional took disgraceful liberties with your hard earned cash
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby tommyt » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:57 am

I'd say you are a victim of shoddy work but not sharp practice. The scenario quite likely is that the consultant passed this relatively small job down the line to someone who assumed the site had been subject to a planning history check. I think on the face of it themajor fault lies with the initial purchase agreement to be honest.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby MaYoGaL » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:19 pm

Thanks guys!! I honestly don't think the owners knew, it is one field that was origionally part of a larger farm that was left between 6 family members, most of them living away. The Solicitor in fairness i would not have expected him to know..... he was dealing with contracts, land title etc. I attended a pre-planning meeting which the council hold weekly and they never highlighted the proposed road going through the land... there was no mention of it!! there was no previous planning applications made on the land so when i done checks myself there didn't seem to be a problem!!! However I do blame the Engineer who spends his every working day advising, designing, preparing & submitting planning applications... if he didn't know HE SHOULD HAVE!! That's what we payed him 10,000 for. :confused: so do i just take it lying down????? :(
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby DOC » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:14 am

I would suggest that this should have been found out and highlighted by the solicitor. If you had fully purchased the land for a house site - now it would probably be worth very little. AFAIK they would have a legal responsibility to try and find out any issues affecting the land/property on your behalf and protect you from buying a 'dud' - basically to protect your interests.

The architect/engineer would not necessiarily have the (legal) responsibility to find out about the road proposal. Having said that, a good architect/engineer when presented with a site for a new design of any sort will look through the development plan first.

Not being biased, but I would suggest you would be wasting yoru time 'chasing' the engineer - I would be asking questions of my solicitor!
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby henno » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:26 am

by my reading of this, the OP had an 'option to purchase pending planning'. The planning was refused so they didnt buy the land... well, thats what should have happened anyway. I would also expect it to be the responsibility of the architect / engineer to find out about these kind of issues during a 'feasibility study'. The first thing any competent architect would do is check the county development plan for any possible issues.

As the second poster stated, i would check what body they belong to ie IEI, RIAI or SCS....
Then i would instruct a solicitor to word a strong letter outlining your disappointment with the standard of their professional service and threaten complaint to the above relevant body.

And to be honest 8k for a service that didnt even get to a planning decision is very high
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby MaYoGaL » Thu Feb 14, 2008 12:03 am

we were buying subject to planning so no problem there just expenditure of 8k which could have been avoided with proper advice
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby threebedsemi » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:06 pm

hi
speaking as an architect, i would say that your planning consultant has not displayed 'reasonably skill and care' in this matter. any consultant offering this service should carry out reasonably detailed pre-planning research with regard to a site, including checking the current development plan requirements and any local authority proposals with regard to high voltage power lines, roads, proposed sewage lines, etc. which may effect your project.
i would think that you have a decent case against this guy should you decide to follow it up.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby Chloe » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:18 pm

Help, MayoGal

We need a planning consultant, ASAP, to represent us in our Planning. Please let me know who you used, so we don't go to them!
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby Chloe » Sat Mar 29, 2008 4:18 pm

I should have mentioned, we also live in Mayo, so it is especially relevant to us.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby ctesiphon » Mon Mar 31, 2008 10:23 am

I think MaYoGaL used an Engineer, not a Planning Consultant. That was presumably where the problems began.

[/planner's opinion]
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby Westie » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:56 pm

ctesiphon wrote:I think MaYoGaL used an Engineer, not a Planning Consultant. That was presumably where the problems began.

[/planner's opinion]


I would concur, many of these Engineering, QS or Architectural consultants (especially in rural areas) who also claim to be 'Planning Consultants' rarely have a qualified Architect or Engineer, let alone accredited planner on their staff. Its also amazes me how many of these so called 'Planning Consultants' have no concept of some of the basics of the planning system in Ireland.

If unsure, I'd check with the Irish Planning Institute, they have a list of accredited consultants on their website, as to whether someone is qualified to be giving out sound planning advice. Ditto for an Architect or Engineer.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby nuac » Mon Sep 22, 2008 9:57 pm

Architects have only recently in Building Control Act 2007 obtained some statutory protection for the name and title "architect".

Having seen how hard a relative had to to work to qualify as an architect through DIT, it is high time they had such protection.

AFAIK there is no statutory protection for the titles "engineer" "(town) planner" "planning consultant". Time there was.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby MaYoGaL » Sun Dec 21, 2008 11:40 pm

Sorry it taken me so long to log back here. Firstly the firm in Question is in Ballina, One of oldest & longest Established - XXXXXXXXXXXX!
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby LD » Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:39 pm

Was the application refused or did you withdraw it? When was it withdrawn? Was he an engineer? or a planner? To be fair - some people dont know that there is a difference.
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Re: Planning consultant rip off

Postby onq » Tue May 12, 2009 7:08 pm

The following is fair comment made in the public interest and/or is justified in the context of the information supplied by the original poster.

You should take legal advice.

Preferably from another legal firm a long, long way away.

Sometimes negligence can be difficult to prove, but it seems that all the professionals involved had a duty of care towards you and they appear to have failed to discharge it.

I am surprised that no pre-planning discussion was held with the planner and/or county engineer, which should have highlighted the road plans to your architect.

The local firm of engineers would surely have had some inkling of the proposed road route - engineers usually seem to know everything going on locally.

Finally the solicitor should have uncovered this on requisitions in title as these things seldom happen in a vacuum and the vendor may have been approached to sell the land for the road.

Only a very specific and unusual set of circumstances would absolve them all from some blame.

However, a successful case might actually be held against - not the vendor [who can claim he is a layperson, nor your people [who can claim they were misled - up to a point], - but against the venors solicitor - that is, assuming he was aware of the road plan but didn't disclose it to your solicitor as a possible burden on the land.
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