Change of design on existing permission

Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Mon Feb 01, 2010 5:53 pm

We have been looking for some time for a site to construct our family home on and have recently put a deposit on a site that we are in love with.

The site is part of a 3 site development which has planning permission and was granted consequent to outline planning permission. The Planning that now exists on the sites expires in 2014. There is no onerous occupancy clause in the planning conditions. The sites are within a Secondary Special Amenity Area.

While the design granted on this site is a very attractive design I feel that there has been a missed opportunity here and that the site warrants itself to a design that takes into account the natural layout and contours of the land. To this extent we wish to redesign a house that is in more keeping with the above, sits better into the landscape and abides by the guidelines as setout in the new design guidelines for the county.

However, since the planning was granted on these sites there is a new County Development Plan in place with the result that the criteria for satisfying the Rural Settlement Policy has become away more onerous. As a result it will be very difficult for us to attain a new planning permission on this site due to the fact that as far as I am aware the only people that will be granted planning permission in a Secondary Special Amenity Area are sons or daughters of the traditional landowners. We are not the traditional landowners and hence the criteria cannot be met.

To this extent I engaged the services of an Architect and we met with the local area planner. We went through the planning history of the sites. He was of the opinion that the design that was granted for these sites left much to be desired and that while he would love to see a better design on the site and would willing to accommodate us as much as possible. Unfortunately, the current planning guidelines do not allow this. He was of the opinion that it is not possible to change a design on an existing permission without applying for full planning permission and we would not be successful in this application due to the Rural Settlement Policy. However he did say that he understands that there are going to be 3 houses constructed on these sites at some stage and would prefer to have a more desirable design on each of the sites if we can find away of resolving this “technicality”.

There is existing planning on the site so the principle has been already been established. Whether or not it is correct is not for me to say. We could in the morning build the house that has been granted permission and the occupancy clause would not be an issue. I think this situation is ludicrous. We are only trying to improve the situation for all parties concerned but as always bureaucracy and common sense get in each others way.

Does anybody know if there is way of applying for permission to change the design of a house on a site that has planning permission without having to make a new application for full planning permission. Someone mentioned to me that we could apply to change the house type under the old permission without changing the other conditions.

Help!
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby Tayto » Mon Feb 01, 2010 7:37 pm

Hi,

If you want to change the design, I'm pretty sure you'll have to submit another planning application.
The way to do it is to phrase the newspaer notice/site notice:

"Mr/Mrs...... wishes to apply for planning permission for alterations to the previously approved development reg. ref. no. ..... etc."

You, your architect and the planner can then argue that the application is for amendments to a permitted house, rather than for a new house.

That's my tuppence worth anyway.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby markstephens » Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:06 pm

Hi

Yeah, I'd go the same way with newspaper/site notice as:

"Mr/Mrs...... intend to apply for planning permission for a change off house type to that previously granted under ref . no. etc."

Make sure you include the pre-planning meeting in the application form (there's a space for this)

Mark Stephens MRIAI
http://www.MarkStephensArchitects.com
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:05 am

thanks tayto and markstephens for the input.

to me this is logical solution but the LA is insisting that if a new application is submitted (regrdless of the wording) then he is obliged to consider the new county development plan and hence the occupancy clause. it's in a special amenity area and an area under strong urban influence so even though my wife's original home is only @3miles away he say's that we do not meet the criteria and has to refuse the new application. he says if we want to live there to build the house that is already granted. this to me makes no logical since. anyway.

i'm considering lodging the application as ye suggested. if he does refuse it do ye think that i would have a better case in an bord pleanala.

any help much appreciated.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby goneill » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:16 am

That is bonkers. Is the original Outline Permission still valid?
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby goneill » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:20 am

And I think the planner is wrong in saying that he has to consider the house as a new house if the application is for an alteration of design of an already approved house. The trick is to get his superiors to confrim this before you apply, if necessary using the representations of the councillors planning committee, but do not apply until this is established and definitely do not go to to BP.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:34 am

Thanks goneill

the original outline is out of date since last year.

i am in the process of trying to get an answer from his superiors but the LA is sticking to his view. would prefer to go through the front door but the LA is making it difficult and I cant see why. i think there is a previous history on this site. aside from that i can't see his logic now. why not go to the Bord?
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby goneill » Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:57 am

I wouldn't go to the Bord bcause, without impugning anyone working for it, I think its decisions are unpredictable.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby Tayto » Tue Feb 02, 2010 12:10 pm

You already have a full permission, right?
Then forget about the outline permission, it's been superceded by the full grant of permission.
Regardless of what you do, you have a full grant of permission for a house on that site.
Using the permitted design, amend/alter/extend it to suit your requirements and lodge the alterations as an amendment to the approved development.
If permission is granted, great.
If refused, you still have the original permission. And you can also appeal the decision to An Bord Pleanala.
If they permit, great.
If they refuse, you still have the original permission.

-T.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:14 pm

thanks tayto

but the problem is that we have to buy the site as is. no option to buy subject to planning permission. And we dont realy like the design that is on it so would like to submit a new design. if we purchase as is we are comitting ourselves to living in this area which i think might help our planning situation but on the other hand we are taking a big gamble of it been refused, that we may have to live with for the rest of our lives.

Surely if we owned the site the LA should take the view that we are going to live there anyway and that a more asthetically pleasing design should be considered
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby henno » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:46 pm

the planner is incorrect.

An application for change of design should not be considered as a new full application, and local needs etc should not now become an issue of there is no occupancy condition on the parent permission. This fact is borne in that the application fee is only €34 and not €65, ie its akin to an application for an extension. Its simply a material alteration to a design which already has permission in principle.

goneill is right. Go above the planners head, preferably to the chief exec planner or even to the director of services. The planner only sees a small picture, his superiors are privy to a much wider viewpoint.You may not get it in writing, but with councils crying out for development contributions you should find the accommodating.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:12 pm

Thanks henno

to me this makes perfect since.

wher can i find info in relation to the fee you mentioned. does it sepecifically say change of design or change of house type fee.

i am meeting the LA in the morning again to discuss. the fee info would help I think.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby Tayto » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:23 pm

Your re-design application would be a "Class 2" type of development (Domestic extensions, alterations, conversions, other improvements).
A new house is called a "Class 1" development ("Provision of a house").

A new house will be refused, it looks like, (Class 1), while a simple Class 2 domestic alteration should be relatively un-controversial and likely to be approved.

Like Henno and goneill said, that planner you were talking to is talking thro' their rear extension.

T
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby goneill » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:31 pm

Unless of course....you're in Wexford. It seems from a similar thread on boards.ie that Wexford have decided there is no such thing as a change of house type (in which, as we have suggested you apply to change the detail of the design while broadly conforming to the parameters of the first full permission and where the expiry date for the alterations permission would remain 2014). Wx have issed an edict that they will ony consider change of type applications as new appplications subject to all the requirements of the current Dev Plan. I still think they're wrong in spirit if not in letter.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:38 pm

Thanks T again

I was just on to the main office of the planning dept in relation to the fees and they said that the €34 fee can only be applied to existing dwellings in relation to extensions/alterations etc and that if i am to apply for a different design it is considered a new application if there is no house built on the site. Are they correct. if so i think there is no point meeting LA tomorrow
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby tommyt » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:07 pm

It's not really clear in text how major the changes you propose are. If you were willing to compromise changes to roof pitch, size of openings etc could maybe be agreed at commencment notice stage?

You could either go for the 'to hell with it' option of building something fairly different to the permission and seek retention. That would be a huge risk to take though of course.

Is the permitted design that crap? Could a really good planting scheme or a really imaginative 40M2 extension post-build deliver your dream home?

I see why you are snookered but I think the strategic argument of the planners cannot be dismissed as totally unreasonable - or there would be a big market countywide in selling sites with 'de plannin' ' in place- knowing full well this was carte blanche to go back in for anything afterwards???
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby B » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:28 pm

the design is not that crap but it doesnt suit the site. there is a steep fall on the site away from the road (at a guess probably 1 in 5). the design is a bungalow with the ffl set approx 8 m below road level and the house setback @30m. big fall to rear of house also and good views. the ground level will have to lowered approx 3 to 4 meters in front of proposed house to allow for driveway/parking etc. ther would have to be a retaining wall of some sort constructed at opposite side of front yard to secure hill/slope

in my opinion site is ideally suited for a split level/basement effect with living area on top and beds etc below, with the levels adjusted accordingly. this would blend in better to existing contours of site good landscaping be part of landscape over time. this would avoid unsightly retaining wall neccessity.

another point is that there has been design guidlines launched by the council recently that the existing planning/design does not adhere to.

i think i'm fighting a loosing battle here though.

will let ye know what LA says 2mor.

any other suggestions i could bring to meeting would be greatly appreciated.

B
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby 2cuobserving » Tue Feb 09, 2010 4:38 pm

Would it be possible to get information on where the site is etc etc so that some people may be able to help what reads as a ill thought stance on behalf of the Planning Authority. I like many other people who contribute on here have managed to get things that seemed nigh on impossible at the outset and knowing a bit more about the pariculars of ur issue would help.
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Re: Change of design on existing permission

Postby corkblow-in » Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:33 pm

we had a similar issue a few years ago, but the issue was with a developer attempting to dodge his part V obligations. He had permission for a site with no part V, but the council advised any reapplication for change of house type would have brought it on. We got around it by applying for permission to vary existing house type and described each and every change we were making (eg, change of roof pitch from 30 to 45, alteration of window on front elevation, reduction of floor level by 500mm etc). It sounds like you are considering a radically different design and this option may not be open to you, but if you have a sympathetic planner you may be able to agree a form of words to get you over the hump.
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